News, updates, jobs and more

It’s been quit a busy time for Urban Afro Concept. In the last few months, we’ve been occupied with a number of activities and changes to our ever-growing little business. We also have some exciting new developments and we’re extremely excited about what the near future holds for us. We thought we’d you let you in on what we’ve been up to and what’s to come.

Standard Bank Top Women Awards 

Last month , we had the privilege of showcasing at the Standard Bank Top Women Conference. This Conference brings together and celebrates women business leaders as well as South African organizations, both private and public, that prioritize and embed women empowerment and gender equality in their business strategies. As a woman-led business Urban Afro Concept was honoured to be a part of this event and share a stand with our partner brand, Ethnique-Afrika. The conference was a great success and was a valuable opportunity to showcase the latest in our collections, engage with new clients and of course network with other businesses that are founded or run by women.

Ethnique Afrika X Urban Afro Concept 

Speaking of Ethnique-Afrika, as you may or may not know, our partner brand is an innovative designer and manufacturer of chic and sophisticated, African-inspired attire. We’re pleased to let you all know that the collaborative ties remain strong not only with us adding more EA stock to our store but with us launching a joint catalogue that for all our products. The catalogue will provide an additional means for customers to get a feel for the types of products we make and sell, where to get them and how to put in orders for custom clothing and accessories, our specialty. As regards the online shop, UAC now stocks some Ethnique-Afrika merch including a limited array of exquisite, high-quality wax print fabrics in a variety of colours and patterns as well as cravats in silk and wax print. More products to follow soon.

 

New stock and custom orders

We also have a variety of new products which are now  available for purchase through the UAC online shop. This includes new necklaces, bangles and rings which were on display at the Top Women Conference.

 

Also, we’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about whether or not we do products for men and we do indeed have stock that works for both women and men including our beaded necklaces and our bracelets. We also take orders for custom jewellery and are finalizing our order form which should streamline the process of requests for made-to-measure jewellery and accessories that are made to our customer’s specifications.

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Work with us 

We’re always open to collaborating with bloggers, especially those who have an interest in men’s fashion. We’re interested in getting contributions from both experienced bloggers and those with solid writing skills who are looking to gain some experience. At present, we do not offer any monetary compensation for blog contributions. However, you will be publicly credited as the author of the pieces you write for us.

We also have a number of opportunities for interested parties to work directly with us by joining our team. In particular, we are currently accepting and reviewing applications for brand ambassadors and online sales consultants. These positions are unsalaried but our people would get paid a commission based on their sales of our products. We’re looking for anyone, in any location, who fits the profiles outlined on the website.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned to this blog for more updates and news including new competitions, giveaways and features.


 

For more information on our products, services and collaborating opportunities, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can also send us a message via Instagram or Facebook.

Hello 2019!!

Happy New Year everyone! 2018 was a thrilling year for Urban Afro Concept (UAC), full of much growth, interesting opportunities and important lessons. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but mostly ups, with a number of changes which we hope will make for an exciting 2019.

New year, new look

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Early last year, this style blog (and now online store) took on a new look and name. I’d wanted to give the blog a face-lift for some time but I wasn’t quite sure how to achieve that without changing the feel of the blog so drastically. I ultimately decided to swap out ‘Urban Afro Gypsy’ for ‘Urban Afro Concept.’ The sleek new logo, designed by my brother, Chileshe, and new name are a reflection of my own personal style as well as everything the UAC blog and jewellery collection symbolizes for me – Afro-urban chic, sophisticated simplicity and African elegance. The change signified a new chapter in the life of this blog and gave rise to a some of the other changes that took place over 2018.

Nonetheless, the biggest motivator behind the name change was a blog post I read on the Wrapsody LLC website  in which the owner –  who identifies as a Hungarian Gypsy – explains why she formally scrapped the original business name, ‘Gypsy Mama’. The word ‘gypsy’ is a pejorative term loaded with a myriad of negative connotations and has been used as a racial slur by many people in Europe over the years. Of course, I meant no disrespect whatsoever in incorporating the term into the name of my blog but naively likened some aspects of the Roma culture to my upbringing as an African third culture kid or ‘cultural nomad’. After conducting more extensive research, which I  admittedly should have done beforehand, I made the decision to drop the ‘gypsy’. I sincerely apologise to anyone who was offended by the old name. I made a grave mistake and have certainly learnt a great deal from the experience.

Launching the online store

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Another major change in 2018 was the launch of the UAC website plus online store in August. When I first began making jewellery in 2011, I never envisioned that things would get to this level. The site and store provide a convenient location for customers to get some of the hand-crafted gems that comprise the UAC collection and place orders for custom jewellery and accessories. The launch also saw the introduction of some new styles and different kinds of accessories in the collection including large wax print necklaces, beaded necklaces and bracelets for both men and women as well as rings and new styles of mixed-media earrings.

Custom jewellery

My jewellery-making skills grew and continued to grow throughout 2018. I’d taken on some exciting custom orders which challenged me creatively and gave me a chance to expand my repertoire. This is one of my absolute favourite aspects of the business because not only is it so much fun, it’s also such a wonderful feeling to see a customer wear and love something I created with by my own hand.

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What’s to come in 2019…

Since its inception the Urban Afro Concept blog and accessories line has been constantly expanding. 2018 has been its strongest year so far and saw it reach levels that exceeded my humble expectations. With all the changes UAC has undergone over the past year I’m still, admittedly, finding my feet. But I look forward to what 2019 will bring. One thing I’m looking forward to in particular is continuing to collaborate with my mother, Chimba, who is the designer and founder of Ethnique-Afrika. She’s been a great inspiration to me creatively as well as my biggest supporter and throughout last year, we embarked on a few small business projects together. I’m hoping to continue working with her to create more African-inspired custom fashion and accessories on a larger scale. I have high hopes for this year.

In closing, also want to say how very thankful I am to UAC fans for their loyalty and support. I would have never been able to achieve any of this without it. I’m super stoked for the year ahead and wish you all the best for it!

Here’s to a productive, positive and prosperous 2019!