Ruby is both a visionary and, an active entrepreneur. The name K.U.A means: “Keeping Us Authentic”. Her designs are captivating, embodied with colors that are magnetic and creatively mixed. When I first encountered K.U.A Designs, I became an instant K.U.A fan. A fan that Ruby, the founder, would call a “K.U.A baby”. I was captivated. Being Ghanaian born, and raised, Ruby is an inspiring female entrepreneur who has made the passage in designing purses, and jewelry, that are influenced by vibrant Africa effects. Ruby is beautiful, business-minded and, humble. That makes for a source of great attraction. Her sense of invention is marvelous. So we caught up to chat with the founder of K.U.A Designs. Also find K.U.A on Facebook.
First of: Can we get some background info from you. (e.g Where you are from and what inspires you?
I was born and raised in Ghana. After earning a degree in Business Admin in Georgia, I worked in Finance for a while before deciding to focus on my creative side. Here I am, taking it a day at a time and enjoying the journey with its ups and downs.
Tell us a little about KUA Designs (e.g who is the founder, How did it start, what it means:
Kua Designs, a Ghanaian-inspired purse line was introduced to the world in 2009. Before then, I had a jewelry company called Stringz Attached. This year, I put both ventures under the same roof and I decided to keep the name Kua because of the sentimental value it holds. Kua is my mother’s name and thus connotes all the things my mother stands for: authenticity, cultural grounding, cool confidence, simplicity and beauty. Yes, my mum is the best (not that you asked… LOL). Kua also stands for Keeping Us Authentic and I strive to hold myself up to that in business decisions I make.
What inspires your designs?
The rich colors of African wax print, the warm textures of goatskin, and the organic shapes of semi-precious stones… the list can go on and on. But in short, the ‘life’ in these materials I use greatly influence what I make. That is why I enjoy picking out my own materials.
Who are your favorite emerging designers and what is it that you love about them?
I have a number of favorites but these come to mind right away:
Malene b is an independent carpet designer who draws on her experiences around the world to design beautiful carpet.
I love Orleans designs’ use of silks in her flirty collection
Ndamus Bags makes statement pieces! Raw and edgy.
Where can people buy your items?
Spring collection is available on Kua’s website www.kuadesigns.com under ‘Shop’. I am always happy when Spring rolls back around because of all the fun colors. I hope you enjoy my current collection as much as I enjoy making them.
What is your best attribute?
I asked a few friends (since I am not good with such questions) and this is what I got: confidence, positive attitude, social/people skills, sense of humor, smile, creativity, very jovial, outgoing, bubbly, witty, analytical, full of life, vivacious and brainy. As you can tell, I have very kind friends.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
A couple of years ago when I was still deciding whether to go at this full-time, my mum, in our Nzema language said “do whatever makes you happy as long as you don’t become a liability to someone”. That is the best advice because it forces me to live within my means and propels me to go after my dreams! Did I mention she was the best? LOL
Excluding yours, what company or brand do you admire the most?
This is a tough one because I admire several. Just last night, I saw Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter on TV, so she comes to mind right away. I love her story; I love how she started from her kitchen and how she did small shows till she became the empire she is today. Very heart-warming and encouraging, to say the least…
Favorite lyrics from a song?
Again, I can’t quite pick because I truly don’t have one favorite but I have been listening to Sade’s latest album and I like something about her Long Hard Road song.
There’s a long hard road ahead
But a voice inside me said
You know there’s something that you need to know
It’s gonna be alright
Word you live by?
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results”. In short, if I want it, I must work hard to get it. Needless to say, tenacity is one of the things I pray God continues to shower on me 🙂