We speak with sisters Julia and Michaela to find out more about their luxury tableware brand Mafeah African Tableware. The luxurious pieces are exquisitely designed and handcrafted in Ghana. The tableware Adinkra symbols add a touch of African culture infused with a modern twist. We find out about their aspirations, what it was like relocating from Germany to Ghana and how their parents support help guide them to success.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business Mafeah African Tableware?
My sister Julia and I have always been collecting mugs in different sizes and shapes since we were little. We love the feeling, and atmosphere nice tableware can bring to the table. Especially from our Polish side of the family, we are used to a beautiful table setting at family gatherings, but we always missed nice tableware with African pattern and symbols when we visited our family in Ghana. So we made it our mission to create some.
Why was it necessary to incorporate traditional Adinkra symbols into your designs?
The African continent has a lot of ancient cultural wisdom and beauty to offer. This is what we want to bring to the table. We believe drinking is not just essential but also a spiritual ritual. So we created six unique Adinkra mugs. Each mug has it’s own spiritual meaning and gift. Adinkra symbols are a great gift from our African ancestors. We want to share their guidance with everyone, so we all can profit from their ancient African magic.
Can you name three essential tools for success?
Resilience, motivation, endurance.
4.What makes your company unique? What is the meaning behind your company name?
We are the only factory that creates elegant tableware characterising the beauty of African pattern and the spiritual meaning of Adinkra symbols. Africa has many cultures to give and so much beauty to display, and this is what we want to bring to the people in new combinations and designs. It’s our way to shine a light on Africa in a different way and perspective for the world to see. And most importantly, we will be able to create tableware that matches the needs of African dishes and food portions. 😉
The name Mafeah is a variation of our last name Tomfeah.
What do you attribute to your success?
First of all, our fantastic family. Without our parents and family, none of this would have been possible. The unconditional love and support we receive from them are still mind blowing to us. Our parents trusted in us blindly and made an effort to understand and still learn even in their older age, to make our vision and dreams become theirs.
Also, we never talk too much or brag about our plans. We’d rather keep it a secret and work behind closed doors until there is something to talk about. This way, negative energy can not disturb us or get in our way.
At the beginning of every business journey, one needs a strong ego up to a certain extent, but to truly succeed, one has to let the Ego go rather sooner than later. Today Mafeah is not just my sister and me anymore. We have a small but most effective team around us that also see potentials in Mafeah, and we most welcome their ideas and visions. So we are continually growing and evolving.
Can you share a highlight of your career so far?
The biggest highlight so far is relocating our company and lives from Germany to Ghana and building the first factory for ceramic tableware in sub-Saharan Africa.
How would you like your company to help your community?
We want to spread authentic African cultures’ knowledge to not forget and add different African tribal cultures to the table.
Providing employment and supporting Ghana and its economy gives us the most joy. We can maybe motivate or inspire others from the diaspora with our tableware or the story of our factory being the first ceramic factory in sub-Saharan Africa.
If you could speak to your younger self, just starting, what advice would you give yourself?
PATIENCE. It would be best if you much had much more patience than you can imagine, but it is all worth it. Things that are meant to be will fall into place sooner than later, no need to rush destiny.
Where can you see your company in 5 years?
Being the leading tableware factory. Creating employment for hundreds of Africans and boost the African economy by bringing more productions from different industries to Africa.
Continuously cooperating and collaborating with different brands and companies to build a network around the globe.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs?
Keep your ideas a secret, especially in the early stages and only share it with those who you are sure can elevate you. Nothing is worse than somebody talking smack about your idea just because they don’t understand it. It’s not their vision to see and fulfil. Also, do something that does not only profit you but has benefits for others too. When it gets difficult, this can be the great motivation and strength to keep on going, to know that others can profit from your work, products or company.
Where can we find you online?
You can visit us on our website www.mafeah.com. Our Online Shop is currently on hold due to the relocation, but we will soon begin with the production and launch the first collection made in Ghana soon. You can follow us on Instagram @mafeah.tableware to get the first sneak peeks and stay updated.