Don’t get us wrong ladies, whilst we tend to keep things fun and light hearted, we want it to be clear that we care. With that being said, today we’re gonna be taking a look at things a bit differently. As with all other walks of life, communication is key when it comes to our relationship with you, for us, this is the beginning of a beautiful bond between us and you.As Afro Indie continues to grow and expand as a brand, and with you, our ever growing army of #AfroIndieQueens, it becomes more and more significant to connect with you on levels that run a little deeper than the cutest colors for the fall. You matter to us, and that’s why we think it’s important for us to give you regular updates on the inner works of Afro Indie, our mission as a brand, and the immense passion that is poured into every Afro Indie product, video, and any other media that we may put out. We see all our supporters as family members, and what better way to communicate with family than a good old fashioned catch up?
Let’s start with the roots of AIA shall we? Formally known as ‘Afro-Indie Adornments’, the company was formed in 2017 by Grace Johnson, or ‘Grace Jae’. As a first generation Nigerian American, The idea of embracing your roots, and bringing home to you is not lost on Grace. It’s no surprise that the entire zeitgeist at Afro Indie is centered around the bold, and the ‘pops of colour’. Coming from a culture that doesn’t fit in with Western ideals, in the United States especially, means that you can stick out like a sore thumb, whether you want to or not.
With Afro Indie, Grace creates a space where these differences become the very thing that make you that much more amazing! The incorporation of typically African concepts like Ankara, into a more modern landscape intends to create a situation where no matter where you come from, you’re constantly becoming more accepting of your culture; thus, becoming more comfortable with yourself as a whole. You can find Grace at @lovegracejae on Instagram, oh, and you might recognize her as one of the Afro Indie head adornment models!
"Afro-Indie" is a term that Grace Jae created which implies "Cultures of Color." It consists of various ethnic cultures, primarily taking inspiration from African, East & West Indian traditions. Ultimately, our aim at Afro Indie is to include all cultures that have representation of women of color, and this is reflected in all the designs. If there’s one thing that we all have in common (as women from ethnic minority groups), it’s a flair for intricate designs and gorgeous patterns, so why not emphasize it? The genius blending of multiple cultures in the form of fashion creates a body of art that Grace Jae often refers to as "Signature Looks'. Signature looks refer to looks that express one's personal identity, be that your ethnic heritage, your gender, or just the manifestation of a form of cultural appreciation. Again, this takes us back to the motif of not necessarily fitting in with the dominant values in the society you live in, but taking this, and turning it into something beautiful.
Whilst we can’t deny that we are seeing a breakthrough in terms of people of color becoming more comfortable in, and willing to showcase their culture in the public sphere; to glaze over the very much rampant issue of racial injustice in the United States, would be to oversimplify things. This one is for the women of color who grew up in the United States, try to think back to your childhood… Chances are, you’ve probably experienced some form of racial discrimination or microaggression, whether that be teasing to do with your natural hair, or outright bullying that stems from the color of your skin. For the majority of us, a lack of acceptance by others translated into early feelings of inner frustration at ourselves for being different, which in turn might have caused us to struggle to embrace our respective cultures as kids. But for some of us, these early feelings may have followed us into our adulthood, which complicates things even further. The idea of self-hatred, which tends to be used as a derogatory insult, stems from a system whereby we are encouraged to only feel comfortable with ourselves if we conform to a rigid standard set by dominant groups in society, but don’t you worry, we’re here to combat exactly that!
With racial injustice at its peak, it is important to us that we educate and bring awareness to the beauty and uniqueness of our cultures. We hope to spark a sense of pride, not just through our traditional tribal jewelry, but through the stories of the African and East and West Indies diaspora. We encourage women of color everywhere to continue raising the standard and breaking barriers. We are resilient QUEENS with an incredible heritage. Our stories deserve to be heard and our heritage deserves to be celebrated. Our mission is for Afro-Indie to become a safe space for all women of color to be who they are and live freely in their authenticity while staying connected to their cultural roots and embracing their heritage shamelessly and unapologetically.
We are so excited you have decided to embark on this journey with us. We can't wait to grow with you! This past Thursday we re-launched our Head-wrap Huddle and went live on IG and Facebook. We did a headwrap tutorial styling session to show you all how you can rock your Afro-Indie accessories effortlessly. It is okay if you missed this one because there will be plenty more where that came from! Be sure to sign up for our email list and follow us on social media to stay tuned for when we go live again! As always, Keep Queenin' in these streets and we will see you next time.