How AAKS founder Akosua Afriyie-Kumi interweaves impact and neighborhood in her handcrafted luggage

Few products capture the spirit of conscious shopping like the finely handcrafted bags from AAKS. The bags made by women in Ghana are designed in a cheerful color palette using expert weaving techniques that speak for a strong cultural heritage. The founder, Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, built a sustainable brand based on empowering female artisans and promoting African craftsmanship.

“I find it inspiring to offer other women opportunities in my workplace.”

When asked what it means to her to be the founder of a successful company, Akosua told POPSUGAR: “I love the freedom of creativity that comes with owning my own business and incorporating my passion into my daily activities, and offer opportunities for other women in my workplace to inspire me. “

It just felt right to highlight this brilliant entrepreneur and her impact during the Month of Women’s History.

POPSUGAR: Why and how did you create your brand?
Akosua Afriyie-Kumi: I grew up as a child in Ghana with basket bags. I gave them as a gift and also used them for storage. I remember many “I wish it was more like this, I wish it was more like this” moments. I wanted softer, foldable styles with modern colors and a nice finish and detail.

Building on this idea, after studying in the UK, I began researching bag designs and fibers and found many attractive benefits that matched my vision and ethos. I started AAKS after seeing a gap in the market for beautifully handcrafted bags. I knew I wanted to go out alone and combine all of my passions and talents to create something unique that was both personal and professional. So I made my way to Ghana to make this possible.

PS: Do you have a great business achievement that you are particularly proud of?
Aak: The anthropology team contacted me to sell my first collection of bags in stores just four months after starting my business. This was a crucial time for me and it made me believe that I was building something powerful.

PS: Does your brand have any exciting releases or news?
Aak: We had a lot of delays due to the pandemic, but I’m really looking forward to launching our new spring / summer collection in the next few weeks.

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