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Queen Sistas share an Afrocentric appeal

Published:Monday | February 4, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Cousley is in love with her Afrocentric cushions and believes you'll be too.
These cushions represents one use of the African telltale fabrics.
Here’s an array of the different kinds of Afrocentric textiles, which Queen Sistas African Fabric Emporium and Thriftology offers.
From the Ankara wax print, Batik, DaViva to the African French, you'll be amazed by the beauty of all.
Melodean Livingston-Cousley partnered with her sisters to form the textile company because of a burning desire for an after work leisure activity.

The start of every design is fabric. Normally, when you hear fashion, instantly you’ll think designer. But what about the supplier of textiles? Here’s one who is offering an Afrocentric appeal in an attempt to change the ‘flavours’ in the industry.

It’s called Queen Sistas African Fabric Emporium and Thriftology. The unit is owned by three siblings who have come to wholly appreciate the continent’s rich culture. Now, Ealane Livingston-Smith, Lorna Livingston-OKorowo, and Melodean Livingston-Cousley want to share the affection with others and have chosen genuine fabric as their weapon.

The trio formed the enterprise out of a desire to create an after-work leisure activity. With one sister married to a Nigerian, it was an easy feat to acquire authentic telltale fabrics of the black kingdom. So, they excitedly leaped into the business venture, almost a year ago. Later, they named the project based on a concept they all share of what a queen represents.

“We chose Queen Sistas because we believe it describes a woman who exemplifies elegance, kindness, composure, and courage, and that’s what these fabrics help women to exude,” Livingston-Cousley explained to Flair recently.

Queen Sistas African Fabric Emporium and Thriftology offer a wide variety for fashionistas to choose from.Each piece of the gorgeous material is sourced from various tribes across the Africa, some of which are woven by hand. Ashanti, Igbo, Yoruba and Ewe are just a few.


“We have the real 100 per cent cotton kente print in contrast to what is being sold in some stores. Ankara a wax print, Batik, DaViva and African French lace are others and there several more that appeal to the different tastes and preferences that you might have,” she explained.


Unique Uses


Cousley emphasised that there are many creative uses for the fabrics. Replacing the traditional white bridal dress with one that is made from a ravishing African fabric is one of her mandates. Already the three have partnered with a designer to create flawless wedding gowns for those who dare to be different.


“I don’t know why persons think that when you’re getting married the dress has to be white. I think we need to move away from that. You don’t have to go fully African. You can just put a little touch of colour and I will help you with the design as well. So, if you don’t know what you want you don’t have to worry,” Cousley said


Cushions is another specialty of the entity. Of course, each piece reflects remnants of Africa.

But headwraps, clutch purses, tote bags, shoes and baby carriers are some of the ideas, which the textile hub is promoting for the use of the fabric.


Cousley said “We are sisters of faith so we know it can be done. Plus we ensure that our goods are affordable because the African theme is another option and we want people to become aware of it. We want you to be creative and show your own style.”