About African Jewellery Melbourne
African Jewellery caters to your colourful, contemporary, and consciously crafted jewellery and gifts. I cater to Melbournians who wants something different yet simple and unique. That special gifting experience to a loved one with expressions of positive and wholesome values our community thrives on today. I am health professional who promotes the values of ethical inclusion, empowerment, and sustainability.
How I started My Handcrafted Jewellery Business
I started the Akoscreative Jewellery brand in 2017. With a strong creative design background, and deep appreciation for my West African Ghanaian arts and culture, a jewellery shop idea was all too exciting to simply ignore. I love colours, their vibrancy, varied tones, and hues makes me feel happier.
Recycling is my Lifestyle
This is where I rescue, upcycle, and repurpose clean off cuts of fabrics and materials – just the way my Mama taught me. Living sustainably is part of my African culture and upbringing. Nothing made ever goes waste. Apart from the African print fabrics, and Krobo beads which I buy from Ghana, most of the other prints are donated of rescued from opp shops.
Learning about Art in School
Aside artmaking, Textiles and Graphic Design, Sculpture and Pottery, I was deeply fond of music, dance, and food.
My Ghanaian Symbols and and Learnings from them
So, you will find my jewellery designs to be exclusive yet very inclusive.
How I found Wearable Art in Jewellery Design
My passion for jewellery making ensures a high level of craftsmanship. I simply love to create fashion accessories by hand and by heart. I do listen to what customers want and I deliver to meet their needs.
Akos creative jewellery collection exudes fun, confidence and authenticity. Akos focuses on the ethos of diversity, community, and wellness.
Wearable Art has a place in Healing
Crafting wearable art brings healing to the both the maker and wearer. Let me explain. Making jewellery helped focused my thinking while deepening my desire to explore, learn and grow. Creativity is a process that adds live to otherwise mundane objects we find around our environment. On the other hand, the wearer places value on the art piece, and from which meaning and connection.
My Health and Wellness approach to handmade jewellery empowers people all around the world to self-love and to feel good about their individuality.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS THROUGH THE ARTS
“My jewellery is a clever combination of Art and Design. It evokes a deep sense of individuality and wellness”.
Finding your Inner Voice through Jewellery Making
Jewellery is a simple but effective platform where you can own your Unique Voice, especially if you identify as a Woman of Colour (WoC).
Similarly, I can use this inner voice to express some of other values essential to the world in which we live today. One of these issues are the environment and sustainable living. Hence, with my gift packaging, I am minimal with how much materials I use.
Without compromising on presentation and value of my hand made jewellery, I use packageing which is safe for your jewellery.
For this reason, I use plain brown card stock. Most of the packageing materials had come from factory left overs donated to me.
Most often, I will use clean donated fabrics, offcuts and ends of other materials, where possible. I beleive printing adds to the carbon print and envionmental pollution. For this reason, I limit the need to print, and only do so when absolutely necessary.
Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Did you know how much energy and carbon is released into our environment each year? With every single print run of your business cards, customised gifts wrapping and tags?
Akos Gift Wrapping and Packaging focus on minimal printing and use packaging materials without the unrequired logo prints wherever possible.
I handwrite messages to Safe on Printing.
So, my gift packaging will enhance self-reflection and ideas of sustainability.
How to Source Environmentally Friendly Materials for Jewellery
I used only ethically and responsibly sourced materials. The main materials are handpicked from Ghana I use handmade recycled glass beads (Krobo Beads) handpicked from Krobo Odumase, West African Coast of Accra Ghana. Also, I use African wax print cotton fabrics (Ankara). I handpick them from the local merchants, in Makola Market. I chose to trade with women and I am fair and ethical in all my trade.
This is where I recycle, upcycle, rescue and reuse clean off cuts of fabrics and materials – just the way my Mama taught me. Living sustainably is part of my African culture and upbringing. Nothing made ever goes wasted.
I create from my home studio located in Melbourne’s North, Australia.
Ghanaian Names and Meaning
The meaning behind my name is simple. Akos, is a Ghanaian (Akan tribe) which means, a girl born on Sunday. Akosua, Akosi, Koshie are all variations of Akos but from the different tribes. Vsit back again to read about the Ghanaian Naming System.
What Inspired me to start a Jewellery Making Business
The changeing scenes of life affect each one of us differently. Like many individuals, women and migrants, I have learnt to become strong and resilient. It just so happened that discovering new ideas and actually bringing to life these design concepts, energised me to get out of bed each day.
What started as passion soon became a way to earn some income. So, here is how I started crafting jewellery to sustain my own well being.
Actually, it all started with a few Clothing Collection back in 2013. During one of my holidays to Ghana, I fell in love with all those amazing and colourful African wax prints. So, I purchased different fabrics, sketched clothing designs and worked for days with a local seamstress to bring my fashion illustrattions to live. I managed to sell all those dresses, shirts and tops in Melbourne.
But, I also brought along from Ghana the beautiful fabric offcuts. I could not throw them away because they were too beautiful too discard. Imagine the thousands of fabrics off-cuts which goes to clog our landfill each year. Moreso, I can safe the environment and be sustainable this way. And so, this is how I got inspired to start using those offcuts to create fabric earring collections.
How Melbourne’s Social Enterprises Defined my Jewellery Business.
Akos joined Sisterworks in 2016 using her Akos brand to create colourful, fun and engaging ethical fashion. Space2be in St Kilda also helped with developing new products from since 2018 when I discovered and joined them. Today, I also stock some of my unique jewellery at Queen Victoria Women Centre (QVWC) on Lonsdale Street,Melbourne.
How I name my jewellery
Now here is how I name my Products. The names are derived from Ga and Ga-Adangbe, people of southern Ghana, names of people and places.