A 23-year-old alleged Avila Diana Chidume, who hails from Kent, is the accuracy abaft the coolest, best assorted and across-the-board greetings cards and ability aggregation out there. And you are activity to appetite them all for Christmas.
The website, Avila.Diana, which launched in 2018, is called afterwards its architect and sells a ambit of greeting cards, wrapping cardboard and ability but with a aberration on the accepted offerings.
The ambit varies from wrapping cardboard to Valentine’s Day cards depicting LGBTQ couples, acquaintance postcards featuring bodies with disabilities and brainy bloom cards to accelerate to accompany and ancestors who are accepting a adamantine time; Chidume has formed adamantine to try and be across-the-board in her business (you’ll additionally fun beautiful Happy Hanukkah and Happy Diwali greeting cards).
The original, aesthetic cards alpha at £3.25, or £30 for a backpack of ten, with rolls of wrapping cardboard for £5 and prints and mugs for £15-£16.
Expanding her business, Chidume has now launched a all-around marketplace, Kutenda, affairs the art of boyhood groups – from air-conditioned prints, bookmarks, sketchbooks, tea towels to greeting cards.
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Even added impressive, the administrator accustomed her two baby businesses during her time belief law at Southampton University. Since again she has accustomed absorption from the Pharrell Williams in his best contempo music video Entrepreneur (featuring Jay Z) which shines a ablaze on young, able Black self-starters.
Her amateur business, Avila.Diana was built-in out of a admiration to accomplish anybody feel apparent with artwork depicting bodies we don’t commonly see on greetings cards – from LGBTQ couples to bodies with vitiligo and women in hijabs.
“Greetings cards accommodate to old stereotypes, which are not cogitating of the association we alive in…it doesn’t accomplish faculty that you can’t go out and buy a greeting agenda with a Black family, a non-binary being or an Asian family…”
Zimbabwe-born Avila has consistently admired to acrylic and draw. However, she noticed a botheration with her own talents aboriginal on: “I was actual acceptable at cartoon Eurocentric features, but aback it came to cartoon an African being with Afro hair, I struggled. It seems asinine attractive aback at it now, it was as if that wasn’t adorable or adorable to draw. I now apperceive what a bad mindset that is to have, but it was afflicted by the ambiance about me and the media I was apparent to.”
Chidume angry her aesthetic absorption to the apple of greetings cards and ability while advancing her amount in law. Aback she realised that representation in the greetings agenda industry was hardly lacking, she absitively she had to do something.
She says: “Greetings cards accommodate to old stereotypes, which are not cogitating of the association we alive in. We alive in such a multicultural and assorted apple that it doesn’t accomplish faculty that you can’t go out and buy a greeting agenda with a Black family, a non-binary being or an Asian ancestors or aloof addition of a altered female on it.”
Chidume tells Stylist.co.uk about how she knew she had begin a niche: “I was [selling my cards] at a baby bazaar and this one little kid who came with their mum and got so aflame aback they saw the cards. They said to their mum ‘It looks like me!’”
“That has been built-in in my mind”, she continues. “That is what keeps me going. No amount how abundant media absorption I get, the affair that is best cardinal is the abutment to and from bodies in these communities. What the industry has consistently been cogent us to be the truth, isn’t. Bodies absolutely appetite to see bodies like them on the advanced of greetings cards.”
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To animate added creatives, Chidume launched Kutenda – a global, diverse, exchange which showcases and sells the assignment of added artistic talents. Launched during the 2020 pandemic, Kutenda is a much-needed belvedere area artists from can be apparent and advertise their art.
Chidume explains: “Kutenda translates to ‘thankful’ in Shona, which is a accepted accent announced in my home country, Zimbabwe. For me, Kutenda is the absolute name for this belvedere because it encapsulates the aberration I appetite to make; putting the claimed and allusive elements aback into greeting cards.”
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