Posts Tagged ‘Jermaine Jackson’

Jewellery is one of the things we all start looking for at this time of year. Magpie eyes dart from shop window to shop window searching for the perfect pieces to compliment our Christmas outfits.

Melissa Bediako - right, and a friend at the World African Music Awards

I caught up with the lovely Melissa Bediako to discuss fashion and the future of Ghanaian Princess UK, her jewellery company which holds a special place in her heart.

Name: Melissa Bediako
Owner and creator of : Ghanaian Princess UK, GPUK
Based in: London
Could you just start by telling me a little bit about your background?
I have always been quite creative in addition to my studies. Born and rasied in London, my Parents are originally from Ghana. Even though I wasn’t born there, I have always been very proud of where I am from, Ghana has great culture.

I have a degree from Loughborough University in Business Economics and Finance, but I have always had an eye for bespoke items!

I have been involved in a lot of things, for example in secondary school I took a course in the application of Acrylic Nails and Nail art. I came 4th in the Miss Ghana UK competion of 2006 and in 2009 I ran the Flora London Marathon for the National Autistic Society, and raised over £1000 for the charity.

How exactly did the GPUK project start?
The project started because I saw a pair of earrings I liked, but thought they would look even better with the Ghanaian symbol ‘Gye Nyame’, which means accept God. I then came accross the Business Plan Competition at my university and thought I’d enter.

I knew things in general would be cheaper to make in Ghana, so I thought I could make a business out of it. I came up with the name because I am a proud Ghanaian and my nick name at home is Princess!

I entered the business idea into the competition at university and made it past the first round. I then completed a full business plan, and made it into the top 5 finalists, so I had to make a pitch to the judges of why my company should win the prize money.

Unfortunately I didnt win but I was not disheartened. After making a sample, I showed some friends and told them the selling prices and their interest spurred me on to continue with the business idea.

I thought there was a gap in the market because I had never come across any products like what I wanted to propose. Also because they were my own designs and I knew they were unique. I was not copying them from anywhere.

GPUK Loves Africa earrings, image courtesy of GPUK


What inspires you in your line of work?
My inspiration comes from the Ghanaian Adinkra symbols, they have such positive meanings that I want to share with all!!!!
I know that people are concerned with accessorising their bodies, so why not do it with meaning instead?

How do you make the jewellery? and what resources do you use?
I have a partner in Ghana, who is a silversmith and she works with sterling silver.
Apart from silver, I use a veraiety of resources for the jewellery: silver, coconuts, thread, pearls and swarovski elements in my recent designs.

Its great because there is so much variety in jewellery.

Where do you see GPUK in the coming years?
In the coming years I would like to see GPUK as an established player in the jewellery market. To be a supplier to a large shop or chain, To be the first choice supplier when you think of jewellery with meaning.

Although I use Ghanaian symbols, the jewellery is NOT just for Ghanaians, the jewellery is for anyone who loves to wear jewellery with meaning or for anyone who likes the designs.

What do you like about British fashion?
British fashion is all I know. London especially is the home of fashion, it has given birth to so many creative designers.

British fashion is fast in its pace, It is great as you can use fashion to change your look. I see the body as a blank canvas and you can change your look anytime you like.

You can’t really avoid fashion in London, the high street shops only sell what is in fashion!!!!!!

It is also great to be able to embrace the Ghanaian fashion too, the use of the African cloth is becoming a new trend.
I am lucky enough to be able to able to embrace the two cultures.

What brought you to the World African Music Awards?
The founder of the African music awards was a friend, I was there to show support to African Music.

I thought it would be a great place to network also.

I also really wanted to wear my GPUK Love Africa earrings.. It was the best occasion to wear them. 🙂

It was brilliant to see Jermaine Jackson in person !

What defines your own personal style?
I like to be different and unique, I try to put effort into my dressing, as you never know who you are going to meet!

I hate to have clothing that I am saving for an occasion, you never get to wear it. If I feel like wearing something I will just wear it!

I am wiling to try a lot of things. Life is too short so I often dress up on what seems to be an ordinary day!

A fashionable mantra if ever I heard one!
Melissa’s beautiful designs can be found at: http://www.gpukjewellery.co.uk/index.htm

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Central Hall, Westminster, a glamourous location for an exciting occasion. On Friday 15th October it was the stage for established and new African musicians at the African Music Awards 2010.

The AMA’s offer a platform for Africa’s rich culture and musicianship to be experienced in the UK.

It also draws UK and American acts and this year 10% of the proceeds from the ceremony will go towards supporting UNICEF.

In attendance were the K3 brothers, 18 year old Kwame, 15 year old Kofi and 10 year old Kwesi.

From LA the boys are best-known from Nickelodeon and for their roles in  “Entourage”, “Punk’d”, “All of Us” and “Everybody Hates Chris”.

Skillz from Big Brovaz performed with a whole host of dancers as did vocal group Perpetium Jazzile and to top it all off Jermaine Jackson gave an award.

So what does one wear to such a star-studded event?

A fearless fashion pack were out and set to stun with bright colours, jewels and embellishments. Also of notable mention were the earrings created by Melissa of Ghanian Princess UK.

This jewellery designer was sporting a pair of silver earrings from her own line carved in the shape of the African Continent.

Josephine and Melissa from Ghana

The ladies were in custom-made dresses, which as you will see was a running theme for the evening.

The women we spoke to had all taken a great amount of care to find outfits that stood out from the crowd.

Colour, bold prints, cut-outs and sparkle were the must-have essentials for the evening. Everyone was so friendly and keen to talk about their looks.

Ruwaydah from Twickenham pairs her eye-catching jumpsuit with some on trend court shoe

This outfit is perfectly balanced, Ruwaydah gives a nod to the kitten heel court trend seen in all the fashion glossies but the main event of her look is the colourful hand-made jumpsuit.

She keeps everything else simple.

The men did not disappoint either in a stunning array of crisp white suits, black tuxedo jackets, beading, and coloured accessories.

Kwame Boateng, Catherine Llewellyn, Kofi Siriboe, Natalie MacDonald

18 year old Kwame Boateng opted for a velvet pin-stripe suit that was quite frankly beautiful.

Guests didn’t forgo the high-street completely; Pamela from Nigeria told us her design was from H&M.

Pamela from Nigeria

The dress is minimal in colour but in texture and structure it packs a punch. With ruching down the bodice from the sweetheart neckline and then a few tiers of ruffles at the hip.

The evening was fun filled and lively with an atmosphere to rival any of the bigger award ceremonies.

Even though there was no red carpet the guests used the whole venue as their own personal runway.

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