“Serwaa steht Dir gut”!
“Serwaa looks good on you!“
Regina Dwomoh was born in Kumasi, Ghana but grew up in the German city Mönchengladbach. In 2002 she decided to move to Berlin to go to acting school. Yet she always felt attached to her native soil and the cultural diversity of her home country. The colorful fabrics that represent Ghana hold a special meaning to her, so she decided to create Serwaa – a fashion label focusing on bed linen, which is hand-crafted from high quality African materials. Stefanie Tendler met up with Regina to find out what inspired her to found Serwaa.
S2S: How would you describe Serwaa?
RD: You’re not going to look like a wallflower with Serwaa [Regina flashes a big smile]. Serwaa is cheeky, proud and self confident. For me it is the feminine gateway of the continents, wanting to cross territorial borders.
S2S: Where does the production take place?
RD: I deliberately chose Ghana as the production site where I work with a small team, using local materials to create and design an authentic product. Furthermore, it is my desire to create a salaried apprenticeship for tailors, which currently does not exist in Ghana, as the people have to pay for their education. After graduation from University [Regina studies economics], I want to move to Ghana to get to know all aspects of my country of birth.
S2S: What does Serwaa mean to you personally?
RD: Africa is still looked upon as an exotic continent, whose significant value is too one-dimensional. I want to create a broader understanding for the diverse cultural nuances. Serwaa also stands for my personal self-fulfillment. Desires, hope and curiosity combined with passion for my home and culture.
S2S: Is there something that you would like to share with others that could help them developing their own ideas into projects?
RD: An idea can turn into ones’ lifeblood. The recipe rarely appears from nowhere. You need to be patient and follow your idea with your heart and ambition.
S2S: When did you reach the key moment that made you start Serwaa?
RD: Life can sometimes run you over like a truck, only that it doesn’t kill you! About three years ago I had this experience. [Regina laughs] Of course I don’t mean this literally. I wanted to be independent, create something that is fun, creative and diverse. Also my main focus is on the development of a fair establishment.
S2S: Do you have a long term, sustainable goal that you want to achieve with Serwaa?
RD: [Regina frowns] Sustainable? This popular word that seems to be used for every current development is always very irritating to me. I want to grow with Serwaa and give something back to the society of Ghana. That’s why I want to create a salaried apprenticeship for tailors. I also find it disturbing that African fabric producers are losing their prestige. Globalization has destroyed a lot in Ghana. Especially the valuation for the culture has been lost.
S2S: Why did you choose to create bed linen instead of clothing?
RD: Everyone seems to create clothes! Bed linen awakes your bedroom to life and abandons the ” all fur coat and no knickers” lifestyle – it is sleeping in style.
S2S: How important is bedding for you?
RD: About 1/3 of my lifetime I spend in bed, therefore I think this time should be spent with joy and the bed should be a place where you feel comfortable and content.
S2S: Your slogan is “Serwaa looks good on you.“ What do you like to convey with that statement?
RD: For me the combination with colors is the most essential part. With Serwaa the colorful elegance does not mean that you need to look like a bird of paradise, unless you’d like to. Serwaa is classy, proud and is fun.
S2S: How do you choose the fabrics for your bed linen that you use in your collection?
RD: The stories of the fabrics as well as the patterns and coloring are significant for me.
S2S: What kind of stories do some fabrics tell?
RD: One of my favorite materials is called “Family member”: you can see small stones printed onto it. These stones stand for the ones you pick up from the streets and carry into your home. They are part of daily life and are considered “part of the family.”
S2S: What do you want to tell people that come in contact with Serwaa for the first time?
RD: Rising in a relaxed and colorful way is like having a good breakfast! It’s irreplaceable!