Dexter Opare (27) encouraged his 23 year old sister, Yasmeen Opare to join him and make a business out of her desire to wear kente swimsuits while on vacation. Turns out to be a great decision for the Ghanaian family.
Just like that, Ashanti Swimwear was born.
“I first created this line for myself, as I love traveling and water sports is an absolute must for me on every trip,” Yasmeen said. “So it was important to have the balance of high-performance fabrics that would not compromise the quality of the African prints.”
“My brother Dexter and I have worked on many other business projects together since we were very young,” she said to ABS in an email. “He encouraged me to pursue this idea and brought his expertise so organically we became partners. We have a very honest and open relationship, which helps us to avoid conflict and challenges.”
The siblings decided to keep it all in the family and reached out to their cousin Anita Atuobi, who helped them develop and manufacture the designs. Who said family businesses can’t work and thrive? ….but there glitches and setbacks as every business faces.
They decided to run a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to launch the business. Needing $62,000 to make it happen, the funding goal wasn’t reached. And if you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, either you hit your goal and it is funded or you get nothing.
The team got zero dollars, but that might have been the best thing that could have happened to them. They had to get realistic, lean and figure out how to make things work.
This is when they turned to a pre-order model. Interested parties can view the swimsuits online, then make orders directly from the company. They would gather all the orders, then send them all into production at once ensuring their would be funds for the orders and delivery.
“In just four months of launching our brand to the social media community, we have received so much love and support,” the siblings said. “It has been great to see people from different cultures and backgrounds support and appreciate African prints and value African fashion. Each day brings us many reasons to be thankful, and we are filled with so much gratitude. We are very excited for what the future holds for our brand.”
If you are interested in supporting this business and want to order their products, you can do so here on their website: Ashanti Swimwear