Laced with Culture by Jane Umunna

Photo Courtesy of  LacedWithCulture

Photo Courtesy of LacedWithCulture

If you’ve ever been interested in starting a new business you quickly learn the importance of embracing the journey. Jane Umunna of Laced with Culture is walking that walk and has a few tidbits to share about her experience one stitch at a time.

Jane U., let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far. 

I started teaching myself to sew as a child. During a homework project I discovered that my grandmother was a seamstress. My mom jokingly said “maybe sewing is hereditary”, but what she didn’t realize is that my persistence in learning this skill would continue into my adulthood. I continued to sew by hand and eventually taught myself how to use a secondhand sewing machine. I would sew things for myself because I wanted unique pieces that I couldn’t find in the store. I also love Ankara/ African wax print and was inspired by a Ghanaian show “Adams Apples”, they showed successful beautiful African women wearing bright African prints in office wear and also in figure flattering dresses. My grandmother passed the year that I got married, so to honor her I sewed the gowns for my traditional Nigerian wedding. I had several people ask where I got my dresses from and when I proudly said “I made them”, people asked if I sewed for others. Eventually I gained some courage and LacedWithCulture was created.

Photo Courtesy of  LacedWithCulture

Photo Courtesy of LacedWithCulture

Has it been a smooth road for you?

Being a business owner has definitely not been easy, especially since it was something that I didn’t want to do out of fear. I have friends that have been in business for years and I see what they sometimes have to deal with and I wanted no parts of that lol. I always thought that I would just have my career (I’m a Registered Nurse) and that would be it. I would say that my main struggle would be that I have a hard time promoting myself (I’m an introvert by nature). I’m also still learning my own worth in what I do. Sewing custom pieces takes time, energy, and recourses and I’m learning to factor that into my pricing. Learning the legal aspects of being a business owner has also been a bit of a struggle. Fortunately my husband has been able to assist me with this.

Photo Courtesy of  LacedWithCulture

Photo Courtesy of LacedWithCulture

 Please tell us about your WERK: 

I specialize in African print/Ankara custom wear as well as formal wear (prom, weddings, pageants, etc.). I make custom pieces for men and women of all ages and sized. I love to make the vision of my clients come to fruition. I also strive to make everyone look and feel their best. I believe that curves should be celebrated and that people should feel proud to wear African prints and bright colors.

Video Courtesy of J. West Creative

Please share any words of wisdom sister to sister.

I’m still a fairly new business, but if I could start over I would have definitely have had more confidence in my talent. I look back at my work and I’ve done some pretty awesome things. I really feel that God has blessed me with a gift and I’m so grateful.

Check out some of Jane’s WERK!

Photo Courtesy of  Lavish Touch Photos

Photo Courtesy of Lavish Touch Photos

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