Ep 3: Self-belief, taking a leap of faith and moving continents to start an artisan-led business with Edith Tialeu

In this episode I chat with Edith Tialeu, founder of Frida 54. Edith is on a mission to share the rich craft heritage of her home country, Cameroon and the wider continent with the world through her brand Frida 54, which produces collections of woven textiles and lifestyle accessories such as ceramics handcrafted in collaboration with the local artisans she seeks out, many of whom are women. Through her brand Edith seeks to define a new African aesthetic, one which exists between tradition and contemporary style, and upholds creativity, human input and know-how.

Setting up a business and following her dream was not easy for Edith, as she faced opposition from family who didn’t understand what she was trying to do and wanted her to get a ‘proper’ job. But Edith stands firm in her convictions and despite the challenges she faces continues to push forward and get the creativity of country in front of new audiences.

We talk about:

  • Moving from Paris to her home country of Cameroon to start her design brand, and how she prepared for the transition
  • Overcoming resistance from family who wanted her to do something else
  • How she went about identifying and finding the different kinds of artisanal talent in Cameroon
  • The significance and meaning behind the name Frida, and the connection to her African heritage
  • How she works with artisans, the relationships she has created and why it was important to learn hand on how they work to help her better understand the types of products that could be created
  • Why preserving local artisanal skills is important, and the importance of taking on young interns to help pass on the skills
  • The costs and challenges of logistics, getting stock and products into the hands of her customers
  • Taking part in trade shows and learning from the experiences to make her business better
  • What being in business has taught her about herself

“I believe in my artisans, I believe in what I am doing and all of that mixed together gives me support.’ – Edith Tialeu

Links and resources mentioned in this episode

Le Grand Palaishttps://www.grandpalais.fr/en/programmation

Where you can go to find out more about Edith and Frida 54


Instagram: @frida_54

You can listen to the podcast on iTunes (iOS) and Stitcher (Android)

And before you go I have a favour to ask, if you could you take a few minutes to do the three R’s: that is rate it, review it, and recommend it to anyone you feel would benefit. It will really make a difference and I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again.


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