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POC around the block 3: Abigail Kwakye

In this series, our columnist Anna Jin brings attention to the unique and talented people of colour working in fashion.

Something as simple as jewellery can make a huge difference in how we look and feel. Especially as we’re living in a post-lockdown world where loungewear has become the norm, how we accessorise ourselves can make a massive difference.

The idea of feeling empowered and confident through wearing accessories is key for Abigail Kwakye, the London-based designer who launched her jewellery brand in November 2019.

As a “lover of all things elegant, pretty and dainty”, Abigail started Saint Kojo as a destination for affordable yet high-quality pieces that encapsulated her aesthetic.

“I’m someone that can’t go outside without a pair of earrings”, says Abigail, who recognises that putting on cute accessories only takes a few seconds but can massively impact our happiness and self-worth.

Photo: Saint Kojo

Saint Kojo has launched two collections of unique jewellery, with a third one on the horizon.

The first collection, Everyday Elegants, is made with 14 karat gold-plated hardware and freshwater pearls, creating an opulent, polished finish for her pieces.

The second launch, the Artisan AW20 Collection, draws inspiration from Turkey and utilises hand-crafted designs by artisans from Istanbul. Whereas the first pieces focus on sophistication, this collection prioritises her more daring side that “wants to be a bit brighter than everyone else”.

But Saint Kojo is more than just beautiful jewellery – it’s a vehicle for Abigail to empower women. 20% of the profits from her second collection are donated to She’s the First, a non-profit organisation that fights gender inequality through education.

Saint Kojo “is an avenue for me to have a positive impact on the world”, says Abigail. Her company aims to educate 1000 underprivileged girls by 2023.

Abigail’s commitment to advocating for women’s education is inspired by her mother, who was born in Sierra Leone. From a young age, it was instilled in Abigail that being born in the UK has given her opportunities that many people across the world do not have access to.

She is now a firm believer that every woman should have access to the privileges that she was born with, and her support of She’s the First is one of the many ways in which Abigail is fighting for this.

Photo: Saint Kojo

Saint Kojo will soon be launching their Signature Collection, which will combine the luxurious identity of the brand with Abigail’s Ghanaian heritage. It will feature elements of the brand’s logo alongside sterling silver jewellery plated in gold, although we have to eagerly await a full reveal of the collection.

Saint Kojo’s products can be ordered via their website, and they can also be found on Instagram.

Tags: diversity, inclusivity, POC around the block, Saint Kojo, small businesses, WOC

Anna Jin

Hi! I'm the Fashion Columnist at the Mancunion. I'm working on the column ‘POC around the block’, a series of monthly articles highlighting a person of colour who works in fashion. Instagram & Twitter: @annahanjin
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