"A little bit of color can bring life into any gloomy environment, and I feel a great joy to be a source of color for someone. I hope to be like a rainbow on a stormy day."
"I create fashion accessories. My friends describe as a friendly, kindhearted and bubbly person. They say I live a fun-filled life, so colorful that they call me Rainbow. I was born in Kumasi, Ghana in 1989.
"At the age of sixteen, I lost my mother. It was really a bombshell to me. I remember her — not with tears anymore but with a smile on my face for the great things she had a chance to teach me before she passed on.
"My father is an artisan. Every day, I watched him as he transformed pieces of wood into beautifully crafted decorative pieces by adding a coat of paint and polish. I instantly fell in love with the colors and the idea that I could make pretty, colorful things. So I put my mind into it.
"My dad then began teaching me to sew with my late grand mum's sewing machine, which was then 20 years older than I was at that time. I knew instantly I needed to gain more knowledge and skill to develop my natural talent.
"In 2008, I failed my university entrance exams but I wasn't discouraged with all the negative feedback from my family and friends. I tried again the following year and passed. I was successfully admitted to the university where I excelled greatly in my studies.
"I started making new clothes out of my old clothes that didn't fit me anymore and I realized the styles came to me naturally. In the university, they offered a course which gave me the opportunity to learn how to manipulate all kinds of materials, including wood, textiles and metal. Of course I signed up for it.
"I had to practice constantly, making use of my skills and improving on them to master this art, from my junior level all the way through the university. My greatest challenge has been how to select the right colors for the right seasons, since people tend to shift towards bright and flamboyant colors for spring and summer.
"I always try to visualize many different ways to make an existing item better and more customer friendly. My materials include textiles, copper wire and recycled glass. I absolutely love how the colors of the fabrics and beads come to life when a design is complete.
"My inspiration comes from the bright and beautiful colors found in nature — flowers, leaves, fruits and vegetables, even the rainbow. A little bit of color can bring life into any gloomy environment, and I feel a great joy to be a source of color for someone. I hope to be like a rainbow on a stormy day.
"Starting to work on my own has been one of the scariest and most difficult decisions of my life. It was a risk worth taking because it gave me a sense of great joy and fulfillment.
"It hasn't been an easy road because I faced challenges and obstacles as a young woman. I was often discouraged by people who urged me to find a man and settle down rather than chase my dreams. There were months that I had to live without any income. Men often tried to take advantage of me as a woman. I was sometimes cheated with higher prices when I went to the market to purchase materials. The power supply in the country at one point in time was also a problem.
"But I'm happy I could overcome all these challenges that actually help me become who I am today.
"I work alone but on few occasions I solicit help from my dad in designing or creating something new. I have trained five people living in my community to enable them have an income and source of livelihood.
My dream is to become a fashion designer. I'd love to undertake an internship or apprenticeship with some big names in the industry."