Meet Abenaa Pokuaa

Ohema Ohene

Ohema Ohene is a fashion brand for both men and women, specialising in clothing which is quintessentially British but with an African twist.

Based in London, Ohema Ohene uses textiles and prints more commonly used in West Africa.

Founded in 2008 by designer Abenaa Pokuaa, the company name Ohema Ohene means “Queen & King” in the Ghanaian language of Twi, in reference to Abenaa’s Ghanaian heritage.

Why did you decide to start your company?
It was always an intention to create a brand for this particular market, as there wasn’t much competition.

What was your career path prior to starting your first business?
I have always worked in design. I previously worked for other brands and suppliers to the high street.

Did you always know that you would start your own business?

Tell us more about your current product range, where we can buy your collections?
The brand caters for men and women and our range encompasses clothing, footwear and accessories. From hot water bottles to T-shirts, tailored jackets to dresses.

Our customers can buy from the flagship store in London, online and at selected stores in Japan, Belgium, France, Italy, Finland and South Korea.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on our Autumn / Winter 2012 new footwear and clothing ranges.

Can you describe your typical working day?
It’s always busy and extremely varied. I’m usually busy pattern cutting, invoicing, working on quality control and manning the store.

What have been the highlights of running your own business?
Selling to overseas stores and seeing people literally cry in excitement from trying a product on!

What is the hardest part of running your own business?
It’s a huge blessing but also a huge weight to carry. To whom much is given, much is expected. Luke12:48.

What has been your biggest triumph so far?
Selling our collection in Japan.

What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
The desire to succeed and retire early! Also my family and friends.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting a fashion business?
Know the market, have a solid brand identity and finances. Also, be very organised!

Fast forward five years, where do you think your business will be in 2016?
Ohema Ohene will have stores in France, Japan and Ghana.

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Abenaa Pokuaa was interviewed by Octavia Goredema, founder of the Twenty Ten Club.

The Twenty Ten Club is an award-winning social enterprise designed to connect, inspire and support Black female entrepreneurs. You can also find Twenty Ten Club on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Do you have a question for Abenaa? If so, please feel free to post a comment below:

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