15 Aug Success Meets Hardwork: Afya Kisiwaa of Fiidea
With her love for independence and her desire to make relevant impact in the society, Afya Kisiwaa decided to start her own business to showcase her talents and skills but also to promote the identity of the African continent. Her business Fiidea focuses of fashion and interior decor accessories made from African fabrics/ prints. Afya contributes her success to God as she sees her skills and business as a gift.
Please tell us about your business.
Fiidea is an umbrella name for an African; Ghanaian brand that seeks to promote the identity of the African here, within the continent and the world in general. Our main production is in fashion and interior decor accessories; bags, pouches, throw pillows, bedclothes, curtains, et al. All our products are chiefly made with locally made fabrics such as Batik and Bogolan, and are custom made to suit client preferences and timeless trends.
What made you decide to embark on producing these handicrafts?
Fiidea started off as a personal styling project, an experiment of creative ideas and talent. I used my talent in making handicrafts to make things for myself and my friends; making the things I wanted to have that were not already available on the market. Other people began to show interest in my style and choice of designs. After a number of orders and push from people to get my style out there, I realised there was a need for a certain change out there and so business began.
What influenced your decision to become an entrepreneur?
Well, I’ve always been an independent minded person and someone who wants to make relevant impact in society through change. When you work for people, they modify your ideas to suit their goals and preferences- in some instances you cannot even bring out your ideas at all so to me being an entrepreneur is one sure way of putting your ideas to use the way you want them to be, making mistakes and finding ways to come out of them. It also is a way to come out of the boxes we are put in growing up.
To what do you attribute your success?
God- Because all that i do I did not have to go through any form of training to be able to do them. Its all purely a gift from God.
Lack of capital is often cited as one of the most challenging parts of being an African entrepreneur. How were you able to fund your business?
I started with the little that- money from my personal savings then a little later I got some support from family. I cannot say it is not having a very strong financial grounding is not a challenge for my business but it does not limit. There is a possibility that I would receive some funding very soon though.
What piece of advice would you give to other Africans just starting out?
Just work hard- start as little as you can, work towards growth, and be sure you are in love with what you do.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made? How did you recover?
I don’t know if this count; there was a time I messed up my book keeping. There wasn’t much I could do about it so i counted it as a loss and started over.