Yaws Fashion Corner: The story of Yaws Creations

Yaws brand is a Mainstay brand in The Gambia that is aspiring to become a cutting edge in Fashion inspiring lifestyles, moving with and setting trends as well as décor and events.

My main focus is to grow the Gambian fashion industry, bring out the African vibration in all aspects I pursue. Yaws has a distinct Afrocentric expression, with an eccentric twist. As an artist, I focus on projects in the arts and culture through fashion, interiors & events. Inspired by a depth of African heritage & influenced by nature & everyday way of life.

Yawa Conateh is the inspiration behind the name YAWS CREATIONS. My name was cut for YAWS during school days by my close friends and so when I was starting my brand, I thought it would be fun and interesting to call it my name, so I flipped the Conateh to Creations to give my brand a name and surname knowing that I was a Creator/Trendsetter which I realized during my college days. I was making things, styling and dressing differently since I was a Lilliput (smiles).

The Yaws brand was launched in 2007 with items for men and women, interior decor & furnishing using African prints & materials made locally collaborating with artisans from the onset of its inception.

My breakthrough came when I had the opportunity to do design for a brand-new boutique hotel in Sukuta where the whole project would consist of covering 22 rooms if am not mistaken. This was back in 2008 when the AU conference was hosted here. The hotel was launched by the Vice President of The Gambia and a few ministers and dignitaries because the owner of the hotel was well known Bai Matarr Drammeh. There was huggggeee media coverage and boom. The event was everywhere in the news. From there I started having bigger projects. I got an invitation to be one of the team members of the production of the first Miss July 22nd scholarship pageant where I was responsible for the design and stage setup. I have done a few other projects like interior designing for private residences, restaurants and stage setups.

The YawsFashion seem to be more popular than the Interior décor and Events. Probably that’s due to the fashion being more publicized. I do a lot of collaborations with artisans and I find this very empowering for both sides. It brings out the true beauty and authenticity of the Yaws DNA. I truly believe in our skill and talent and how they all come out to be so meaningful to the consumers that keep us innovating and moving forward making us stay true to our foundation; so rooted to where we belong.

It was quite challenging to start my fashion brand because I was still young when I was coming back home with a fashion and décor Diploma. I wanted to use my little knowledge I learnt overseas and turn it into a Fashion and decorator entrepreneurship which I have now. But in the beginning, I was just exploring the Artist in me!

Yaws Creations really started out of frustration if I may say because the British wouldn’t give me Visa to return and do my B.A. then (this was my fault because I overstayed for 3 months or so) and probably my Masters too. At that time I already had my acceptance to go and do my B.A. at the University of Nottingham but seeing myself now come this far with all the achievements along the way, I am grateful for the whole journey. I see the rejection of Visa as a blessing in disguise knowing that the Creator himself does things in mysterious wayssss.

Being a PIONEER in the new fashion industry, my main goal, when I was starting, was to put the Gambia on the fashion world map and so this dream was a weird one too many because they think It’s impossible?!

Anyway, starting my business was quite challenging as already stated above. It came with tying my waist tight and going the extra mile blindfolded and defiantly taking a “no, it’s impossible” as a springboard because our culture and way of doing things don’t really support the girl child, especially when it comes to taking the lead roles. Thanks to the support they are now giving to women in all sectors and industries. On that note kindly join me in wishing WOMEN all over the globe a Lovely Happy Women’s Day.

I have a wide clientele base that cuts across the African continent and beyond among which are the Ordinary people, Celebrities, Artists, Actors, Ambassadors and CEOs.

My products are really for anyone that can afford them, I accept fabrics from clients. This is based on accord between both of us as long as the terms and conditions stated are plainly followed. The prices of services depend on the customer’s choice of quality. However, I offer one of the top-notch qualities to my customers…

Gambia’s finest talents, creating and pioneering fashion through artistic expression.

Yaws is organically growing throughout the African continent as well as moving towards Global expansion. I always plan to take my brand’s exceptional service to a wider audience and now we have it. At yawscreations.shop you can find everything we do and even some great quality Gambian brands doing different things.

I hope you enjoy the new shopping experience and even if you don’t buy anything today, please contact us to register and order so we can keep you posted.

I am grateful for the whole journey and am looking forward to new beginnings with this new wave of fashion story we are unfolding as I write this to you. More of this story will come out in my next Fashion Corner issue.

2020/21 has been a magical year where few things we have yearned for are manifesting in terms of education and setting up better educational systems and programs and training for us in the fashion business.

Thank you for being here and reading.

Peace Love and Light

About Author

YAwa Conateh

Fashion Designer and founder of Yawscreations
Born out of frustration to go and do her B.A. and Masters In fashion as she has a Diploma in Fashion and decor from Leeds College of Art and Design. So after she realized she wasn’t going back to England again, she started sketching and wearing her designs then family and friends and even strangers would compliment her and so that’s how it all started back in 2007.
Yes, 13 years ago!
Yawscreations is a now multifaceted business doing Fashion for men and women. Events promoting the Gambian art and culture and also coordinating private events for clients. They also do interior decorations and stage setups. Check social media using @Yawscreations

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