Handmade accessories in wax print with AKA MERE

Mariasole is a young passionate Italian woman. She discovered African wax print a while ago and she decided to ally her creativity to the amazing wax fabrics: AKA MERE was born. Aka mere is an Igbo (Nigerian) word which means handmade. Mariasole shares her story with us. 

Ciao Mariasole, can you introduce yourself?

Hello everyone! I'm Mariasole, a young woman, very passionate for nature, animals, and handcrafting! I work for an association that takes care of women and their babies, who need protection and assistance, aiming to help them be independent and strong again. 

" I believe the world is big enough, colored, various and amazing for us to be wearing, eating and living in an industrial and standardized way "

How did you discover the African wax prints?

Everyday, I work with a lot of African rooted women, and one day one of them came to me with a present: a couple of yards of an amazing and colored African wax print fabric. I immediately felt in love  with with this new fabric I was discovering for the first time. Knowing my passion for sewing, few weeks later my husband bought me as a Christmas present, a sewing machine and subscribed me to a sewing class. I designed my first bag with that one African wax fabric, and I found it really nice, that's how I decided to start making handmade accessories using wax prints. AKA MERE was born. 

African bag - bag in wax print - aka mere

Why did you decide to use African prints for your designs?

I believe the world is big enough, colored, various and amazing for us to be wearing, eating and living in an industrial and standardized way. I love to travel with my husband and my dog, and in during our trips I love to try and discover local ways of living. For me, even though wax print is still uncommon in Italy, it can deliver different kinds of emotions and messages through its patterns and colors, each one unique and original. 

African bag- clutch bag-aka mere

What is your biggest pride since you launched Aka Mere?

When I started to sew, I showed my creations to friends and colleagues and they seemed to like them...Very soon later, they started to order some of my creations. In the beginning, I was only making clutch bags and backpacks. My biggest pride is to see people who bought my creations using them, it makes me feel useful and motivates me to learn new things. 

How do you find your inspirations?

I take inspirations from everyday life, from the things I like, or that I would like to wear. I make new accessories if I realize that I'd like to have something I'd hardly find. 

What difficulties do you face today in your job as a designer and how do you manage to overcome them?

My main difficulty is to balance my "day" job and Aka Mere, to find enough time and energy to make my best in both of them. 

What are your coming projects?

I am working on finding new ways to develop Aka Mere and it grow. I am partnering with a friend to launch a new range of accessories for babies and mummies that will soon be available. 

Do you have anything to say to our readers?

First of all, I would like to thank them for reading the whole interview!! I hope each one of them could find Motherland project interesting and inspiring, and I wish them to reach freedom and full satisfaction. Our lives are too unique, precious and unpredictable for not being as happy as we could!

Discover Aka Mere collection here.