Girl Power

Interview With Kukua – Founder Of Shopping Platform africaboutik

16. July 2017
shopping platform africaboutik - Onlineshop africaboutik

I met Kukua also known as MsK on Facebook some years ago and was immediately enthralled with her lifestyle brand African Prints in Fashion (APiF). Last year when Kukua started her online shopping platform africaboutik I knew I had to interview her. If you are looking for Africa-inspired fashion, fashion produced on the African continent, accessories sourced from local artisans as well as handmade designs, this interview is a MUST READ.

Interview with Kukua of shopping platform africaboutik

Frolicious: Please tell us a little bit about your new online shop. How did the idea came up and why now?
Kukua: When I started the blog 6 years ago I just focused on content and exploring & making visible what was happing in the African Fashion industry. Readers always asked me where they could purchase certain items and I directed them to different shopping platforms. I have been aware for some time that having my own shopping platform would make sense, I just didn’t think I would have the bandwidth to manage it. I believe I have a good eye for designs and trends. So last year I decided to go for it and started www.africaboutik.us

Frolicious: Where do you find the artisans and how do you choose them?
Kukua:
Some artisans I met by chance while attending small markets and events like a small business fair in Ghana. Others I discovered via Instagram or they were recommended to me. It takes time to develop sustainable relationships. Of course sometimes it doesn’t work out and I lose money or receive a damaged product or the wrong product. I try to look for things that not everyone else has, that are high quality items and beautiful. The furniture I hunt for in vintage stores across NYC and NJ and upholster & beautify it together with an Interior Design friend.

shopping platform africaboutik

Frolicious: What was the biggest challenge so far with running your online shop?
Kukua:
Time and Technology. Dealing with hosting providers, server performance and page updates from a technical perspective can be challenging. I have a techie now that I pay a quarterly retainer to take care of all hat. It is not cheap, but worth it and one less headache for me. Also the store and its social channels need regularly new photography to attract and engage customers. I do my own photography now because I really enjoy it. But it is definitely time consuming.

Frolicious: Why do you think are more black women than ever starting their own businesses?
Kukua: 
According to a TIME article from August 2016, every 10 businesses launched by women, 8 are by women of color. It is easier now to reach your own audience with Social media, whatsapp and facebook messenger, so maybe more women feel empowered to become their own boss. Also after the recession in the US many women started their own business as it was the best option to leverage their expertise and avoid being unemployed. Personally for me it is empowering to test out and create things without anyone imposing any limits or guidelines.

shopping platform africaboutik

Frolicious: Why do you think it’s important for our generation in particular to be more aware of black owned businesses?
Kukua:
I wouldn’t see this as an awareness tied to a specific generation. We should all support black businesses to support our Community as many black-owned businesses don’t have the same network opportunity or can that easily get support from investors so we – the consumers – should support them. Our buying power can’t be underestimated and why not buy sneakers by Sawa’s shoes made in East Africa instead of a pair adidas made in China?

Frolicious: Do you think that African inspired pieces like accessories, furniture or fashion are just a trend?
Kukua:
I used to ask this question designers 6 years ago and here we are 6 years later still talking about African Fashion and Designs. Look at Ikea launching an Africa collection together with several African Designers, or there is a Contemporary African Art Fair that tours London and NYC every year. The perception of what African Design /Art / Fashion is, is changing and it isn’t something that will disappear again, we are now starting to have a seat at the table.

shopping platform africaboutik

What I love about Kukua’s shopping platform africaboutik

I especially love that Kukua has a great eye for style and understands the value of content creation. You should check out her Instagram page. She is owner of shopping platform africaboutik and a successful influencer who has taken charge of running her online business. 

 

Follow Kukua for more information about her shopping platform africaboutik:

Online Store: https://africaboutik.us/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africaboutik/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/africaboutik/
email: info@africaboutik.us

 

If you have any questions or feedback just comment below. Please share this interview to support a black-owned business. If you’d like to be featured or interviewed on the Frolicious blog, please contact me and I’ll see if we’re a good fit for each other.

shopping platfrom africaboutik

Follow Kukua for more information about her shopping platform africaboutik:

Online Store: https://africaboutik.us/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africaboutik/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/africaboutik/
email: info@africaboutik.us

 

If you have any questions or feedback just comment below. Please share this interview to support a black-owned business. If you’d like to be featured or interviewed on the Frolicious blog, please contact me and I’ll see if we’re a good fit for each other.