For young people in college becoming an entreprenuer may be a goal for the near future, but for Olayinka Oni-Orisan of Akeyno Handmade Accessories feels that it is never too early to start. She took a small hobby and interest to the next level when she discovered the talent she possessed for hand crafting.
We the Ladies of FlyyCoast2Coast were captured by the simplicity, beauty, and unique essence that these accessories hold, it was only right to take a moment of Olayinka’s time to find out a little more about what’s behind the fabric of this fashionista.
FC2C: What about the world of fashion influenced you to start your own line of accessories?
AHA: The ability to bring my creative thoughts to life! As a little girl I always used to make clothes for my dolls and enjoyed playing dress up with my mom’s clothes. It was actually my father that encouraged me to start my own business, when I told him that I wanted to get a job to help pay for some expenses for my junior prom that was coming up. In high school I used only beads and I would carry a tote with my jewelry around school and sell it to my teachers and classmates. When I got to college, my mom gave me her sewing machine and I began to experiment with African fabrics (Ankara) as well. The Entrepreneurship Institute at my school really helped me grow to where I am now. Most importantly I LOVE making accessories, it’s therapeutic for me in a way
FC2C: What 3 words do you use to define and
summarize your personal style?
AHA: Effortless, bold, and fresh
FC2C: How do you manufacture your jewelry and accessories?
AHA: I make every item myself with my jewelry toolbox! I try to take advantage of extended weekends and breaks to make new items, because I don’t make pieces during the school semester. Pretty much I have my moments which I refer to as “factory mode”, where I just ending up making like 5 or 8 items in one day. Most of the things I make are just impromptu (no drawings), but I do keep a journal of sketches and fabric swatches that I keep and update on a normal bases.
AHA: I find inspiration in all and everything that surrounds me. The bold, bright and fun prints and patterns found in the attire worn in Nigeria, is reflected in my pieces as well.
FC2C: What is your favorite article of clothing?
AHA: My favorite article of clothing is a skirt! I have longs legs and in the summer time I love to show them off after all the hiding in the winter.
FC2C: If you were given the title “Fashion Police”,
(male or female) a ticket for?
AHA: I would say for females is wearing clothes that are to revealing. Females need to realize you can be fashionable without exposing all of your goodies.
FC2C: What future do you see for Akeyno?
AHA: In the future I see Akeyno as an internationally known brand name when it comes to buying Afro-centric accessories. I would also love to see my pieces in Urban Outfitters and the Lux line at stores such as Nordstrom or Bloomingdales.
Akeyno Handmade Accessories was birthed in Olayinka’s junior year of high school when she wanted to help offset the costs of her junior prom. What began as a simple idea has now blossomed into an interactive blog and small business. If you’d like to see more of Akeyno’s accessories you can visit these websites.