Cheery Baby is a Ghanaian-based accessory brand, known for creating well-detailed and timeless silhouette pieces with uncommon and beautiful materials. The brand’s originality and creativity are distinct and nearly impossible to imitate, giving patrons an exclusive polished, and classy look.
Behind every hand-tailored accessory in the Cheerybaby collection is a backstory best told by the brand’s founder, Maame Akua Kumiwaa Attafua who creates casual luxury statement pieces from an intersection of art and fashion.
In our chat with Maame, we deep dive into Cheery Baby’s birth, and how mommyhood, attention to detail, and her thirst for authentic creative expression continue to fuel the brand’s growth.
MA: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Maame: My name is Maame Akua Kumiwaa Attafua, I am a Finance Manager for a pharmaceutical company, the creative director of Cheery Baby, and a mother.
MA: How did Cheery Baby start?
Maame: As a new mother I lost sleep and I was also going through a divorce so I couldn’t sleep, I was full of worry and one night I decided that instead of just worrying and not doing anything at night I would create. I did a headband for my daughter and the feedback was amazing and encouraging. So I created a few more pieces, created an Instagram business account, and shared a few images of my work and just left it as that, I did not even tell anyone about it because I wanted to see the authentic growth of it and from that moment it has been order after order.
MA: Why the name Cheery Baby?
Maame: The name is from my daughter, happy baby but I needed a catchier one so I opted for Cheery Baby.
MA: Where do you look for creative inspiration?
Maame: I take inspiration from everywhere and everything. I can sit at the table with you and I will be focusing on the tiles or something and I will be like if I use this pattern or this print to create something it will be beautiful. Not only that but I also get inspired when I visit the market to get supplies. Most of the stones there are one-of-a-kind pieces and are not repeated, as much as it is a hindrance to my creativity it is also a plus to create a unique piece.
MA: Take us through your design process, concept, mood board, and creative starting point.
Maame: I would take for example my universe collection which we did in October. With that, I knew I wanted to work with wood, and around that time my daughter was learning science, about the universe and the different planets. That’s where I got the ideas from. I was like how do I interpret this into a design? I started by sketching it with dimensions because it has to make sense and that’s where a lot of the math comes in. When designing, you have to use math to get the right angles which means a lot of compass and ruler work. Once I get the angles right and it looks good then my guy who does the cutting works on it but sometimes after putting it together we will realize it does not look right so we repeat the process until we get it right.
MA: How do you come up with the impressive and unique names for your pieces?
Maame: Like the Universe Collection I named it because the designs were inspired by what my daughter was learning, about the planets That’s how the names came up, every design has a name and once I explain it, you will actually get it.
The most recent ones on Instagram I got most of the names from turtles because the shapes are mostly square or rectangular with a hump and wired with gold lines like the back of a turtle. As I create I also learn because there are different types of turtles, with different patterns and that’s how I name them. So I work with everything around me that God has offered.
MA: How do you balance being a Finance Manager for a pharmaceutical company, running a business, and being a mum?
Maame: Honestly it is stressful and when I explain my routine the doctors out there will be like you need to sleep more. But I always manage to get 5-6 hours of sleep. So let me explain my routine. I get my daughter ready for school and I get to work around 8 am. I am blessed enough to have a job that allows me to close around 2: 45pm, pick my daughter up from school, help her with her homework, and do a few house stuff. By 8:30 pm I am asleep. I wake up around 1: 00 am and I start working on my orders and the routine starts all over but there are days when I am not able to meet my orders and that’s where time management and transparency come to play.
As a business owner, I have learned to be transparent with my customers. In order to meet my orders and not disappoint my customers I am very strict with orders. Most of my works are not readily available and I know again that’s a hindrance. Because of that, I have partnered with some shops, spas, and saloons to stock up on some items I make during my free time. Other than that when you are ordering through the website or Instagram it takes one and a half weeks for a customer to receive their order, I say this to be on the safe side so I don’t end up disappointing them but some customers do get their orders before the one and half week duration. Yeah, so this is how I am trying to balance things out.
MA: Would you say your brand is eco-friendly?
Maame: Yes we are eco-friendly. For most of our designs, we work with natural elements like stones, wood, resin, and others to create our pieces.
MA: Can you share some challenges you face as a small business and how you overcame them?
Maame: One main challenge is finding supplies to work with. Often, I end up improvising. Another thing is earning the trust of a client, especially first-time buyers. They hesitate a lot. Like is it going to be nice or not? They ask a lot of questions that may seem a bit intrusive but once you deliver and they like it they come back and then they even recommend you. Honestly, these are the main challenges for me as a small business.
MA: Tell us the best advice you have ever received.
Maame: Oh my goodness! I have received so many of them. I remember some advice a friend in the creative field gave me. As creatives, we are always coming up with new ideas and our brains are always in overdrive, constantly creating new pieces. But one thing she said is that as much as you want to create new pieces you have to stall them. Otherwise, you will be giving out everything. For the ideas you put out, you have to maximize them to the best of your ability. If you leave one concept out, another creative can take it. So as soon as you think of something do it to the best of your ability.
MA: What is your advice to aspiring accessories designers?
Maame: I would say make sure that whatever it is that you are creating is unique to you. As they always say authenticity sells, so you have to be authentic to yourself. Don’t replicate something that you’ve already seen because, at the end of the day, that is what God gave that person. You must find what is true to you and do it to the best of your ability. Nobody can take that away from you.
Click here to shop the latest Cheery Baby accessories from its official online store.
By: Thelma Anowaa.
A Fashion and Lifestyle Writer from Ghana, west Africa. Always had a dream of becoming a Public Relations practitioner but somehow her hobby turned into an exciting journey filled with experiences in creative writing, content managing, and copywriting.