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Tanya Cameron is a local Jamaican Designer who transformed
the Fashion and Creative Industries in Jamaica by cleverly carving out a niche
that she holds dear to her heart – African apparel that features unique and
intrinsic designs!

Shades of Africa is a retail outlet and Manufacturer of Elegant and sophisticated the fashion where Tanya plays the dual role of CEO and Managing and whenever
the need arises, other multiple roles.  The boutique first opened its doors on June 9,
2003 at 38a Trafalgar Road in Kingston and offers a wide range of services
including: in Custom design,
alterations and fashion consulting for male, female and children and décor for
events. The brand’s mantra is “A Tradition of Elegance and Beauty” was borne
out of Tanya’s displeasure of how the African influence component was missing
from the Jamaican Heritage and the way local designs and clothing seemed to
lack vibrancy and diversity in fabric choices inherent to African Culture.

She believed
the designs had somehow become mundane and lost their true meaning as they
would only be re-designed and restyled for the next generations year by year.
Tanya took a leap of faith using her savings to embark on the journey of her
life and visited Africa! She was able to connect with her African roots and
visited countries on the African continent including Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal,
Mali and several others. Everything she learned in these countries from sewing
and production techniques to different fabric choices and learning the culture
intimately and the powerful stories of the people which she took back to
Jamaica and applied to Shades of Africa.

What motivated you to
start Shades of Africa?

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Apart from creating beautiful designs my number one reason for
starting this company (Shades of Africa Ltd) is to create employment for people
and help in nation building.
Secondly, I wanted to sensitize the local and international
markets on the many uses of tribal prints to create elegant and timeless
African-inspired fashions.
Thirdly, I wanted the freedom to create my own wealth and in
return afford me the opportunity to fulfill my lifetime goal.

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What is your
philosophy for life and what motivates you on a daily basis?

If at
first, you do not succeed, try and try again.  2.  The smile on my
son’s face in the morning.
Describe your creative

My creativity depends on the moment,
time, and events surrounding me at that given time.

Do you remember the 1st time
“Shades of Africa” got recognition from the Media? Tell us about that? 

Yes, it was Heineken Start time at Mas
Camp in 2004 when Michael Barnette asked Shades of Africa to showcase our
fabulous designs. It was awesome.  Some of our designs were featured in
the Jamaica Gleaner. 

Of all the various
facets of Fashion – why did African Influence Designs stand out the most to

African designs and fabrics are
beautiful, the energy, the vibrancy of the colors, the rich heritage, the
feeling you get while working with fabrics, it is just magnificent.  You
come alive just working with them. 

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What is one important
lesson you’ve learned since being a Designer? 

Not everyone is your client. 

What can we expect
from Shades of Africa for spring 2019 and beyond? 
In 2019-2020, we are working on some
fabulous, cool and comfortable fashions, fused with African print colors as
well as the architectural emphasis with a modern twist. Beyond: to
increase Shades of Africa brand awareness, increase revenues and profits, a
powerful E-commerce website, Invest in additional sewing equipment, technology
and employ additional team members.    
Do you think Jamaica
is more accepting of creative careers like Fashion?

Yes, indeed.

Any words of advice
for upcoming Designers looking to start a Business in Fashion? 

Try and get the experience first
before launching your fashion business, work within small companies for at
least 3 years, starting at entry level and work your way up, learn everything,
keep close to your managers and learn from him or her. When you’re ready to
start your small business, find a mentor, get help from Jamaica Business Development
Corporation (JBDC), pursue courses on how to start a small business and
succeed. Stay away from bank loans and do more bootstrapping. Running a
business is hard work, know your numbers and invest wisely. Stay focus and
determined to succeed and build your brand on quality and

Shades of Africa has been in business
for almost 15 years and pride ourselves on the delivery of high-quality
service, products, and efficiency.  We
provide excellent customer care unmatched by any other in our industry. Our
clientele spans across Jamaica as well as overseas, particularly the United
States. They work closely with the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC)
competition, sponsoring its contestants by providing fashion consultation and
outfitting them with our original custom made designs. We also participate in
several cultural shows such as Jamaica 50 celebrations, African Expos and
Fairs, Style Week Jamaica and have been Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica
Universe wardrobe designer since 2007. We have also been featured in
international magazines such as the Aspire, Vogue, and others.

This brand also prides itself as being a family oriented company
in that our employees become part of a family when they work with us and
without them as the backbone of the business; we would not be able to reach
where we are today.  Our employees are
our greatest asset.

Social Media
Instagram: @shades of Africa | Facebook: shadesofafrica
Visit her the newly launched E-commerce site

Holborn Road, Kingston 10. Jamaica W. I.
876-  797-7591, 633-1243

Haute People was launched in September 2011 as a Fashion Blog and has grown into a Lifestyle Blog. The Term “Haute” can be defined as “Fashionably Elegant” or of High Quality. This blog looks at topics from Beauty, Fashion, Entertainment, Hair Trends, Pop Culture as well as exciting new features every month. A favorite among our readers is “Behind The Seams” where influential people from the Creative Industries are featured. . Haute People are Smart, Bold, Creative and Individualistic. If you have an innate passion for Lifestyle, Fashion and all things current, you are HAUTE.

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