Nigerian Designer: Kunmi Otitoju

Three years on, Minku continues to define a fresh sub-Saharan aesthetic through its subtle use of cultural elements and artisan approach to contemporary bagmaking.

Minku founder Kunmi was on a computer science research and consultancy path when she discovered her intense enjoyment of designing and creating everyday items.

She received her Masters degree in Computer Science from Virginia Tech in 2007, and graduated summa cum laude with a Computer Science Bachelors degree from Howard University in 2005, interning in the technology division of Goldman Sachs in the summers of 2003 and 2004. Prior to that, she attended secondary school in Queen’s College, Lagos, Nigeria. There, she won the Fine Arts prize every year.

In 2011, after stints at Goldman Sachs and a few other international corporations, Otitoju established Minku, a fast-growing high-end Afro-centric brand that produces luxury bags, wallets and other fashion accessories for men and women by subtly blending Aso-oke into contemporary Spanish leathers to present a transcontinental finish.

All Minku’s products are hand-made at a workshop in Barcelona, Spain, but they are sold at high-end stores in Nigeria and on the company’s website.

In 2014, Forbes Magazine named Kunmi as one of the 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa (Forbes list pdf; interview html).

Minku is a family-run limited liability company. Kunmi hand-makes each bag in the Minku line, working from her workshops in Barcelona and Lagos.

The Minku philosophy:

  • There lies a unique beauty in things painstakingly handmade.
  • Repurpose, reuse, and reduce waste (80% of our bag interiors are lined with repurposed items of Yoruba ceremonial dress – aso-oke and damask fabrics).
  • Personalized design over masstige whenever possible.

The typical Minku loyalist:

  • has a strong ability to respond with appreciation and excitement to everyday items made in an unusual way.
  • appreciates the functionality of a well-made bag.

Facebook: Minku 
Twitter: @MinkuDesign
Website: http://minkudesign.com/

December’s Book of the Month: A Christmas Prayer

Your votes have been counted!

7 days of nominations!

7 days of voting!

And now we have a winner for our new and last book of the month.

Mocha Girl Read Book of the Month for December is A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby. Take a minute to see what this book and the author are all about.

Synopsis

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Alexis Fletcher hasn’t had a merry Christmas in five years-not since her mother passed away. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season and feels the pain of her absence, even more so now that she and her sister are barely speaking. More than anything, Alexis wishes her family could be whole again.

However, with her wedding fast approaching, Alexis might just be ready to make some holiday memories with a new family of her own. Alexis’s fiancé, Chase Dupont, is everything she ever dreamed of. He’s kind, handsome, fully supportive of Alexis’s career, and the CEO of a large company. But outside forces threaten to derail this happy couple from ever reaching the altar.

As tensions rise, a dramatic event causes Alexis to question everything. Will fate give her what she needs to finally embrace the season that has brought her so much pain? Will Alexis get her wish for a happy holiday? Or will her Christmas prayer go unanswered?

Meet the Author: Kimbela Lawson Roby

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New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 19 novels which include A HOUSE DIVIDED, THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, THE REVEREND’S WIFE, SECRET OBSESSION, LOVE, HONOR, and BETRAY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press.  She has sold more than 2,000,000 copies of her novels, and they have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few, and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000.  BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

Kimberla is a 2013 NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction, the recipient of the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and in 2001, Kimberla was inducted into the Rock Valley College (Rockford, IL) Alumni Hall of Fame.

Each of Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues, including corruption within the church, drug addiction, gambling addiction, infidelity, social status, single motherhood, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness, care-giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, overweight issues, and drug addiction to name a few. (Read more)

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE             FACEBOOK

Buy the Book

Congratulations Mocha Girl Kimberla for becoming Mocha Girl Read book of the month for December 2014.

Feel free to leave comments and thoughts here as you are reading the book. I’m really looking forward to reading this book and hearing what everyone thinks of it.

Keep the pages turning ladies!

Quote it

Writing_EricaJong

CHEERS to Nigerian Streetwear

AFW 14 (3)
Nigerians have an amazing approach to clothing – its use of clothes for decoration of the body. Style for this country is centered around tradition, tribe and a beauty (or handsome) of depth. This country gives life to the saying, wear the clothing, don’t let it wear you. In Nigeria, fabrics such as lace, jacquard, adire, and ankara are some of the materials that are used to prepare dress. Nigerian clothing for women include buba, kaba, iro, gele and iborun or ipele and Nigerian clothing for men include buba, fila, sokoto, abeti-aja and agbada.

As the years pass by, traditional garb has taken on a new life, form and look. While the most vibrant hues and prints are very much still staples among the African community, how the  natives are displaying their style is worth taking a second look at these trendsetters. [Read more…]

Time to Vote for December’s Book of the Month

vote

Holiday Fiction!

(Any book based around the holiday season!)

Let’s Rock the Vote!  For the month of December we are going to read a book that is set around the upcoming holiday season.

As always there are some really great titles up for vote this time.

Here are the Rules for Voting.

1. You may vote for three (3) books.

2. All members get to vote only once.

3. Last day to vote will be November 16, 2014. (11:00pm Los Angeles time)

4. The book with the most votes wins.  But if there is a tie there will be a 48 hour death match. The two or three books will go into a head to head competition for only 48 hours. Whichever book is left standing (with the most votes) wins!

Below the poll you will find the title of the books linked to a brief description.  Now… may the best book win!!


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