August 26, 2011

Gold Coast Trading Co.

I’ve had my eye on this brand for quite some time now.

What initially drew me to Gold Coast Trading the first time I came across them was their beautifully simple and refreshingly clean aesthetic. It was one of those situations when I could’t pull my eyes away from what I was seeing because it was just so perfect. The clothing this company creates manages to capture the brilliance of both Africa's fashion and history in such a simple yet effective way. And as if having an aesthetic to die for and creating amazing clothing weren’t enough, Gold Coast Trading’s back-story gave me a million more reasons to love them. The vision behind this brand is nothing short of exceptional. I feel that it is the same vision that many Africans who find themselves living away from home have. Emeka Alams, the creator of Gold Coast Trading, takes us back to 1444 -the point in time when Africans were beginning to be taken from the Gold Coast and traded by Europeans. As the Gold Coast Trading website reads:

This trade has changed our world and reshaped our thoughts. Living by European standards throughout the African Diaspora we have forgotten what makes our culture powerful, rich and unique. Here we strive for riches and neglect our families, we smile upon others while wishing for their demise, all things associated with the mind frame of those who began this trade.

Although the people of Africa have been displaced and dejected, Africa itself is still a land overflowing with love and hope. It is this brand’s aim to take us back to those days before 1444 when we weren’t so concerned with living by “European standards”. Emeka’s devotion to Africa is commendable; I admire how deeply invested he is in the continent’s past and how he is able to draw inspiration from moments in history such as the Soweto uprising. Although he is no longer living in Africa, it is quite easy to see how much he still cares. No matter how far you travel from home, it should always have a place in your heart. Gold Coast Trading is a testament to that.

August 12, 2011

He's Got That Good Good: Damola Sowole

Before I get into this style feature, I would like to take a moment to apologize for my lack of posts this past month. July was an extremely busy month for me and I had to put That GOOD GOOD Blog on the back burner for a bit, unfortunately. But no worries! This blog is coming back to the front burner and I’m heating it up because I have some really amazing things cooking for you all! (That analogy might have been a lil’ bit too much. Please pardon my corniness). Alright, let me get back to this post. Today I am featuring a lovely lad who I came across one day on Tumblr. What caught my eye about Damola the most was his really clean cut yet casual look, something that so many people attempt but only a few truly master.

Damola Sowole from London, England

How old are you?
I am 21 years of age

What do you do for a living?
I am an undergraduate student studying Bsc in Psychology. I am also a part time home school educated photographer and blogger.

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
To describe my style in three words, I will say honest, welcoming, and natural, but I would just like to break it down by saying that my style is really just an extension of who I am as a person and a tad bit of who I want to be seen as. It is what I feel comfortable wearing without the stress of the opinions or stereotypical views of how a man at the age of 21 should dress (lol I talk too much).

Where are your favorite places to shop?
I’m not fixed to any store, I like trying new places and seeing what different stores have to offer and then I mix and match what style suits me. I would say shops I love are VINTAGE STORES(mainly because it saves money) ASOS , KONG store Coventry or via online shopping.

What is 1 item you wouldn't leave home without?
One item I wouldn’t leave home without; I would say my BIBLE but if it was to do with something materialistic I would say my granddad’s hat/ camera, (mainly because I can’t be bothered to keep combing my hair).

August 2, 2011

The GOOD Life: Poodle Pusher

Back in May, I announced a new series that I will be constructing for this blog called The GOOD Life. For those of you who didn’t get a chance to read my first post of this series which featured an incredible artist name Brianna McCarthy, click here. The GOOD Life is a series that was inspired by an eye-opening concept my philosophy professor presented to my class this past school year; he challenged me and my fellow classmates to take a look into ourselves and decide what our definitions of “good” lives are. I was so inspired by this simple yet surprisingly deep exercise that I decided to incorporate this idea of “the good life” into my interviews from now on.
For today’s feature, I had the absolute honor and privilege of interviewing Nigerian sisters Chichi & Ogo Offodile, founders of the wardrobe & fashion stylist company Poodle Pusher. What makes this company truly special is the pure love and devotion that Chichi & Ogo have for their craft; their passion is woven throughout the very fabric of the pieces that they clothe their clients in. I have commented countless times on how deeply in love I am with Solange Knowles's style and, as it turns out, she is one of Poodle Pusher's prominent celebrity clients. Most of the amazing outfits that I have adored on her were pieced together by Chichi & Ogo! 

The photos that accompany this interview are from Solange’s vibrant photoshoot for FASHIZBLACK Magazine, styled by Poodle Pusher. 

What are your definitions of a “good” life? Do you feel as if that is what you two are living?
Our definition of a “good life” is one that is balanced and fruitful! It’s a lifestyle that promotes an elevated understanding of what it is that makes you happy, and content with what life has to offer. We are indeed living a good life because we are happy individuals; we always make a conscious effort to live everyday to its fullest, and strive to enjoy what we do. Life is already too short and nothing in life is worth cutting into the limited time we have on earth.
How important do you two feel it is for people to follow their passions, even if doing so doesn't seem like a "secure" life choice?
We believe it’s very important. Passion and Happiness are inseparable; we view passion as a road-map to life. God has his own unique way of showing us signs, and revelations about where we should be in life and the gifts we possess. We believe passion is just that sign we are looking for from Him, it’s innate and is something we all have to listen to and let be our guide to life. When an individual is passionate and puts the needed effort to see his/her passions come to life that follows with success! We believe where we fall short as humans is with giving up and not listening to our instincts. 

How did Poodle Pusher come about? And was establishing a name for yourselves difficult to do?
As sisters, Poodle Pusher came about from the chemistry and bond we share. Fashion Styling was an introduction to the talents we possess as creative’s, but there are additional future ventures we are interested in, and are continually establishing ourselves – It’s an ongoing process and we don’t feel the job is done! It is indeed difficult but nothing in life worth having comes easy.
What are 4 personal characteristics that you two posses that you feel have helped make Poodle Pusher a success?
The 4 P’s
-Prayerful (Put God first in all you do)
-Persistent (Never give up)
-Passionate (Love what you do)
-Prideful (Know your worth)

What is it like owning & running a business with your sister? Do you think the dynamic between you two would be different if you two weren't related?
We have always been very close sisters, and some might say too close :) our personalities are complementary – we balance one another. Where one lacks, the other makes up for it, and the same goes for our work aesthetic and method of delivery. We have had people we work with on different sets say it’s amazing to see us work because it seems like we are speaking a different language that only we can understand, and in all honesty, we probably do. The dynamic we share is a blessing to have in a sibling and business partner, and without a doubt the energy would be different if we weren’t related and close.
Which aspect of your work makes you the happiest? Which aspects do you like the least?
We are happiest when we see our work manifest like we envisioned; and the reversal will be when we are least happy.

Is there anything you two know now that you wish you knew a few years ago that could have helped you in building your business?
We wish we knew the full extent of how much talent and fluff is involved in the industry, just loving and being good at what you do sometimes isn’t all it takes. Politics are everywhere and you have to understand how to play into different sides of the fence, so to speak. This is an important concept to understand and learn to work with.
What advice would you two give to someone who is unsure about the career they want to
-Know your goals and talent.
-Have drive, focus, determination, and be willing to learn.
-Timing is everything.
-Decipher between what you want and need, it’s important to make decisions in life based on needs.
-Understand the difference between wanting a job and a career.
-If you desire a job, choose one that pays the best.
-If you desire a career, choose one that you’re great at, passionate about, and will make you happy.
-Strive to get the best of both worlds in a job and career, one that pays well and you love waking up every morning to.
-Research. Knowledge is key!

Where do you ladies see yourselves and your company in the next 5-10 years?
We see ourselves surpassing our expectations! The end result we want from of all our hard work is to create an empire that aligns with our artistic expression and creative vision.
If you two could give someone a quote(s) to live by, what would it/they be?
Above all: To your own self, be true” – William Shakespeare

To learn even more about Poodle Pusher, check out their website by clicking (here), follow them on twitter (@PoodlePusher), and ‘like’ them on facebook (here).

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