I arrived, I interacted, I changed. If ever I entertained any doubt about the power of team work, that doubt was laid to rest the moment I stepped into the creative space of Alfie. The brand, Alfie is co-founded and managed by two warm and radiant women – mother and daughter duo. Join me as I unravel the nuances behind their success in the interview below:
How did you come by the brand name Alfie?
Mom: Alfie was inspired by my birth name, Afie. When I decided to create a brand name, Afie didn’t sound catchy enough. I wanted a brand name with a global tone and Afie didn’t cut it. While brainstorming, Alfie came to mind and I loved it. The inclusion of the letter “l” made all the difference.
Have you always been creative ?
Daughter: Yes, mom has. She has always been creative. I am now learning from her as I was a tom-boy growing up.
Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating your designs ?
Mom : Once I see a fabric, ideas begin to crop up in my mind. Sometimes, while relaxing after a hard days work, ideas simply pop into my mind.
Are your pieces handmade and if so, do you make them all by yourself?
Every item is handmade. We produce clothing, accessories, shoes and iPad cases. We also supply some manufacturers with our products. Due to the demand for our items, we currently have 90 employees. When Alfie was started, it was a one woman show as my daughter was then a toddler. Eventually, I started offering training workshops while growing the brand. Even though these workshops were open to the general public, my target participants were talented and passionate females.
Do you source your materials locally or internationally?
Most of our materials are sourced locally and a few are sourced internationally.
What is a typical work day for you like?
For the most part, we have very busy work days.Due to our hectic workload, we assign various tasks across different days of the work week. For instance, on Tuesdays we work on orders while delivery of items to clients takes place on Thursdays. We also run a 24 hour facility with employees running 12 hour shifts. Our in-house training center has a program that is totally different from the production center.
Your pieces tend to be a reflection of different cultures. Does your background play a crucial role in your design process?
Our background plays a crucial role in our design process. We are well-traveled and exposed to cultures from different parts of the world. This has shaped our views and can be seen in the contemporary pieces we create.
Who has had the strongest influence on you and why?
Daughter : Mom has had the strongest influence on me. She has taught me a lot and continues to inspire me.
Mother: I have always had the gift of creativity and started sewing when I was about 10 years old. Initially, I was sewing clothes for myself and friends as a hobby. As the years rolled by, I made the decision to travel to London where I studied and worked as a Secretary for three years before returning home to Ghana. After my return, I attended a sewing school for two years and started Alfie Designs. My daughter was then 3 years old. Here we are now working as a team and I haven’t looked back since.
Do you have plans of expanding ?
Yes we do. We currently export our items to Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda and have plans of setting up shops outside Ghana. In North America, we have 2 retailers.
What do you want to be remembered for ?
We want to be remembered as a note worthy fashion house that contributed to the productivity of Africa by providing employment opportunities on a large-scale – Fashion with a Conscience.
Interview by Sher