"Women's empowerment is something that I strongly believe in... So far, 11 women from different walks of life — and some of whom are single mothers — have completed their training with me."
"I was born in 1976 in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. My mother was a trader and my dad was a steel worker. My parents were very loving and always wanted the best for me and my siblings. I am the second of six children and the only girl, but we got along very well. We grew up in the Volta region, where we were very close to nature. We played and did everything together but, eventually, we all had to work in different fields. I was the only one who took the artistic path.
"My parents took very good care of us and made sure we were always comfortable. Aside from being loving, they were also principled. They never compromised on giving us children a good education. My parents were hardworking, which inspired me a lot while growing up. At one point in our lives, we were beset with financial difficulties. My parents couldn't take care of me and my brothers the way they used to. In the Volta region, there were fewer job opportunities. So, after completing my junior secondary education, I moved to Accra in search of a job, which led me to learn how to sew.
"I got married soon after that. My husband is a travel and tour agent, and has been my role model. He is very supportive of my work, helping me in different ways, like coming up with ideas for my designs.
"With Accra being the heart of business in Ghana, I needed to learn a trade. Jewelry became the art form that I chose to specialize in. I trained in a specialized jewelry school where proprietor, Madam Gloria Akafo, taught me. It took me three months to learn how to make jewelry. During that period, stringing beads was very easy, since I already had a flair for art. The school is a very busy place, enrolling around 200 students. We had the requisite equipment and good tutors who pushed us to learn more and be creative. Day in and day out, my passion for this craft grew more and more. I acquired great speed, which I picked up from my tutors, and it helps me meet the demand for my work.
"The beauty and colors of jewelry attracted me to this craft and kept me engaged with it. My love and passion for beads has helped me explore different designs. I have become an expert in what I do, largely because of the good apprenticeship that I went through.
"I use recycled glass beads, recycled plastic beads, nylon twine, and brass hooks. They are readily available in our local markets, especially in the Makola Market in Accra. I don't compromise on quality when designing. The materials I use are recycled or reclaimed, and are free from any toxic substances, which makes my jewelry safe for you to wear. I keep an eye out for color when choosing which beads to use. Nature is my largest source of inspiration when designing. I also believe our Creator is the greatest artist, and therefore He is also my inspiration.
"I am a friendly and open-minded person, characteristics that I use to promote my jewelry. My friends help me market my craft. I want to explore all kinds of art in order to become successful. My kind and patient nature led me to train others. I always advise my trainees to seek to develop similar traits so that they can soar higher. Teaching others to become like you takes patience, and that is what I pray to God to always grant me.
"Women's empowerment is something that I strongly believe in. I am currently training three girls. So far, 11 women from different walks of life — some of whom are single mothers — have completed their training with me. These women design jewelry that they sell to support themselves and their children.
"My greatest challenge in this work largely revolves around sales. Aside from selling to my friends and in my shop, there is a limited market out there. This greatly affects my passion to grow my workshop. I want to train more girls there, but this can only happen if I sell more jewelry and increase my income.
"Finally finding you was very encouraging. I pray we have a long-lasting relationship. Many thanks for this wonderful opportunity."