In our recent interview, Ria remembers how she got into fashion: “In Kenya when I was growing up, we didn’t really have shops or brands that you could go to, so whenever we got to travel, I would buy clothes for a year, and when I would get bored with those clothes in a few months, I would take my clothes to the tailor, and I would say to him, okay this is a skirt, but if you cut this like this and put them together you can make a shirt from it. So he would ask me why I would bring him clothes when I could just bring him the fabric, and I would say this is the fabric. So I got into fashion from that, like it was a very organic process for me. And I thought that that was kind of bizarre because it felt like there was an unexplored Avenue there. And this is why I decided to start the brand.”
THE NATURAL MUMS COMPANY
Throughout our exploration, we came across The Natural Mums’ Company that produces a hundred percent natural skincare products. Neha Parmar-Sahi – the founder of The Natural Mums’ Company, took us on the Journey of the idea behind creating the products. Neha’s Journey to natural skincare products started about five years ago when she became a mom: “my general interest in skincare came as a natural change for me. I was going through birth and kids, and I started getting conscious about what I was putting on my skin. So that’s when I first switched over to just natural plant-based skincare. And then when I moved back to the country (Kenya), and I had my second son, I started the company with my first product, which was my lactation tea.”
Jewelry: More than Accessories
Ami Doshi Shah is a jeweler and applied artist based in Nairobi, Kenya. She brings together her Kenyan childhood and Indian heritage in crafting her extraordinary jewelry label with natural minerals. Ami mentions the importance of using Zoa minerals – a green stone with a black reticulation in her jewel pieces, and says that “a Zoa site, is a byproduct of the Ruby mining industry.” Hence, in some of the pieces, a slight inflection of Ruby is clearly visible. Her brand takes non-precious and non-valued crafts and works with them, which in a way elevates significance of the product and its consideration.