Hemma creates fresh, elegant collections using authentic hand-woven Kente, a textile rich in African royal tradition. Kente began to flourish in West Africa in the 17th century and still remains prominent representing social prestige, luxury, and cultural sophistication. Each garment is uniquely handmade from intricately hand-woven Kente imported from Ghana. By incorporating the same techniques used to dress Ghanaian nobility for centuries, Hemma allows each client to exude royalty. By investing in quality pieces that last a lifetime, the lives of Ghanaian school children are also impacted. A percentage of all proceeds will be donated to a West African middle school where the designers instructed classes.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out and About in Hemma

Don' t you love the holidays? Of course there's the recession.. but there's also family, friends, & the parties where you get to meet new people. Here are some pictures of Edna, myself, and my sister at the annual Boies, Schiller, & Flexner holiday party. Check back for more out and about pics!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Why is Kente such High Quality...

History: Kente is a fabric that was created over 500 years ago as a cause of the Saharan trade routes of North Africa. Chief Akenten of Ghana traded for beautiful textiles from the East and then Kente was birthed out of the need for an African textile worthy of royalty.

How is it made: Kente is now made from cotton spools that are naturally dyed in an endless array of colors. Colors of thread are chosen by the Kente weaver and woven on a wooden loom, as was done hundreds of years ago.

What is special about these Kente technicians is that they inherit the right, as only a particular group of families in Ghana are allowed to learn this sacred skill. Watch a video of Hemma's Kente weaver doing his thing!

Each color has a specific meaning and each pattern has its own symbolism. The combination of colors and patterns tell a story. Kente, like no other fabric is rich with meaning.

6 yards of Kente takes 2-3 months to weave and the intricate patterns are all weaved by eye, which is unbelievable because there are all sorts of lines, shapes and figures that are perfectly formed without any measuring tools. To give you a sense of the time it takes to make Kente, 3 yards is approximately the amount of Kente used in 1 full suit of size 0. For all of these reasons, each Hemma garment is unique in color, pattern and there will never be 2 identical pieces. Each piece is original and of the highest quality. Only the best was made for African royalty. Kente is not only the highest quality fabric in Africa but surpasses most around the world.

Now you too can feel like greatness wearing Hemma!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beauty Tip Tuesday

Thanks for checking in for Beauty Tip Tuesday. Today's tip is all about those pimples/zits that pop up at the most random time. Rapid Clear by Neutrogena is a product that I have shared with my friends and they all have raved about it. Put it on the area after doing your normal face routine and in two days it will be gone. If you have an important event (the ideal time for an annoying bump to pop up) I would just put it on top of the area sporadically during the day between normal face washes. It really does work!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Fashion District

Edna and I have checked out the pricing in many stores in the fashion district for zippers, steamers, garment racks, everything. One place rarely disappoints us and provides lower prices. Panda International Trading Inc. almost always have the goods for less. Here are pics of Edna and I making our first purchase with our Hemma Business Cards there. Panda is located at 247 W 38th St.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thanks for Your Support!

Thanks to everyone that supported us and made it to the fashion show! We really appreciated the response we received from everyone. Check back for all of the photos and videos from the show. For everyone that could not make it, check back for details on upcoming shows and events. We are now planning a photoshoot for the line. If you model or know someone that models, send their information our way!
Shoot us an email at kouture@hemmafashions.com

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Every Company Needs Investment

I think that money or the lack there of makes most people apprehensive about starting their own business. However, there are dozens of ways to get around this problem. Though its not so easy to get someone to give you large sums of money, it's more possible than people think, myself included. Cindy and I were lucky enough to find a couple who believed in our idea and in Hemma's potential and chose to invest in our company! Best of all, they not only invested monetarily but are investing time, resources, ideas etc. This brings me to a very important point, Once you do have investors or know potential investors, you should ask your self :
  • Do I get along with them as people? (You will most likely be spending large amounts of time sharing and communicating with them)
  • Do they share my motivation and drive to make the business a success?
  • What are you looking for in an investor?
  • What do they want out of the deal?
  • Do you trust them?
Its very important to find a good fit between you and your investor because hopefully they will be someone who shares more than just money with you (ie: information, knowledge, experience). Cindy and I thought about these questions and what was important to us, before we even found investors so that when we did, we were prepared! Prepare for opportunities, so that when they appear, your ready! Its more than just being at the right place at the right time. What we did when searching for investors:
  1. INTERNET RESEARCH: We searched for grants in all fields we thought would apply. Who would give you money? Be very inclusive and search broadly at first not only specific to your industry but specific to who you are (ie: student, woman, person of color; were just a few of the criteria we looked into).
  2. YOUR FAMILY: The closest people to you, who would probably be very supportive of you doing such a courageous thing like starting your own business. Ask them for money: parents, granny's, aunts, uncles.
  3. USE YOUR NETWORK: Whether you are a student, employee, parent etc, use yoru network of people. They may be potential investors themselves or more likely than that is that they will know someone who would be interested in investing. Tell as many people you can about your business! You have to basically become your company, its biggest fan and cheerleader. The more people you tell, the more people will hear about your company and possibly want to contribute. That is pretty much how we met our investors.
  4. READ as much as you can about business related issues, including tips on effective ways to get investment for your specific industry. One publication I would recommend is Inc. Magazine, read the magazine or articles online, its great for the new business owner! I also recommend SBA another organization that helps small businesses with a wide range of services from loans to counseling.
  5. YOURSELF: Cindy and I invested our own capital at Hemma's inception and we did so willingly because we both really believed that we would see a return. We had both just graduated college when we decided to start Hemma, so we were not at all financially established, but that goes to show that you do not necessarily need large sums at the inception of your company.
  • Learn how to write a business plan by internet/book research and by looking at templates online or from friends
  • Be very detailed when writing
  • It's OK to not have all the answers about your business at the very beginning of writing your plan, the more you research, the clearer they may become
  • Make the cover and writing style within very professional and concise
  • A business plan is your way to convince someone that you have a great product, service or idea so treat it as such!
So now your ready to move your business to the next level. Good luck!!