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Are You Confident About Charging What You’re Worth?

Knowing what to charge for your product or service has to be one of the most difficult responsibilities of working for yourself. And in an industry where working for free is often expected, seen as something you should be grateful for, charging what you are worth is the bane of the creative entrepreneur. It is no secret that so many of us undercharge in the mistaken belief that we are not worthy of charging high prices. We fear that being expensive means we will not get clients.

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Be authentic and create a brand that is unique to you

I have read way too many blog posts and articles that tell me to build a successful brand my website should look a certain way or that I need to do xyz. The problem is that whilst a lot of what I read does make sense and is usually the same tried and tested advice, I find that there are some things that just don’t resonate with me and when I try out said strategy sometimes it ends up feeling all wrong, not to true to me and what I do. And, that is why it is important to make things […]

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5 Qualities Successful Brands Have In Common

Successful brands have a number of qualities in common. Qualities that make them visible to their right audiences. These qualities are not secrets that only the privileged few can access. They are accessible qualities that every business owner can take advantage of to create their own successful brand. And no matter what stage your business is at, you can use them too. So, what are these qualities? Successful brands:

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Architect and Furniture Designer Moran Munyuthe on Design, Inspiration and Working for Yourself

Architect and furniture designer Moran Munyuthe is the founder of the Saba Furniture Company, a studio, workshop and retail outlet based on the island of Lamu where he works in partnership with local craftsmen to create heirloom quality furniture inspired by local design and motifs. We caught up with him to get an insight into furniture design, running a workshop and shop and the journey of working for yourself.

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Cameroonian-American Fashion Designer Nyorh Agwe Talks Identity And Building a Fashion Brand

 1. Please introduce yourself, tell us a bit about your background, where you are based, and what led you to a career in fashion design? My name is Nyorh Awum Agwe and I am a Cameroonian-American Fashion Designer. I was born in Cameroon but moved to Italy with my mum when I was 3 weeks old. My first language as a Cameroonian was Italian. After I was 4, we moved back to Cameroon only to move to the United States just 2 years later. Our family had a very nomadic lifestyle. Because of it, I always found myself having to […]

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Kilubukila – Building A Business Whilst Working the 9-5

Last December whilst showcasing our books at the Africa Centre Christmas Market Pop Up we found ourselves neighbours with a furniture design business called Kilubukila, and subsequently got chatting to the founder Jess Kilubu. Jess is among an ever-increasing number of people following their dreams by starting a business whilst working the 9-5 and we invited him to share his motivations and experiences of his creative entrepreneurial journey so far. 1. Please introduce yourself, telling us a bit about your background, and where you are based, and when you set up Kilubukila? I was born and raised in France from a […]

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Native Decor Founder, Vusani Ravele On Building A Sustainable Creative Business

South African product designer and managing craftsman, Vusani Ravele won the hearts of  TV viewers following his appearance on Shark Tank South Africa. Vusani shares with us the impact securing investment has had on developing his business Native Decor, the challenges and rewards of growing a sustainable creative business, the importance of preparedness, having passion and believing in yourself.

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Ichyulu Connecting Modern African Fashion With Consumers

Ichyulu is a Nairobi based fashion retail platform that specialises in connecting consumers with African fashion. We caught up with the company to learn more about the African fashion retail industry and get her thoughts on the opportunities and advice for fashion designers looking to stock through retail outlets. 1. Please introduce yourself, and tell us a bit about your background, where you are based and what led to you following a fashion-focused career. I’m Kenyan and I’m based in Nairobi, Kenya. I have always loved African fashion and for a long time, I was a client. I got to […]

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Product Designer Thabisa Mjo Talks Competitions, Design And Business

Thabisa Mjo the founder of Mash T. Design Studio in Johannesburg was a winner of the Nandos Young Hot Designer in 2016, wowing the judges with her show-stopping Tutu 2.0 pendant light, inspired by the Xibelani skirt worn by Tsonga women. Thabisa’s work is a mix of modern design and a celebration of culture referenced in the shapes, patterns, and textures she uses. Winning the competition gave her the confidence to go out and enter more and also showcase her work locally and internationally. She speaks to us about her journey to building a successful design studio.

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  • This popular Africanisim beautifully illustrates the pioneering spirit of togethernes. It highlights how working and collaborating with others can propel you to new heights. Building a business rarely happens in isolation. Atelier Fifty Five seeks to to shine the light on African brands, and this includes extending a hand by sharing our knowledge and expertise to help African brands become the best they can be. So let us go together. Sign up to the Atelier Fifty Five Academy mailing list and join a community of ambitious creative business owners dedicated to creating brands that make their audiences sit up and take notice.⁣
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.  #quotes #inspirationalquotes #motivationalquotes #africanproverb #brandstrategy #creativeentrepreneur  #entrepreneur #mycreativebiz  #brandbuilding #africanstartup #africanbusiness #makeithappen
  • Preserving traditional skills the Kayla cushion by Frida 54 highlights the art of Tritik, a process of knotting and sewing that results in a variety of symmetric patterns. Handwoven with 100% cotton from the cotton mills of northern Cameroon the textiles are dyed with handmade dyes using ancestral techniques. [📷 credit: @frida_54 ]
  • Values . Respecting the design [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Infuse your interior style with the colourful elegance of African beaded necklaces courtesy of The African Woven Necklace light shade by @moderngesture. The design features graduating circular hoops each hand wrapped with colourful woven thread bands. Handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa by designer Candice Lawrence, the lighting is available in the  Atelier Fifty Five shop. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive