Hey Kuulpeeps, you’ve got you one new member. Y’all beach goers will love her!!
This beauty meets brains Kuulpeep, is building a business empire on the already global appeal of our Kente cloth.
Jessica Bema Asare, 19, was born in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom and moved to Ghana when she was seven, returning to the UK in 2015 to study Computing and Management.
Using money awarded by her university for topping her course academically in the first year, she decided to set up a business that would combine her love of fashion with promoting prints from Africa to the UK and rest of the world.
‘Moving to Ghana and attending a very Pro-African secondary school made me appreciate my culture and relate to my Ghanaian name Bema more,’ she told FEMAIL.
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‘I wanted to make an item of clothing where we could wear our prints casually, like when we are lying on a beach so bikinis seemed like a perfect idea.’
Her first batch of stock, which includes XL sizes for curvier women, sold out within the first week and she had to make post office runs twice a day to ensure she was keeping her customers happy.
A student has set up the UK’s first African print bikini line from the living room of her student digs at Loughborough University, and her debut range is already a sell out.
When she wasn’t pulling all-nighters programming lines of code or running her department, Jessica spent her second year crafting the designs and prints to make UK’s first swim-proof African swimwear line.
Her African print bikini brand also caters for curvy women. She wanted African women to be able to wear traditional prints on the beach, rather than just on special occasions
‘It was important to me because I want my products to be worn by people of all shapes and sizes and people from anywhere in the world,’ she explained.
‘I especially want African women to wear my designs with pride because these are designs which are specifically ours.
‘A lot African and black women are curvy and not having styles to accommodate their body types will defeat the purpose of the African image I am trying to promote.’
The ambitious student is now preparing for her third year at university and is hoping to expand her range and eventually have one of the world’s largest African beauty and fashion brands.
In addition to her studies and setting up a business, Jessica is also programme President of the Loughborough Computer Science department
‘My second year was hectic,’ she revealed. ‘I did not go out and socialise as much as I did in my first year of university and I was more selective of events that I attended.’
‘Sometimes I found myself spending too much time on Bema Republic and not enough on my studies, so I put it on hold for a couple of months so I could do well in exams.’