Kid centered businesses are great for entrepreneurs who have kids or are passionate about kids or are just kids at heart. Its a fun creative outlet that can be challenging but quite rewarding and potentially lucrative! In this blog, I feature 3 Ghanaian entrepreneurs who are making waves in the kiddie industry. What I especially love about these entrepreneurs is the beauty and quality of their products. I love how their products scream “proudly African”. I especially love how they are breaking ground by giving us an African version of mainstream kiddie products, be it dolls, onesies, bibs, cots, etc. It is only a bonus that these products have massive appeal in the global market.
In the 1960s, an era when kids were largely expected to be “seen and not heard,” children influenced an estimated $5 billion of their parents’ purchases in the US. Kids now influence upwards of $500 billion in household spending, including food, toiletries, and a host of other items (even the family car!) outside the traditional realm of kids’ products. Ameen Khwaja, Entrepreneur.com.
Ruby Buah is the CEO of “Kua Designs“. She started out as a financial analyst in Coca Cola, Atlanta but caught the creative bug and branched out to make jewelry initially as a hobby. This hobby has blossomed into a fashion design company, showcasing the best of African print fabric. Personally, I have never come across teddy bears and bibs in African fabric, so I am totally loving it.
Nana Richard Abiona (better known as Fuse ODG) is a UK-based entertainer/recording artist, who also extended his creative mind to the manufacturing African dolls. His aim, which has been brilliantly executed, is to help parents educate their young ones about historically powerful African women. The “Nana dolls” are inspired by the likes of Yaa Asantewaa, who led a battle against the British and Miriam Makeba who fought against racial oppression in South Africa while serenading us with her vocal talents. If I had a little girl, I’d order them in a heartbeat but there’s a real danger that I would be one of those old school mums who had toys just for display and not for playing. On a more serious note, I cannot overstate the impact that these dolls will have on little black girls in terms of growing up to love their afros, curves, dark skin etc.
Finally, we have Coretta Owusu, an ivy league lawyer turned entrepreneur. Coretta founded “Design Dua” – a company that makes handwoven Moses baskets for babies and ships worldwide. It is important to her to empower basket weavers in the northern part of Ghana, who find it difficult to make a living from weaving. The products are all beautifully handmade and you can tell that tremendous attention is paid to quality.
The opportunities here are endless. As a parent of a toddler, I am always on the look out for educational toys and books that are proudly African, showcase our diverse cultures and our proud history. I hope more people will enter this space and do us proud.
Peace and Love
Photocredits: instagram.com, missmoss.com, kuadesigns.com, hellonanadolls.com, designdua.com