MyFocsi: Wearable Art – Showing the African Diaspora in all her Glory

myfocsi_1 APiF: Please introduce yourself.
MyFocsi: Focsi is the dynamic husband and wife team, who started out as friends and business partners. The inspiration and founder behind Focsi is Erika “FocsiMama”, while the execution and artistic talents lie with Jamaul a.k.a. Sefu Mikono.

APiF: Are  you an artist or a designer – what came first?MyFocsi: We are an artist and a designer working collaboratively. I had a clear vision of what Focsi should be and I knew Jamaul could execute that vision and bring it to life. It took working together everyday for six months before we had our first cohesive collection of designs that had the aesthetic vibe Erika was going for.

APiF: What is your cultural background and how does it  inspire  your work?                        MyFocsi: Our cultural backgrounds are as eclectic as our art. Jamaul hails from PG County, Maryland by way of New Mexico. His artistic style definitely has influences from both East and West Coasts combined with his Afro-Latino, Caribbean, and Southern roots.myfocsi_apif_2

Being an Army Brat, I lived in various states and countries brings the love of various cultures and designs to our work. When all of these influences collide, Focsi is what emerges.

APiF: What is your professional background – how did it all start?
MyFocsi: Jamaul is an artist. He’s been drawing since 3rd grade and art is his life. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Illustration, and he’s taught numerous art classes, participated in various exhibits and shows, as well as created designs (logos, apparel, etc.) for known and start-up brands and businesses.

myfocsi_apif_3I am considering myself more of a crafter – writing, sewing, crochet, jewelry making, etc.. Jamaul often jokes that “he’s 2-d and I’m 3-d”. I’ve always loved fashion, but when I looked at it, I never found myself. Focsi was born out of a need to see myself not only in art, but in the t-shirt designs that I love so much.

For us, the women of the African diaspora are beautiful, strong, and varied in their talents, interests, and stories. We wanted to capture that essence, reflect it back to them, and show the world a different side of ourselves.

APiF: AfriPop redefined – what does that mean?
MyFocsi: AfriPop redefined means that African influence is a global trendsetting phenomena in Pop culture everywhere. Our parent company for Focsi is called Afro Pop, because like AfriPop it encompasses the hip coolness and eclectic funk that is the Global African Diaspora in all her glory.

APiF: Any tips for new and aspiring entrepreneurs?myfocsi_apif_5
MyFocsi: Yes. Do not get bogged down in paperwork or perfection. The best way to become an entrepreneur and to learn is by doing. Get meaningful busy. Start wherever you are with whatever resources you have. There are going to be hurdles and brick walls. They are there to see how badly you want it. It is OK to regroup. It is OK to make mistakes. Every successful entrepreneur has lost money, made mistakes, had to find another way; but the one thing they all have in common is knowing that failure is part of success, and you must keep going. The world needs whatever talent and passion you have! So get busy.​

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