The idea for Jamela A. Acheampong’s U.K.-based nude shoewear brand Kahmune was birthed out of her own futile search to find clothing and shoes to match her darker skin tone. She quickly discovered that in the marketplace the term “nude” only referred to tan and beige shades. Determined to accomplish her goal, she purchased a pair of white pumps and mixed colors together until she achieved the perfect brown to match the color of her skin.
In 2016, Acheampong launched Kahmune (kah-MÜN’) with all women in mind, offering styles in 10 colors ranging from the lightest of skin tones to the darkest brown. Today her shoes are widely popular and retail starting at $300.
When did you become interested in designing?
I’ve always had a passion for fashion. I remember designing my high school prom dress when I was 7. In college, I played around with a few business ideas that were all a creative outlet. It wasn’t until I came up with the idea for Kahmune a few years ago that I realized a creative profession was the right way forward for me as my background is in finance and accounting.
What made you decide to pursue your dream of designing?
I had just finished my master’s degree in finance and accounting, and I was working in fintech sales. I realized I wasn’t happy. I knew I needed to do something more creative that wouldn’t leave me stuck to a desk Monday through Friday.
Freshman mistakes are common when you are learning. What were two you made in your first collection?
1. Biting off more than I could chew. I think I was a bit overambitious when it came to my first collection. I released more styles than I could manage to keep up inventory with. It made my mission a bit confusing for the consumer.
2. Designing for other people rather than producing my own designs. I was trying to please everyone but myself. I’ve learned that not everyone will like my styles, but in order to keep myself happy and stay authentic, I need to enjoy my designs.
Click continue to read more.