Akwa Baby was born over a conversation about how we could raise our children to be confident, with self love and unstoppable self belief.
it was important to us that they be raised with a proud connection to both sides of their heritage because they are mixed African and English, and both of these identities are equally important.
We thought that one way we could build a connection would be through how they were dressed. A few years before having kids we’d taken a wonderful holiday to Tanzania and had learnt here that some tribes from the continent would create symbols to artwork into textile prints as a way to pass messages between generations. This had always stuck with us and it was this chance conversation that gave us our lightbulb moment!
What if we created a meaningful print for our children? But wait, what if we created this for all children - something that would allow them to know they all deserve to grow up in a world where they feel they are valued!
Once the idea was out we couldn’t go back! We started bit by bit. The first place was to work with a designer on our print, we found a wonderful man and dad of four, Eddie Lyons.
The brief was to be inspired by the African continent, using vibrant colours for a unisex garment because we wanted as many families as possible to love this design.
We created symbols to represent positive affirmations and Eddie brilliantly hand drew the lions and flowers amongst shapes taken from an ancient writing system. The cloth now
learning about fabrics and how to manufacture ethnically and sustainably, we ran into obstacles, we gained traction then we lost traction but we kept going until 3 years later we launched OBI, our first print.