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I promised a few posts back that I would expand on values so I’ve started here as this is the one that makes us special. Mummy’s Muse is Rooted. When I say Rooted this first and foremost refers to our design. The prints you’ll see on our garments are inspired by African prints. Those of West African descent will be familiar with Ankara and Kente prints, East Africans will know Kitenge well. I’m Nigerian and it’s Ankara and Adire prints that I’m most familiar with. These bold, bright prints remind me of my childhood; they remind me of my Grandmas and my Aunties. They remind me of traditional weddings and my mum at home on a Sunday afternoon. Along with the imagery comes smells (of delicious food), sounds (of Shina Peters or Fela Kuti) and a general feeling of warmth and love.
I wrote in my Story about how as I got older, less daring and more integrated into Western Society it felt like more of a statement to wear such bold prints in day to day life. It felt more like making a statement. I could wear print to work for example, but could I wear African print? Surely that would be a step too far? So when Mummy’s Muse was conceived in my mind I wanted the cultural balance to reflect my experiences.
A child of two cultures
Mummy’s Muse brings plain and printed fabric together in a way that is reflective of my experience. I think it’s the same experience of many multi-national, mixed society individuals. I was raised in the UK, I was educated here, my first experience of the world of work is here. This is where I got married, had my babies and pay my taxes. I’d be kidding myself if I denied having British sensibilities. However I was born in Nigeria (I lived there for the first 3 years), but even if I wasn’t, I feel Nigerian. My skin colour doesn’t make me perceived as being automatically ‘from here’, my name is Yoruba (a Nigerian language). I understand Yoruba, some of my favourite foods and music are Nigerian and I have been raised with many Nigerian cultural values.
We will aim to always stay Rooted
The mixed-society kids reading this will understand what I mean when I say, I don’t fully feel British but if you dropped me in Lagos tomorrow, I don’t think I’d be accepted as fully Nigerian. I used to think this was terrible, cue a ‘Where do I belong?’ existential crisis, however now I don’t. Now I have concluded that I am a Citizen of Humanity. It’s OK to have different toes in different cultures, I think it’s more beautiful, less of a disadvantage. It’s not just OK, it’s really common. I am Rooted in two different cultures.
We will always represent African print with our designs, but place them within a Western context. You’ll see this tension and this Rootedness across the brand. You’ll see it in design, you’ll see it in how we style shoots, one day you’ll see it with who we partner with. I’m never going to try and be something I’m not and this brand will need to be something I understand inside out. I hope I can stay true to this incredibly important value of ours.
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Pingback: Considered * Brand Values
Spirited, lively, fun-loving, jolly…even frisky are all synonyms for the word playful. This is the second of four Mummy’s Muse brand values I’m writing about and one that has only become more important to me in my personal life as I’ve gotten older and life has become busier. Born This Way I’ve always been playful. …
Values; Principles; Guidelines; Our Compass – however you choose to describe the concept, it can’t be ignored. Our values are so important to Mummy’s Muse because I feel like there’s a very clear and strong personality I’m trying to create with this brand. These values act as a bit of a checklist for everything we …
Considered is the third of our brand values I’ve written about. I’ve written about the fact that Mummy’s Muse is Rooted and Playful, so what does it mean to be Considered? This is the Value I know I needed, but didn’t know how to describe it. Other words that came close were tasteful, thoughtful, intentional …