I founded Maakola with one mission: to create clothes that make women feel beautiful, while standing for what they believe in.
When I co-founded Maakola in 2015, I had no fashion or retail experience to draw on. What I did have, though, was a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for aesthetically beautiful and high-quality products — a gift from my Italian upbringing.
It was the women of Makola market in Accra, Ghana, who inspired me to launch my own clothing brand. After spending hours at a time getting lost in the fabric stores, I fell in love with the energy and style of the saleswomen, and the colorful clothing that matched their personalities. These encounters inspired me to try to empower women through their work, and to make customers feel good through what they wear. With Maakola, my aim was to boost the links I could see between culture and history, as well as design, empowerment, consumption, environment, and fashion.
A social entrepreneur first and foremost, I am a nomad at heart. I know what it’s like to be the new and different person in the room; the only woman in a room full of men, or the only foreigner. I know that it only takes a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger — and so I set out to create clothes that would visually communicate my personality, while matching my fast-paced lifestyle. And after creating my own clothes, I decided to share them with other women.
With Maakola, I have found a way to transform my passion for fashion, and for African Print in particular, into a vehicle for empowering women as consumers navigating segregated networks. Maakola’s contemporary creations are designed for the bold, charismatic, and fearless women of the world, regardless of their cultural heritage or body type. These women make impactful choices for the future while staying true to the precious heritage of each garment.
Maakola would not be possible without Cindy Kofie and Priscilla Adjubel, the core team from our early days. Priscilla is still a co-founder and looks after our supply chain and finances, leaving me free to do what I love best — create beautiful, empowering clothing that reflects the changes being driven by women.