The producers of a vibrant and eclectic range of clothes and accessories made with African fabrics are husband and wife team, Sharon and King Solomon (yes this is his real name).
I had the pleasure of meeting Sharon who has a warm, friendly and bubbly personality and asked her to give me the background on who she is and the story behind her products.
Sharon told me she grew up in the UK in a craft and DIY household. Her mother was an avid crafter, knitter and clothes maker who used to take her along to dressmaking classes. As the only child in the class Sharon was allowed to hold the yarn and sit quietly, she would observe everything that was going on and took inspiration from it. As a quick learner she would help her mother with dressmaking at home.
Sharon’s father was a DIY enthusiast and she would also help him with projects. Working alongside him she learned how items are constructed and what is needed to restore or remake them.
This backdrop led Sharon down a creative path and she attend the London College of Furniture and graduated having learned all aspects of soft furnishings including how to make loose covers, handmade curtains, cushions, lampshades and upholstery.
Sharon began making soft furnishings as a hobby for friends and family then, through word of mouth, for paying customers. This evolved into incorporating interior design into her work, she would not only make the soft furnishings for a client but make over their home as well! When Sharon’s passion turned into a business she felt the best and most appropriate name for her business should be ‘Ms Mable’s Daughter’ in honour of her mother.
Sharon says ‘I can make a shoe box look good! I love doing up spaces.’
But it’s more than that for Sharon, she explained that it’s spiritually good for people to have a nice home. When she works in a client’s home she says the changes she makes can literally change their life.
A few years ago Sharon went on holiday to Ghana – 4 days before she was due to return to the UK she went to a workshop to get some clothes made – there she met the tailor, King Solomon. They had a good rapport and he told her she was going to marry an African. Sharon thought this was amusing at the time as this was her first visit to Africa and she was returning to the UK in a few days. She didn’t take much notice of his words at the time and returned to the UK on schedule, but he was right, they started a long distance relationship and they are now married.
Sharon explained that King Solomon makes clothes, bags and accessories and is just naturally creative. He cuts the fabrics freehand, uses a sewing machine and sews by hand. He works instinctively, often outside as he loves to be at one with nature. King Solomon uses traditional fabrics in modern ways such as making messenger bags. ‘He likes to be different’ she says. His clothes are individually hand made which makes each one unique and there are only 2-4 of the same style made. The fabrics he uses are traditional batik and African fabrics with distinctive bright colours and bold designs. The finished products often have traditional embellishments and finishes such as basket weave, leather or cowrie shells.
This husband and wife team now live and work together in Ghana as they continue on their creative paths to create the pieces you see today. Sharon returns to the UK regularly and often takes on interior design projects when she is here, as well as in Ghana. Organic, creative, eclectic vibrant and soulful, each item or project they take on is unique and tells it’s own story. Maybe it’s the story of this King and his Queen and how these two creative souls met …
King Solomon’s clothes and accessories are currently available in the UK at 100 Acre, 100 Acre Lane, Brixton. SW2 5NQ or in Ghana at King Solomon’s workshop. Interior design projects can be requested via Ms Mable’s Daughter.
© Elise – Cinnamon & Brown