With many family members in both Ghana and Nigeria, I learned the beads business from my father, who was a beads trader between Ghana and Nigeria, as well as other West African countries. People would line up outside our house when they heard my father was coming back with beads from Nigeria, he was so well respected and talented in finding the best beads for trade and design. From him, my brothers and I learned every aspect of the beads business, including going door-to-door looking to buy ancient trade beads (often trading useful household goods that he brought from the city to these small villages), selling beads door-to-door, selling beads in the market, and sitting down to design special beads jewelry. All of this took place in Koforidua, which is the beads center of Ghana, with the largest bead market in the country. Weekly, people will come from all over Ghana and West Africa to display, trade, and sell their beads at this market.

 

Something else my father taught me was to always be kind and that "givers never lack", or as people say in America, "pay it forward." As a result of these two different lessons about beads, and life, it has been my mission for nearly ten years now to give a generous portion of my profits to education projects in Ghana. Not only can people enjoy my lovely beads designs, but countless children in Ghana will hopefully benefit from a better education, and perhaps also learn that "givers never lack."

Click on the image to watch a video about the Besease Village School Project.