Mixing African fabrics with European silhouettes is the key to success for Columbia-based designer Sandra Takyi, 34, who wants her native Ghana to radiate through her fashion brand, Ohemaa Couture.
Takyi primarily makes gowns that range in price from $200 to $500. She has found a customer base among African-Americans who like honoring their heritage with fashionable frocks.
"The original traditional African ware, people see it as old-fashioned," says the Wilde Lake High School graduate, who started selling her garments in ninth grade. "This modernizes it for them. This makes them feel like they are still part of the culture and still elegant wearing it."
Takyi says prom season is typically her busiest time of year. She starts getting orders in January through her Instagram account (@ohemaacouture) or by referral.