DANIELLE: Passionate. Resilient. Impatient.
DANIELLE: Female Department is an online retailer which aims to use fashion as a means to connect, unite, and empower like-minded women. By offering a curated selection of eclectic fashion finds, exclusive networking events, and a lifestyle blog for active women (called #WomenWhoMove); Female Department aims to become a leading lifestyle brand. Fashion’s superficial aspect is often put forward, but little is known about its ability to unite, empower, and spark a conversation. Female Department’s primary objective is not only to empower its clientele through their personal style, but also to assemble and highlight those women who share both our vision on fashion and our focus on female entrepreneurship, community, and creativity.
DANIELLE: The vision behind Female Department came to me as I was going through the most powerful stage of womanhood, pregnancy. Motherhood introduced me to the sacredness of womanhood, in the sense that the realization that if I can do something so divine as to create, bear, and give life to a human, then there was absolutely nothing I could not do…let alone something so relatively small as starting and growing a business.
This inculcated risk aversion is even more prevalent amongst African women, who are culturally expected and raised to put themselves last, after their husband and kids. Balancing these traditional gender roles with our modern desire to thrive and pursue our passions is by far the hardest juggle women (across the globe) in business are currently learning to deal with.
DANIELLE: The idea behind the AJDC Conference held in 2012 was to bring the Cameroonian diaspora together for a day, and reflect on how we can make the slightest difference from abroad. I’m not one who believes that all Africans need to go back to the motherland in order for it to rise; however I do feel that our continent is at a critical time, and the active involvement of its diaspora, or lack thereof, can either make it or break it.
DANIELLE: Not to sound overly cliché, but Gandhi once said to “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to start with him or herself. You can’t aspire to change your continent if you personally still hold conflicting opinions and values which go against what is needed for Africa to rise. The best advice I could give to anyone seeking to make lasting impact is to start with you. Seek to personally know and grow yourself to the point that helping those in need almost becomes a reflex. Africa, and the world, will change one person at a time.
DANIELLE: Brunch In The City actually stemmed from my wanting to share my platform, which was growing fairly quickly, with the wave of other women entrepreneurs surrounding me. I strongly believe in the power of partnership, and I wanted to come together with others to create an environment where women could do all of the things we love to do in a day; all the while supporting each other. Women crave community; and through its events, Female Department’s mission is to use fashion to create just that.
SAYASPORA: How would you define “success”?
DANIELLE: Success to me is living a life that is aligned. It’s when your goals/accomplishments are aligned with your values, which are aligned with your personality, which in turn, are aligned with the Source (read: God, Allah, Yahweh, etc.). To make it simple, if you wake up every morning with your heart full, you are successful to me.
And let’s be honest, there’s nothing more fulfilling than becoming everything they thought you couldn’t. Success is the best revenge…
Street Style Inspiration May 2015 | Brunch in the City | © Chrisitian Atanga | mydaytodayinspiration