Tamiah African Fabric Designs (aka Tamiah Designs) is owned by me, Kouassi Gaelle. Kouassi is my Ivorian name and Gaelle the French but the usual one. Kouassi used on its own is a male name in Ivory Coast. My Dad named me after his sister, Auntie Kouassi Angele who was in turn named after her Mum’s first husband: Kouassi Nicholas who died at a very young age. To make it a female name, you would add either a prefix: Chi-Kouassi or a suffix: Kouassi-Bah.
I am a French/ Ivorian African textile crafter. I was born in Paris, France from Ivorian parents and spent most of my childhood in Ivory Coast surrounded by cheerful and colourful West African textiles also known as Ankara or African wax prints. I was fascinated by them.
returning to France when I was 17 for post secondary studies, I really missed wearing my wax outfits and started collecting them whenever I was going back on holiday.
I decided to move to London in 2006 which was a lifelong dream, I connected back with my roots in London.
So, after unexpectedly losing my Dad to cancer, I realised that Life can pass you in the blink of an eye, I took the plunge and decided to start a business. At last, I had the unique opportunity to work with my beloved textiles and showcase/promote them in any possible way.
So, here I am with Tamiah Designs, named after my daughter. I found strength in both of them when I lost “Papa”. Both Tamiahs are my pride and energy source!
The business is built on a passion for fine textiles, and in particular for African textiles. Their vibrant and colourful attributes are the main source of inspiration.
We are designing and manufacturing handmade accessories for home, office and school using African textiles. For the time being, they are all individually handcrafted in our studio in Bensham, Gateshead, UK.
Also, each piece in the Tamiah Designs line is handcrafted in limited edition batches. This provides a much sought-after appeal to our pieces, while offering unique designs that are handcrafted to the highest standards specifically for our customers.