This month we interview Stephanie Naa-Anyema Quaye founder of Naa Duku. Naa Duku is a style empowerment and lifestyle brand which aims to bring women together with the art of African inspired headwrap styling in classy and comfortable styles. We chatted with her this month to hear her love for all things style, empowerment and Dukus.
WCA: Tell us a bit about yourself and your love for headwraps:
ND: My name is Stephanie Naa-Anyema Quaye, 27 years old and born and raised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I am of Ghanaian Heritage which I am very proud of. My passion for wearing headwraps started 3 years ago and as I wore the headwraps I became more creative in styling them. Whenever I wear a headwrap, I feel more connected to my Creator, whilst it can be worn for cultural and religious purposes. It is so amazing how a small piece of fabric can make you feel/ look different. The vibrant colors of African fabrics is the fashionable trend of late. With Naa Duku I want to connect other women with each other through the art of African Inspired headwrap Styling in Classy and Comfy styles. It is a ‘Wrap culture’ that connects different women that tap into the African Inspired head pieces. It is my pleasure to uplift & empower individuals to come out of their comfort zones. During my headwrap styling session it goes beyond, fashion, styling and faith. But we focus also on the the mind, feelings and thoughts to use the practical techniques to make every headwrap style count.
WCA: Our theme this year is African Women Build and as a young African woman on the continent it is exciting to see you building your company Naa Duku. Tell us about the concept of Naa Duku what inspired it?
ND: ‘Africa’! I have always said that Africa is my source of inspiration. Unfortunately I have only been to Ghana so far. And hopefully in 2 months time I will visit another African country, to relax the mind & body of the hard work. As I shared earlier on, I am originally from Ghana and the lively atmosphere, people who are approachable are things the ND Brand has adopted. ND specifically focuses on creating cultural awareness of African heritage through the wearing of the headwraps, empowering women to utilize their creativity in developing stylish headwraps and creating a space for women to have a deeper connection and build community with other women.
WCA: Who is the ideal Duku Queen?
ND: A woman who stands out in her creativity and wear the complete Duku elements in confidence. The ideal ND Woman enjoys wearing the art work that will inspire others.
WCA: Living in the Netherlands as a Ghanaian woman we sure has influenced your product, tell us about how culture influences your art of head wrapping?
ND: The Ghanaian culture puts more emphasis on being hospitable to everyone and especially practicing the good in every setting. The same atmosphere is felt during the Headwrap styling classes that we host. The Duku experience is fully enjoyed when every woman in our workshops participate with a positive mind.
WCA: Most of your clients are women, so how do you promote community and how important is sisterhood to the Duku Brand?
ND: Through my online platforms I empower & encourage women to change their perspective on different aspect of life in general. I also ensure these elements are reflected in my work with headwrapping. Currently all women can find ND and can join the community via our website. Sisterhood is a very key for the ND brand. Our platform provides women the opportunity to build the special bonds.
WCA: What is your favorite style that you tie for clients right now?
ND: The turban. (which is simply the Royal look) is my favourite style.
Recently, I created a very unique style which I call the chique hat. Thats also part of my classy styles I love to tie or teach for my clients.
WCA: What is your vision for ND for the next 5 years?
ND: would have grown on global level. A strong Amsterdam based team while I will travel as Headwrap stylist to different countries to allow women to get the Duku experience. I alone take care of Styling, production and Social Media Marketing. In 5 years time or even less its all taken care of by the team. I will supply my client with exclusive and High Quality collection as part of the services ND offers. I am always in for innovative projects so I want to stand out and be the light where there is still darkness.
WCA: What key advice do you have for young female entrepreneurs just starting out on their journey?
ND: There is a lot I can share about my personal journey as a fempreneur but these 2 key points i think are most relevant:
Patience & confidence has brought me where I am today after 11 months building the ND brand.
It is scary to walk into a direction wherein you can’t predict what is coming up. Every female entrepreneur should bare in mind that you will make a lot of mistakes, but they are there to teach you a lesson to grow better & strong You and Brand. Because you rep. Your brand.
After a while you will see the fruits of your labour. The small milestones you have accomplished with your business should be celebrated as well.