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Hidden Gems: Meet Afua Sam

Today we’d like to introduce you to Afua Sam.

Hi Afua, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Afua Sam and I’m originally from Ghana but I am based here in the Washington, DC area. My fashion brand is STUDIO D’MAXSI DESIGNS and

I started designing as a hobby I’m a naturally creative person and so at some point in my late teenage years, I decided to explore that side of me and see what will come out of it.

So I started creating and learning how to put my creations together. When I was learning how to sew there was no YouTube, and there were no social media so I did everything manually.

And through my fashion, I got the opportunity to travel to America. When I got the opportunity, I did not know anybody here in America, No relatives, but I did not let that deter me from traveling.

When I got to the airport (JFK), I realized that my suitcase was missing and I stayed at the airport for hours waiting for my suitcase and it never showed up. I lost my belongings, no relatives to go to, and didn’t have enough money to buy new clothes and also find a place.

But I wasn’t discouraged because I know that God is with me and he will make a way for me. My first job here in America was babysitting because I didn’t have any relatives here, I decided to take that job, work there and save some money so that I can buy my first sewing machine in America.

After two years, I quit babysitting and rented a place for myself, so I can work at home and find a job that is solely a creative environment in other to learn more about the fashion industry in America and also grow professionally in my field.

After some years, I decided to start my own business. So I gathered the courage and with FAITH, I started my own business 16 years ago.

In between that,I worked behind some brands,designers in the Washington DC metropolitan area.I was cutting,sewing, and putting their ideas and Sketches together.
And I was still going to work, I didn’t have a choice because being a single Mom of 2, I had to do that. .I’m so GRATEFUL for all the doors God has open and continue to open for me through my work that has allowed me to not only be on Big Stages and dressed some A List celebrities but also being part of the community and Supporting great causes and championing others who need my mentoring and Support.!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It hasn’t been easy at all especially being a mom and doing two jobs at a time for so long when I started it was really challenging but I never gave up on myself. I was determined that I’m not going to give up on something I love so much because of the challenges and also I had FAITH that it was going to get better no matter what.

Some of the challenges I can point out are a few. Hours of working juggling between being a mom and also not having enough help when it comes to the work because sometimes as creative people you want things in a setting way and so you sometimes think that you can do it all.

Or sometimes you find somebody but they are not as committed as you are and there’s always a lot of disappointment from relying on people to do stuff and so that was and still the big, big challenge because you want to get the help but sometimes people are not as committed as you are.

If you’re not a big business that you can pay any amount for the work that you need it’s hard. And so you have to be the boss and also be all the other staff. Last but not the least, the pandemic brought a major halt to everything. So now is all new beginnings for most of us small businesses.

To sum it up, in business, there are always going to be challenges Things are not always going to be perfect. To get a team that you can trust, to get enough rest and balance things in between, to get help, great supportive people or people that are willing to work with you from the ground up is always a challenges and issues you will face.

Also, there are so many times you’re going to fail or fall, but you know, is always how you get up and how you step forward and keep on, is what is important. I have FAITH IN GOD so I have seen it at work in so many areas of what I do.Yes,

I am hard-working, yes, I know a lot of awesome people, but I know my Faith in God has also played a very important part in everything I have done.

As you know, we’re big fans of STUDIO D’MAXSI DESIGNS and THE A CONCEPT BY AFUA SAM. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
My business is a clothing brand I have two different clothing brands which is mentioned above

I specialized in women’s fashion and men’s fashion. My specialty is mostly gowns and special occasion wear. I also have the second line which specializes in casual chic like everyday wear. Things that you can wear everyday,chic and unique pieces.

What set me apart is everything I do is handmade. Whatever I make is something that you will not see anywhere.

That is what sets me apart from other designers. I am very proud of my brand not only because of how good the quality is but also the story behind the design.

The process it takes to make each design, is carefully crafted and create. I love that when you wear it you feel good.
I get a lot of testimonies from my clients about the compliments they get from wearing my designs and they always share their testimonies with others. I get complements when I wear my designs.

So most of my clients are people that I’ve known me from my work that are spreading the WIRD.So I’m very proud of it. Is also an inspiration to other young people who are up-and-coming to know that my stories are not different from theirs and that whatever they put their mind to, BELIEVE, and have FAITH , they will be able to do it.

I want anyone who is reading this to know that I specialize in customs and I also can work with individuals who are trying to create something unique and they have ideas that they can incorporate into what I’m doing. I also support a lot of charity events in the community with my fashion.

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking?
I consider myself a risk-taker but I also I am very cautious on so many levels, yes. I’ve taken so many risks in my life I think one of the major risk I have taken is when I got the opportunity to come to this country USA, and didn’t know anyone, no relatives nor did I know how it’s going to work out but I took the risk anyway.

That is a huge risk to take, to come here to do everything I’ve done till now, it’s a huge risk. So yes, I’m a risk-taker but I’m also very careful. Another risk I have taken is starting my business. Traveling internationally to all kinds of places where I did not have anybody there.

To get the courage to go by myself without being afraid, I think I’m a huge risk taker but I also know that my FAITH places a part because before I take any risk it’s the instinct I feel. We all have that something in us that guides us, you just have to be careful and know that is the RIFGHT ONE,

Is that feeling I get that makes me know that it’s going to be ok even though it’s a big risk I feel confident. That is because of my FAITH.I’m a Christian so I believe that God will not open such doors for me without Him guiding me through and being there with me every step of the way.

If I’m going to go into some of the risks, I have taken it’s a lot of them. One of them is me traveling for the first time going to Paris without knowing anybody there. But decided to go there and do a photo shoot with my fashion and I ended up working with some amazing international people and in the same two weeks that I was in Paris,

I traveled from Paris to Milan and created a design that was inspired by me being in Milan and created it one of my friend’s studio and brought it back to Paris to do a photo shoot. So, I’m a risk-taker but the end result is always awesome! I have so many stories to tell about my risk taking experiences that I don’t think it’s going to fit in this writing.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Creative Director: @_lanarae Photo: @devdooley Designer: @dmaxsi by @afua_sam, Model: @elle_williams: Hair: @dreneehair, Makeup: @onl1image, Nails: @ashleynailedit, Jeff Brooks,  Flavia Radavero, Model: Alyson.

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