Cultureville did not start out as an elaborate business plan nor did it begin as a well thought out craft. It simply started off as a need – well actually a want. My sister, Adeola, wanted clothes that showed off our proud Nigerian heritage but at the same time she wanted it to feature the peplums, body-cons and high-waist’s that made up her day to day style. With this in mind she went on a hunt with the aim of finding clothes that combined contemporary fashion with African print.
Despite her best efforts, the hunt yielded no fruits – there was literally nowhere selling reasonably priced clothing that fit the brief. Luckily for her at the time she lived in Nigeria, where getting custom made clothing was super easy and affordable. As a result, although she couldn’t find what she was looking for, she could make it.
On her frequent visits to the UK, she would often slay the fashion game with her delightful Ankara dresses and her intricately patterned playsuits. As sisters do, I would often go “shopping” in her suitcase, helping her clothes in their inevitable transition from her suitcase to my wardrobe.
As soon as she left the country I would wear her clothes endlessly, garnering compliments from both friends and strangers. The one question they would all have in common was “Where can I get one?” and to that I had no response. See the problem with getting African print clothing in the UK was that it was often overpriced, inauthentic or low quality and I simply didn’t have a reliable source that I could recommend to my friends, and as much as they loved my outfits they wouldn’t fly all the way to Nigeria to get one.
This gap in the market was one experienced by both myself and my sister and although we would casually discuss starting a business that would solve this conundrum, for a while it was just that – a discussion.
Following my graduation in 2015, my sister approached me with a concrete proposal of creating Cultureville: an authentically African brand dedicated to creating high-quality clothing in contemporary styles, featuring African print fabrics. Years later, despite the ups and downs here we are creating culture-ville.com.