by Ezinne Chukwu Anyasodo
This month is a very special month as it marks Nkiti’s 1 year anniversary, we’re beyond excited!
Before the celebrations begin, we thought we’d take the time to reflect on some amazing highlights from the past year as well as our journey to get here. It sounds funny but we really did see a gap in the market for African print casual clothing and what started as a thought and a hypothetical quickly became real!
A key highlight during the past year was having the opportunity to work with the African Caribbean Society (ACS) at Imperial College London in February 2020. It was therefore very exciting to meet some of our customers face to face, get to know what they were looking for and seeing if our products fit what they were looking for. Following this, we were able to collaborate with ACS to provide clothing for their annual arts showcase. We were even invited and given front row seats as we watched performers, dancers, actors/actresses command the stage in our products. It left us speechless and thankful!
We even got the opportunity to attend a rehearsal and see firsthand the positive and exciting reactions of our customers when they saw our products! Overall, it was a successful event; we set up a booth for Nkiti, displayed our products and spoke to potential customers… a lot of who purchased some Nkiti pieces. We’re looking forward to more events and collaborations like these in the next year.
In the midst of what appeared to be a decent start to the year, things rapidly changed following the news of a global pandemic and the simultaneous resurfacing of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is no surprise that the overall atmosphere in the world has been overwhelming, especially for black who have been actively involved in bringing awareness to systemic racism as well as disproportionately being affected by the effects of the virus. We, as the individuals behind Nkiti, found strength in these times through solidarity, raising awareness and continually being outspoken about important issues. Here’s to hoping for positive outcomes for both crises and an exciting rest of the year.
Focusing on some positives, another highlight was being invited to virtually present and participate in the ‘Marketplace’ of a conference called STRATAGEM. STRATAGEM is a yearly conference that champions diversity and inclusion; every year, they have a marketplace that features and showcases businesses owned by individual/s from minority groups. It was a privilege to be invited to share the story of Nkiti as well as listen and find out ways to support other small business owners. Not only did we gain new international engagement, we also found new businesses to engage with from different industries and sectors. From a marketing and design company to a black and indigenous focused tourism company.
Overall, what a year it has been for us at Nkiti. We have had several product launches, optimised our website as well as had customers ordering from: Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, US, Italy and more! We are keen to see what the next year will bring and we hope to continue meeting and surpassing your expectations of our brand and our clothing.
P.S. Follow us on our social media platforms (@nkitidesigns) and keep an eye on our website … we have a few exciting things coming up as we celebrate our 1 year anniversary on August 11th 2020!