“I have recently discovered @lovefrommwai and I’m absolutely in love with the brand and everything it stands for. I am so inspired by Mwai Yeboah and all she is doing for the events/wedding industry. She is a true trailblazer and it would be an incredible honour to be able to work with her in the future (I am speaking it into existence…insert smiley emoji).” Felicity Abekah of Felisiti Greis on the brand she would love to one day collaborate with
Founder and Creative Director Felicity Abekah’s penchant for bespoke couture, traditional techniques and impeccable fit and construction has resulted in a business that celebrates individuality. Born and raised in Ghana, Felisiti’s love for art bloomed from an early age and was finally fully realised when she relocated to the UK and launched her own fashion label. Creating luxury bespoke bridal and occasion wear in her Leeds-based atelier, Felisiti is not only dedicated to creating garments “for the modern bride and discerning women worldwide,” but is intent on providing her clients with “a truly personalised experience, one that is focused on you and your vision for your gown.”
I caught up with Felisiti herself to get the lowdown on her lockdown (3.0)…
#1 We’ve just gone into Lockdown 3. In three words, describe how you are currently feeling…
“Exhausted, hopeful, positive.”
#2 Talk to us about your usual daily routine for your business and how this will change in lockdown…
“My daily routine for my business was: going to my atelier in the morning. When I get to the atelier, the first thing I do is put some music on or listen to my favourite podcast. This sets the mood for my day at the atelier. I also sometimes work from home, as I have a work station set up there, so that way I get to spend more time with my family if need be. On a day-to-day basis, I browse through my emails and send replies accordingly. Once I have got some admin done, I would usually continue working on whatever piece I was working on the day before, from pattern cutting to draping, sewing, embroidery, designing…etc. I check in with clients, mostly virtually or over a phone call. I try my very best to take breaks in-between to eat, read and socialise with some of the other business owners on the premises. I also like checking my inventory and placing orders for anything that needs restocking. I like the state of the atelier to feel fresh and clean, so before I leave, I tidy up nicely and give my plants a bit of TLC.”
“Covid/lockdown has not changed my routine that much. Except for maybe dealing with more postponements than I’d hoped for…ha!! But I’m grateful to my clients for postponing and not completely cancelling on us. We were operating virtually with most of our clients before Covid, as we have some international and out of town clients. So if anything, I would say we continued with what we were doing already by still offering clients virtual appointments. Connecting with our client virtually helps them continue their dress journey with us. Having an existing work station at home helped a lot too, as I was able to continue creating new pieces for the business and our clients all through lockdown.”
#3 How will/does lockdown impact your business, and how can people (brides/the wedding industry) support you throughout?
“Lockdown has had both a positive and negative impact on my business, but there are lots more positives than negatives. So, I cannot complain. On a positive note, we had most of our brides postpone rather than cancelling completely, so that is great and I am so grateful for that.
The power of community has been immensely helpful during lockdown and I can personally attest to this. The support for each other has been incredible.
I would love for brides/the wedding industry to support us by holding on to that glimmer of hope that weddings will be making a comeback soon.
For brides who are looking to start or continue their bespoke dress journey, please do get in touch with us by requesting a design appointment via our website. We are still designing dreams in the midst of all the chaos and lockdown restrictions. We have connected with so many brides virtually, who have started their bespoke dress journey with us. The brides we are currently working with, say that the bespoke experience and seeing us bring their dream dress to life is the one thing they are holding on to and looking forward to. The process might be slightly different due to Covid, but we are still making it truly special and enjoyable for our brides.”
#4 Name three small businesses on Instagram you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “I love @elsielovephotography.
Plus, I would love to support these two brands that I recently discovered:
#5 Favourite lockdown snack? Has this evolved from lockdown 1?
“My lockdown snack from our very first lockdown was banana with peanut and this has evolved into mince pies (which I saw coming the moment Christmas started approaching). I could eat mince pies all year round and celebrate Christmas all year round too.”
#6 What’s your most recommended lockdown pick-me-up when you’re feeling down during lockdown?
“Dancing to Afro beats. I love dancing and it truly makes me feel great and gets my heart pumping. My family and I love to dance, so it has been great moving to the rhythms we love during lockdown, this has helped pick-me-up whenever I’m feeling down.”
What’s getting you through the days?
“Spending time in prayer and worship with God gets me through the day.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreamt continuously about) during lockdown?
“We have been finding everything we ever need so far.”
#8 Name a dinner/meal or beverage choice you feel might bring someone joy to their lockdown life…
“I tried a Porn Star Martini sometime last year before the first lockdown and absolutely loved it.”
#9 Talk us through what’s new at your brand…
“We launched a four piece bridal collection in August called The Adiepena Bridal Collection. This was something I had started working on in the beginning of 2020, but then Covid-19 hit. However, I didn’t let that stop me. I continued working and beautifully handcrafted each bridal gown from my home studio and had them all ready by the time UK’s first lockdown was lifted. There’s so many exciting things I’m working on for my brand and it brings so much joy to my heart. I’m currently also working on our next collection and its definitely going to be an impactful one. I cannot wait to share all the behind the scenes with everyone.”
#10 What’s your lockdown outfit most days? Have you, say, developed an unhealthy attachment to the elasticated waists of your leggings like myself?
“Hahaa!! Absolutely! I have always loved wearing comfy clothing when I’m at home, but I have definitely developed an unhealthy attachment during lockdown. You will find me in leggings and a blouse with my long and comfy morning gown over it all day long. I know it does not sound ‘sexy’ at all haha!”
#11 What series have you now completed on Netflix/Amazon Prime etc.? Any recommendations?
“Gosh! What season haven’t I watched? At this point I have completely run out of things to watch. But there are some great ones which I keep going back to watch again and again – Star Trek Discovery, Tall Girl, The Originals, Shera (I love a good anime), Any Dave Chapelle comedy, Next in Fashion, Instant Hotel, Raising Dion, Chief Daddy, Dynasty.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“Three close friends of mine; Sharon, Angela and Ama.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated during lockdown?
“During the first lockdown when most things were running out in the supermarket/shelves not being restocked soon enough, we decided we were not going to stockpile, because we believed there will be enough food for everyone. We went to our local shops/supermarkets to buy some milk. There were no milks available, so we tried our luck at one other shop. When we got there, they were also completely out of stock.
A lady who had just bought the last two cans of milk powder, heard us talking to the shop keeper about how we have been going from one shop to the other with no luck. She immediately handed us the two massive cans of milk powder she had just bought and said to us, we have children, so we need it more than she does. I almost cried, in response to her kindness. At a time when people were stockpiling and fighting over food, here is a complete stranger giving us the last two cans of milk powder she had just bought. That milk powder she very kindly gave us, lasted months and we had no need of worrying about milk running out of stock in the shops for the next couple of months. So grateful to her for her kindness.”
#14 For a little Instagram-escapism and positivity, what account would you recommend?
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “My life/health.”
No.2 “My family/friends.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted again?
“Busaba Eathai (Shoreditch).”
#17 What would be your five film recommendations to watch during lockdown…
“I’d highly recommend: Greenleaf, Emily in Paris, Snowpiecer, Journey of an African Colony, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. BONUS (Night School: because everyone needs a little comedy in their life).”
#18 What book would be top of your lockdown book list?
No.4 “#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso.”
#19 Name an odd purchase you’ve made during lockdown…
“I haven’t made any odd purchases, at least not yet. We are, however, still in lockdown technically, so I won’t be surprised if I make any.”
#20 The best gift you received this festive period?
“Spending Christmas with my little family, with all of us in good health has to be the best gift. Life in itself is a gift and is so precious.”
#21 Name a brand you would love to collaborate with…
“I have recently discovered @lovefrommwai and I’m absolutely in love with the brand and everything it stands for. I am so inspired by Mwai Yeboah and all she is doing for the events/wedding industry. She is a true trailblazer and it would be an incredible honour to be able to work with her in the future (I am speaking it into existence…insert smiley emoji). I love the way she is on a mission to advance the Zambian events industry and I wish her nothing but the very best in her new venture. Zambia is a beautiful country and so special to me, because my best friend is from Zambia, so any project which looks to its advancement, brings joy my heart.”
#22 What’s your advice to lockdown brides?
“Hold on tight to hope. There is a massive bright light at the end of the tunnel. Make decisions that are best for you and your significant other. Whatever choice you make regarding your wedding, stand by it and don’t be swayed by all the noise around you at the moment. If you prefer a micro-wedding, go ahead and do it in style and show off your beautiful individuality. If you prefer to wait for some certainty before you start planning again, that is absolutely fine as well or maybe you want to postpone or cancel your wedding – that is entirely your choice. Whatever it is your heart and spirit are telling you to do, listen to it and do what brings you joy.
Not every bride wants a micro-wedding, elopement or even a big traditional wedding and that is the beauty of it. Every single bride out there is different and that is why I will always choose and celebrate unique individuality over what the masses are saying. So, listen to your heart and be 100% YOU!
As a bridal wear designer part of this beautiful industry, I want you to know I am here to help in any way I possibly can to ensure you have your dream wedding dress exactly as you envisioned. So, whenever you feel ready to start or continue your bespoke wedding dress journey, please do get in touch, I am here for you.”
#23 Your favourite beverage?
“I will choose water over anything any day. However, I am a big fan of herbal teas and mocktails and I don’t drink coffee at all.”
#24 Name your favourite magazine to curl up with.
“Vogue and Women’s health UK.”
Want to read more WFH Diary entries from your favourite bridal brands, boutiques and designers? Head on over to the Bridal Editor WFH Diary page.