We had the good fortune of connecting with Ida Dickson-Kingston and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ida, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
First of all, I love colorful prints and patterns which is usually what you see with the African Fabrics. I’m all for creativity. I like the idea of making something out of nothing. The idea of starting a side business as a working mother was a tough one. It’s takes a lot of passion, commitment, focus and loving what you do to be able to efficiently manage and run it successfully. In 2018, I finally was able to take the step to register the business and start with the first set of handmade products from Ghana through the help of my sister, who also connected me to local Artisans in Ghana. We participated in our first week-end Craft Fair at a School Event which led to other week-end Fairs, Festivals and other major Community Events. As demand for our products grew through the clients we met at these fairs, we decided to move into E-Commerce. Moving to the Online Store has eventually been a key player to reach more customers not only within the U.S but also outside the U.S through the various Marketing and Selling Platforms. Whilst making our products easily accessible to our global Community, we continue to also learn new ways to reach and grow our diverse target market through a great Online Shopping experience. We recently relaunched our main website africoastpatterns.com
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
AfriCoast Patterns is an African Inspired Arts, Crafts, Accessories and Apparel Online Store in Colorado. We started this business by initially sourcing our handmade products from local Artisans in Ghana, West Africa. Then the Pandemic happened, so we were faced with the challenge to keep our inventory running and this resulted in the introduction of new products which were designed and made by myself here in Colorado. First of all, I started designing cloth face masks which were then in high demand due to the Pandemic. I then decided to make it more fashionable by matching the face masks with head wraps, beanie hats, scrub caps and bow ties. We then went ahead to sell some of our sets especially the face masks with matching head wraps in bulk (wholesale) at an acceptable price as a way to help our Customers and Small scale business Owners for reselling purposes. Since then, we have been able to design and add one size wrap skirts to our Women/Kids Collection as well as window valance and curtains to our Home Collection. By God’s grace, this has actually contributed to our Success Story in the midst of the Pandemic. Meanwhile, after restrictions were lifted and businesses began to open up, we still continue to source our handcrafted products from our local artisans in Ghana and are very happy to continue doing business and supporting them.
As a small business in Colorado, we also serve as a member of the Occupation Advisory Committee of the Fine Arts Career Program in the Aurora Public Schools and supporting Causes close to our hearts. We look forward to continue to be a pacesetter, inpire, promote spread love whilst serving our multi-cultural Community, supporting Causes close to our hearts and are excited about the future initiatives that are yet to come out of AfriCoast Patterns. A customer once wrote to me “You are inspiring others you don’t even know… keep going” and I am glad that at least we’re making a difference in some lives out there. By patronizing and recommending AfriCoast Patterns’s products, you are also supporting a Community of Artisans. As an E-Commerce, we look forward to bringing you some of the best quality African Inspired Arts, Crafts, Accessories and Apparel which are easily accessible to shop on our Online Store and Community Events.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a friend was to visit for a week long trip, we will go visiting some of the iconic sceneries of our State such as the Garden of the Gods, the great Sand Dunes and Pikes Peak Mountain. The 16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver has a lot of eatery and lots of small local businesses to shop, hang out and eat and of course treat them to an African Dish.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First of all by the Grace of God, I have been able to come this far in this Business in the midst of a Pandemic that was devasting to a lot of Small Businesses. Secondly, I would like to thank my family & friends, both far and near for their love and continuous support and prayers. A big shout out to all the Content Creators, Models both here in the U.S and Ghana, whose services we have used to showcase and promote our products.The AfriCoast Patterns business has brought so many amazing people my way in the form of customers, local Artisans, fellow Entrepreneurs, among others. To all these people our loyal and potential customers and everyone who continue to support this brand in diverse ways, THANK YOU!!! God Bless you All!!
Laurent Kingston @saintscamera Abena Antwiwaa @stylebyabena