Please introduce yourself and brand to our readers:
My name is Beverly Sarfo, I am the owner of Asawatextiles Inc., a Ghanaian-manufactured bespoke company that builds community-based brands and product lines. In 2018 we launched our first brand Ashanti Scholar, which raises awareness about the adversities Black students experience on campus. Through the sale of our authentic graduation Kente stoles, we aim to build a brand that will empower Black students to succeed despite the many barriers they face.
What inspired you to pursue this area of interest?
My inspiration first derives from my passion for development and eradicating youth
unemployment in my parent’s homeland of Ghana. Secondly, I am inspired by my desire to amplify voices and discuss issues that impact the Black community in North America.
In Ghana, talent is plentiful, but opportunities are few, especially for those who do not have connections to international markets. I want to create those opportunities. Leveraging technology and Ghana’s incredibly talented artisans, customers can virtually design bespoke products and have them hand-crafted in Ghana at a reasonable cost, resulting in employment for dozens and hopefully in the future hundreds of people. (102 words)
What 2 tips would you share with readers who desire to be successful in your industry?
First, work with a head designer. When it comes to producing products, working with a designer will help you refine the look of your product. Although our customers can virtually customize the products we sell, I use a designer to design the base product and advise on the customization options we should make available for our customers.
Second, for anyone looking to manufacture in Africa, be prepared to teach. Like any good business owner and leader, you have to show your employees or contractors exactly how you want them to build your product. Working in Ghana, where there are often language and cultural barriers quality control can become an issue, therefore it is important that you exercise extra diligence when explaining how products should be made. (126)
What is next for you in 2021 and how can readers connect with you online?
In 2021, our goal is to expand our reach and start to share digital resources with students to help them be successful. Our aim is to create a community not only for those who purchase our products but for those who support our causes and can benefit from being a part of our community. We are also working on partnering with more student organizations, universities and school boards who want to purchase and customize large orders for graduation ceremonies. Additionally, we have set our eyes on teaming up with HBCU brands and creating brand specific products for those businesses. Due to the ongoing battle with Covid, we are continuing to pivot and offer a stole gifting service for grads partaking in virtual ceremonies.
Readers can connect with online at www.ashantischolar.com or by following us on instagram @ashanhischar. (138 words)
Total: 435 words