…the passion-led journey of Aseyegold Designs
The founder of Aseyegold Designs, Madam Christine Aseye Darkey, is considered one of the most inspiring figures in fashion design industry in the country. Her passion for the craft and her dedication to helping young women succeed has made her a role model for many.
Aseye grew up in Nigeria and had her early years of education there. She recalled that at an early age, her parents relocated to Nigeria for greener pastures. She was trained as a professional teacher at the Nigeria Teachers Training College and started practising. At the time, fashion, or the art of putting fabrics together to achieve unique designs, was just a hobby for her. However, the positive remarks from close friends and relatives were constant reminders that she could have a future in the industry.
But the unfortunate happened and literally paused her clock just for a while. Aseye lost a key pillar in her life – her mother. So, after the demise of her mother, she and her father returned to Ghana. Not too long after they returned, she met her better half, got married and settled in Ghana. She narrated that friends and family kept demanding her fashion services as she had started sewing for them back at home.
The new phase
Being a teacher with a strong desire for fashion, she thought it wise to take some professional training with some of the big fashion brands in the country, which she did. She further worked with Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design. These steps positioned her to better understand the industry here in Ghana and have some hands-on experience.
The story behind her fashion journey can best be described as a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and dedication. She has proven that with the right mindset and support, anyone can achieve great things.
In 2018, Aseye officially opened a shop of her own at Adabraka – Accra, where she majored in sewing occasional wears. Fast forward, she says she has worked for about 2000 clients in Ghana and beyond since.
A bit of both
Once a teacher, always a teacher. As typical of teachers, she did not keep all the knowledge to herself but decided to share it with others.
“I have discovered that since my focus is mostly on occasion wears like wedding gowns and others, I could make time to teach others who were interested in fashion design. So, I opened my doors to Accra Technical College students who were learning Fashion Designing to do their ‘attachment’ with me. I started with five students and two other people from Tarkoradi.
“Because the students were also zealous, I opened up and I was glad I taught them. Their lecturers later visited my shop to inform me of how different my students were from the others, and wanted others to subsequently join. I can recall training 12 of the students afterward,” she narrated.
Many of her students went on to start their fashion lines, while others found jobs within the industry.
Later, she offered free classes for girls who were not necessarily in for attachment but were just interested in pursuing a career in Fashion Designing.
Meanwhile, she believed that by providing these young women with the necessary skills and knowledge, she could help them overcome their obstacles, because they will have the skill to work and earn a better standard of living.
To this end, it is part of her broader vision to establish a fashion school that can help girls and anyone interested in knowing a thing or two about fashion designing.
“I plan that the girls who cannot afford will come for three hours of classes and learn, either online or in-person. A lot of them are very talented but do not know who will guide them. I had the opportunity to learn a lot from other big brands and I am willing to help others,” she said.
How education and experience have helped
Responding to how education and experience from elsewhere have propelled the stability and success of her business, she said: “When I worked at Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design, I learned a lot and that greatly inspired how I work on wedding gowns. Till now people still see the gowns on my page and doubt I design them from scratch; some think they are ‘already-made’ or factory made. Experience has taught me how to handle and appreciate every fabric, pay attention to details, and give a perfect finish to a garment.
“Being a teacher, I know how to better approach people and even how to deal with my students.”
Aseye’s ability to evolve with fashion trends and new developments sets her apart from the competition. She said being able to pay attention to new trends and adapt is crucial for the brand’s growth.
Advice to young entrepreneurs
“I always say if you have a skill, you cannot go hungry because your services will be needed. So, if you pay attention to and work on your potential without relenting, it will bring you before kings, as the bible said. Whatever you do, be diligent, determined, always do your best, and let it reflect in your work. Let excellence and customer satisfaction be your hallmark and ultimately, continue to learn to sharpen your craft,” she advised.
She added that as a mother, a wife and an entrepreneur, commitment to one’s craft and the desire to take her work to the next level are her motivations aside from God.
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