Paul Kweku Akrofie’s greatest passion for creative arts, visual design, strategy and innovation is what led him down a path in Design Entrepreneurship, with over ten years of hands-on experience.
He loves to create and combine various ideas and materials, mainly locally inspired but with a global outlook to create compelling but also sustainable outcomes.
His journey into the creative arts sector started during his time at Mfanstipim School, where he had the opportunity to engage in various fields of creative arts, enabling him to explore his talents.
“I had the opportunity to sketch, design, act and at one time even put together a song with a group of friends,” he told Kuulpeeps.
“We had a blast performing this on campus and in other schools in Cape Coast. I laugh and cringe now when I think back on some of these experiences but they all helped to shape my perspective.”
“I won a few awards for drama in Mfantsipim and at the regional level as well.”
Paul describes that period in Mfantsipim School as “good times”. However, in all the things he did with regards to creative arts in school, the ones that stood out the most for him were his clothing and bag designs.
He continued to pursue this through his years in university and officially started his design and manufacturing brand RPC (Real Peoples Company) after national service.
“In 2011, we officially launched Real Peoples Company as a lifestyle design brand based out of Ghana.”
“We designed our products from local inspiration but with a globally oriented outlook. For us, this was a reflection of the attitude of the ambitious real people we were targeting, born in Ghana or of Ghanaian descent but with a passion to impact the world.”
“These Real People have dreams and our mission was to make products they would love and could be proud of to represent their own aspirations.”
RPC’s collection of bags named ‘holders’ is inspired by Ghanaian kente weaving and is uniquely handwoven from separate strands of webbing to form the brand’s signature mesh weave.
“For us, the weave is the story of individuals coming together to form a strong and beautiful bond. A company of real people from Ghana, Africa to the world. Built here, goes anywhere,” Paul explained.
Paul and his RPC brand have also produced sustainably upcycled products for brands such as Vlisco Group (Woodin) and Nestlé.
Expanding on what makes his brand unique and different from other fashion brands, Paul said: “RPC wasn’t about me, for a quite a long while, aside my high school friends, a lot of people didn’t know who was behind the brand.”
“I always found a lot of pleasure walking up to customers in town, asking them about their bags and getting a real authentic response about their experience and whether I should buy one or not. I did this in an attempt to focus the brand on the community of people like me who are passionate about the things they did and my desire to support each other.”
“The embodiment of that support was to build the most durable bags we could make at the time so our community would receive amazing value coupled with style and great presentation.”
“Till date, we still have people using bags they bought ten years ago and it makes me so happy. We are always pushing hard to re-evaluate our production and materials to make this even better. Sure we’ve had some missteps along the way but I hope that our response to correct them have shown our customers how serious we are about our mantra of quality from Africa. We are always ready to help.”
Aside from managing RPC, Paul works as an Associate Arts Consultant at the British Council, where he supports the delivery of the organisation’s creative arts programme in Ghana.
He has also worked on various creative arts projects including co-implementing the establishment of the ‘Accra Fashion Hub’ in partnership with the Joyce Ababio College of Creative Design, leading the implementation of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers ‘Shaping the Future of Fashion’ project in partnership with Fashion Revolution on Sustainable Fashion in Ghana (2019 & 2020), and working as a local consulting partner with PUM.nl to facilitate its ‘Making Africa Work’ project in Ghana in the creative sector (2017).
Paul, however, hopes to improve his brand with new strategies and designs, including better e-commerce systems, that will help them work better and reap good results.
“I’m currently on the lookout for new talent to join our team and I’m very excited about the work we are about to put out.”
“I can’t express enough how grateful I’m am for all the who have kept us going with their orders and recommendations. It’s made a world of difference to us and keeps us pushing forward. To all of them, I say ‘stay real’.”
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