Friday, August 31, 2012

Interview with Fashion Designer..Sana Akibu of Sha' Koju Clothing






Sana Akibu
           
Fashion designer Asanat 'Sana' Akibu, is the CEO and mastermind behind Sha'Koju Clothing. She is a young, beautiful, talented lady whose resume is not limited to creating designs for her clothing line but also includes modeling, featuring in different blogs, magazine and many fashion shows as a model and as a designer. Sha' Koju clothing does not only create clothes for the ladies, it also has something for the gentlemen.  Visit her clothing line at www.shakojuclothing.com. For contact: shakojuclothing@gmail.com. And you can follow on twitter: @Sana_ofSKC  Instagram: shakojuclothing



  •  What made you decide you wanted  to be a fashion designer?
Hmm...where do I start? I am often asked this question and it's always a new response every time. I started drawing clothes at a very young age due to my love of modeling and fashion. I didn't take it seriously until I took an art class in high school where I learned the female form and how to design dresses. The class was only for a graduation credit, but it opened my eyes to creating garments for women. However I still didn't put what I learned into action until two years ago when I bought a sewing machine and started revamping my old clothes. After great reviews and tons of trials and error, I made my first garment for a friend. Months later after working at a clothing boutique for a while to learn hands-on about fashion merchadising/marketing, I made 20-30 more custom orders of my designs for other peopl. Then in August 2011, I registered my business and began introducing myself as a fashion designer.

  • When and how did you start this journey?
In April 2010 I purchased my sewing machine out of curiosity and boredom. I needed a hobby and something to do when I stayed home. I created my first pair of Ankara pants for the 2010 Nigerian Reunion and got lots of compliments. However, I didn't sew anything again until December 2010 when I created my birthday dress,--by force due to a designer in NY backing out of making it due to his schedule. After that stressful moment and a great birthday dress my journey began...

  • The name of your clothing line is Sha'Koju, what inspired that name?
I have always loved the essence of fashion and style, so my clothing has always expressed my creativity and personality. When I thought of my clothing line name, I wanted something to represent me. I am Nigerian (Yoruba to be exact), and I love to capture attention when I am looking my best. After speaking with a few friends I came up with the name Shako Ju; which means "one that is showing off a lot". However, I changed up the punctuation to give it a creative look, and that is when Sha' Koju was born.

  • What inspires you when you start working on an original Sha' Koju design?
I get inspired by everything around me. I am a true researcher. Not a scientific one, but when I want to learn something or understand something I begin seeking knowledge about it. Whether its the internet or the library, I have always been one to learn by my own means. So every time I want to start on a new collection or a new piece, I look up trends, blogs, magazines, street styles, and even my social media friends to see what people are wearing and what people like. When I use what I've learned to create a design, it must have a touch of "now", a touch of affordability, and a whole lot of intense thinking (ME)

  • What matters the most to you as a designer?
Being different without looking like "what the hell was she thinking?" is what matters most to me as a designer. I love effortless fashion and I try my best to keep my clothing timeless; which means to wear it again season after season. Sometimes I get a bit too creative and make season-sensitive pieces, but most of my garments can be worn again.

  • How would you define your personal fashion style?
As stated in the previous answer, I love effortless fashion so I have a classic style. I use to call myself "plain jane" because I was just fine with a blazer, top, jeans, and pumps. Now I try to add colors and bold statements to my personal style, while still maintaining that effortless look.

  • Do you make custom order? If yes, how can people contact you for that?
I rarely take custom orders due to my busy schedule, but I still advise people to hit me up if they want a custom outfit just in case I have leisure time to make it. They can contact me at shakojuclothing@gmail.com (subject: custom order).

  • Are there any projects you are currently working on that we should look forward to?
Just to name a few, I am currently working on getting SKC in local boutiques (as a start), working on a launch event to officially introduce my brand to the fashion world, and lastly I am working on a web-series with an online production company.

  • What are some of your accomplishments so far?
Just to be recognized as a fashion designer to my peers, social circle and DC's fashion scene has been a great accomplishment thus far. It is very hard to go from Model to Designer in an industry that wants you to look a specific way and stay there forever, but now I am the one calling the shots. So I am thankul for that. Also I have been featured in a magazine (www.cavamagazine.com - issue 2), on many blogs, have done countless fashion shows, and have recently been rubbing elbows with celebs that you will soon see in my clothes.

  • Lastly, any word(s) of advice for other rising fashion designers and those wanting to get into the fashion business?
This question makes me giggle because I still consider myself a "rising" fashion designer. There is so much to learn about this business and not all that glitters can be sewn (hehehe). I am learning what true rejection is on this journey, and I am also learning that networking goes a long way. This industry is not for the weak-minded individual and you must be confident in your product to handle what criticism you will encounter. I turned a hobby into a business and each day the struggle gets real, but so does the triumphs. My final piece of advice to any rising designer would be to research THEE best, and understand what you are about to embark on so you can one day be THE best. This journey has its ups and downs, but the true reward is seeing your vision come to life.

Store:  www.shakoju.bigcartel.com  Contact Email:  shakojuclothing@gmail.com

Sha' Koju
             



Sha' Koju
                   

Sha' Koju
                   

Victoria Rush (Model) wearing Sha' Koju




Bianca Gold from America's Next Top Model All Stars wearing Sha' Koju

Friday, August 17, 2012

Interview with Hannat & Anthony


Hannat and Anthony


Tell us a little bit about yourself


H: A college graduate, aspiring nurse practitioner. I love the Lord, like to see the best in people and like to have fun


A: From Buffalo, went to University at Buffalo (UB), a teacher and an Alpha Phi Alpha


How long have you two been together?


H: A little over a year


How did you two meet?


H: Black Student Union at UB


A: I was the chair of the Black Men United


H: I attended one of their meetings and that meeting is what put the nail in the coffin


What was the first thing that attracted you to your partner?


H: His chivalry and persona. Where some guys allow girls to do something, he was the one to say no


A: Her smile and her eyes. Most guys are attracted to what they see first but also what I heard about her do on campus and things she would let me know.


Today, unlike years ago, intercultural relationships are more widely accepted, would you say this positive reaction has lessened the pressure of intercultural dating for both of you? Do you still feel any pressures at all?


A: The fact that interracial relationship is also accepted does help intercultural relationships. Even if we are both black, there are still cultural differences but personally I don't feel there are any pressures. It is exciting to learn more.


H: I never planned on marrying a Nigerian so I was ready for any pressures. So the first day Anthony visited my family, I was ready for any blows.


This question is for you, Anthony. Though Hannat was born and raised in the US, She has Nigerian parents and a Nigerian Yoruba background. What have you learned about Nigeria and the Yoruba culture since dating Hannat?


A: I've learned a lot about it, first from talking with her about it. Taking part in the family activities and also from studying about it in class at UB (University at Buffalo). Learning a few greetings in yoruba. I know "Ekaaro" and "Ekasan" . From going to traditional Nigerian baby dedication and traditional wedding ceremony, I have some Nigerian clothing and I love jollof rice.


Describe your partner in 2 words.


H: Handsome and everything a MAN should be. He is hard to describe in just 2 words.


A: I can't use two but I'll try. Beautiful in and out.......She redefines my understanding of what a WOMAN is and exceeds my expectation. She is inspring.


Lastly, what would you say has kept your relationship this far and any advice you would like to share with other couples?


H: Communication. It is imperative to any kind of relationship whether uncle, brother, parents, friends...Not letting things get to the point where things can't be discussed without confrontation.


A: Yes, communication is key. Knowing what you have and knowing how valuable the relationship is. Creating a plan and working towards making the relationship grow.


Look out for Interviews

Let's just say another lightbulb lit in my head with the idea of doing interviews! So in addition to the "Say Hello" there would be interviews of various people (couples, individuals, people making impacts in their respective cities, states, with their talents and passion...and the list goes on).

Done a few interviews so far and thankfully I have been granted the opportunity to interview others soon...

I'll post one of the 'done' interviews today...hopefully!!  

And keep looking out for more interviews......

A heart of forgiveness

I loveee conversations with my big bro!!!!!! and I loveee my Joyce Meyer Ministries phone (JMM) app!!

That said, this post was inspired by one of the devotional videos I recently watched on my JMM app and one of my recent big bro-lil sis convos.

There is the popular saying " In forgiving others, you set yourself free". I know it is not always easy to forgive especially when we are really hurt by someone's actions and inaction whether consciously or not. You see the thing is, when someone hurts us or we are hurt by a situation and we hold on to that with an unforgiving heart, we indirectly hurt ourselves even more than we think we hurt that person by not forgiving them. Sometimes it could lead to people being depressed, bitter, angry, and putting out our frustration on others. We have so many people taking their anger and frustration (from an unforgiving heart) on others. I remember reading in the news of a young man who goes about trying to give other younger kids the HIV virus simply because years ago he contracted the virus from someone. Thank God he was eventually caught. I am sure you have heard on the news of someone going on a killing spree simply because a certain group of people killed their friend or family member. Again I know it hurts, but sticking with an unforgiving heart, only causes more harm to us and to others who might just be innocent.

We are imperfect beings in an imperfect world. We are all going to make mistakes! We are all going to do something that will hurt or upset a dear friend, a stranger, a family member, a co-worker....Likewise they are all at some point going to do something that will hurt or upset us. Even two people who are in love would do something that might upset the other.

"You see, in the time of Christ on Earth, many persecuted him. Even his own disciple denied him three times. His disciple Judas betrayed him and gave him away to be killed. But Despite all, He still died for our sins. Despite us forgetting about him sometimes, not giving Him the praise and adoration He deserves, not obeying Him...Despite everything and anything, He still loves and forgives us all!

AHA!! There is also one very important person we need to learn to forgive...Guess who? IT'S YOURSELF!! They say 'to learn to love others you should first love yourself' Yes! To learn to forgive others, you should first learn to forgive yourself! When you fall in sin, When you let yourself down. Forgive yourself.

My big bro says "God has forgiven us of our sins in advance. You've got to forgive yourself and move up! The devil's job is to always make us feel bad about things we did wrong and wants to hold us down with them. Life/Christianity is a game, if you don't practice, you can't play and if you don't play you can't win...In practicing we make mistakes and in playing sometimes we win and some we lose"

As christians we are commanded to forgive others. We cannot go to our Heavenly Father in prayer while we still hold a grudge against another (Matthew 6: 14-15) and when others sin against us we are told to forgive them, not once, not twice....but many times. Matthew 18: 21-22. When His disciple asked how many times we should forgive, He said 'not seven times but seventy times seven'

Found these quotes a couple of days ago and saved them on my phone. Will wrap this post with them.

  • Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness ~ Unknown

  • People are often unreasonable and self centered. Forgive them anyway ~ Mother Theresa

  • To be a christian means to forgive them the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you ~ C.S Lewis

  • The truth is unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize the situation is over, you cannot move forward ~ Steve Maraboli

  • It is important to forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on ~ Steve Maraboli

  • Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies ~ Nelson Mandela

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Come Kukere with me

"All my ladies! All my ladies!...." 🎢🎡

Ever have something to write or do and don't know how to start because your mind is clogged and things just don't seem to flow..
Well you could just do what I just did ...

Cook some coconut rice and kidney beans with chicken

Or you could just put on some dancing shoes and dance!!!

I did both...lol! and well lets just say the food was all gone in less than an hour
Here's the song I've been dancing to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBoV1VSpKLo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

If you know how to dance the azonto you won't find dancing to this a task...hehehe
Have a wonderful new week everyone!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

McSteamy! McDreamy! Grey's Anatomy

Was looking for something to watch and stumbled on Grey's Anatomy!! I love this show but we have our on and off moments...'ON' for the first couple of seasons when it first started..'OFF' when I got sidetracked by other shows then came back 'ON' through a friend.
Anyyywhoooo! While watching decided to check for updates and found that Our dear McSteamy (Eric Dane) would be leaving :( ah!!! No!!!!!

Ooooo and I found some of these picture quotes

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Today with much older women

You know elderly people love to talk and drop some knowlege on you. Sometimes when they come to us we are like 'oh boy, she is gonna talk for hourssssss" Yes we do that sometimes. But sometimes what they say is just what you need to hear.

Few months ago, a much older woman said "even in your 20s you are all still just big teenagers and you don't come out of that till your late 20s" I never really paid much attention to her statement until today during my talk with some much older people today.

How that conversation started is a whole different story but I'm here to share the important part with you. One of the older ladies said, 'not until after 25, you start understanding things a little better and when you are 30, you have a much better understanding, experience and appreciation and value for things life but now you are all just still young and take too many things for granted" She went on to say 'At this age, we also don't like to listen to older folks because we think we know it all, we just won't listen..."

I know many of us not over 25, will quickly take offence to that and try to defend our age group, but sometimes when we hear such statements, we need to sit back and analyze ourselves. I did and I came to understand that it is quite true.

1 corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, and when I grew up, I put my childish ways away. Many of us even at this age, we are still trying to shake off our childish ways and grow up. Now sometimes, we do need someone to point out those particular childish ways and guide us through. Sometimes it takes a certain moment, experience, situation to shake them off.

I am not going to point fingers at others without checking myself too. So there you go! I am guilty of some childish ways. When I turned 24, I felt, now I'm grown and I remember telling that to my dad and I also remember him telling me "No you are not, you are still a kid" and he didnt mean it in the "no matter how old you are you are still a kid to your parents" kind of way...no!!! He meant, no I am still a kid!

I am 24, going to be 25 in 8 months. I am looking forward to reaching half the golden birthday and 1/4 of a century..Since April when I turned 24 till now, I've learned more about myself and I won't say I am thrilled about everything but I am however thrilled I got to learn and know those childish ways and can now work on putting them aside. I am even happier that I learned those childish ways now, so I make correction now where necessary. It's better to make certain mistakes now than make them later in our older years when they will really hurt us badly and in some cases cause irreversible damages.

I think once in a while, we need to analyze ourselves. See where and who we are now, where and who we were before , and where and who we want to be. See what progress we have made, what good changes we have made. Doing so is to make us better, not for anyone esle but for YOURSELF :)

But hey while trying to analyze yourself and put away childish ways, don't be too hard on yourself when you realize mistakes you've made. Mistakes are simply for our development. You are also going to need to deal with hearing some things about yourself from your friends that you usually would not like to hear. You don't have to do everything they say but it does help to use their words to look into yourself. Today I heard some things about myself that oh boyy I didnt want to hear or totally agree with but some minutes later I thought about it and I'm using it to look into myself better and be better in certain areas.

I saw this quotes : "I'm not where I need to be, but I thank God, I'm not where I used to be" and "Strive for progress not perfection" You see I am not the same little girl I once was, I'm older now, I've changed in certain ways, in certain areas but I am not yet done. There is room for improvement so I strive for progress in all areas.

A butterfly was once a caterpillar shedding its skin more than once before it became the pupa that became the beautiful butterfly. A rose once was just a seed that took days of sunlight and watering to grow into the beautiful rose. That said GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL AS YOU CONTINUE EACH DAY TO GROW AND BE A BETTER YOU TOMORROW THAN YOU WERE YESTERDAY







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