2020 Review: What a Crazy Year for Afrotouch Design
Posted on 22 December 2020
What a strange year it has been for all of us. Having spent large amounts of the year in lockdown, missing our family and friends, I think most of us can’t wait to start afresh with the hope that a new year brings. However, there have been some real highlights amongst the gloom for Afrotouch Design, so I wanted to share our 2020 review with you and end the year on a positive note.
Making History With Waterstones
The biggest event for Afrotouch Design this year was our partnership with Waterstones. We became the first female-led, black-owned publisher to be stocked at a major bookseller and I couldn’t be more proud. Our cards went onto the firm’s website and into 20 of its biggest stores in London and across the country, including the flagship Piccadilly outlet.
Even More Collaborations
In addition to Waterstones, 2020 was definitely a year of collaborations for Afrotouch Design. I worked with the brilliant Janet’s List, a company that connects consumers to women of colour in business. You can find a host of products on that website from Afrotouch Design and I am extremely proud to be amongst so many other brands fronted by amazing women of colour.
I have also contributed to the Black Book Box, which is such a great concept. It is a monthly subscription box which includes a book by a black author as well as a selection of gifts from black-owned businesses too. Every month it comes through your door, introducing you to great new brands and writers. The November box featured my A5 to-do list templates.
Another great company I have worked with this year is Afrocenchix. I love this firm and their natural and organic haircare products, and was delighted to collaborate with them in 2020.
Special Guest Appearances
It has been a strange year for events, but I have enjoyed speaking at conferences about big issues in the retail world. The Autumn Fair @ Home took place in September and I was part of a panel discussing how to engage customers who want to shop locally and ethically. I was also part of the Create Make Earn summit, where I discussed the story behind Afrotouch Design, how I won the partnership with Waterstones and how I juggle family, work and my business amongst other topics.
One of the big highlights was being invited onto BBC London to discuss the business with Gaby Roslin. In addition, I took part in an online Channel 4 panel discussion during 2020.
I have also been so happy this year to talk to all manner of publications around the world about what I do. In addition, it is thrilling to see some heavyweight websites showcasing my products in their gift guides. From the Productivity Pack that I developed exclusively for The Drop by the Stylist to the £8 Afroswirl notebook that the Financial Times presented alongside a £500 paperweight and €2,460 desk in their article about the best ways to kit out your home office.
The Waterstones story featured in The Voice, House Beautiful wrote about us and I appeared in Forbes, talking about how to pivot your business when times get tough. I was also featured in The Pharmaceutical Journal, discussing pharmacists’ side hustles!
All this publicity is so welcome, as it raises awareness of the brand and the fact that there is a solution for anyone looking for culturally representative greeting cards.
Looking Forwards to 2021
Well, that’s my 2020 review, what stood out as a highlight in your life? I think we are all hoping for a very different year in 2021. I do have some big news about a major collaboration to come early in the new year, but you are going to have to wait for more on that!
If you are determined to get organised, whether you are back in the real office or still working from home, we have a range of African-inspired notebooks and planners to brighten up your desk and provide a place to plot what will hopefully be a successful year!