African-inspired stationery brand Gazelle London who launched in Sept 2016 has secured global retailer ASOS as it’s first major stockist.
Launching in January 2018, the exclusive collection will include journals, notebooks, and stationery bound in vibrant African fabrics and packaged with touching notes and intermittent quotes. Africa’s diversity, vibrancy, and beauty, is reflected in every product; from the Gratitude Collection to the Wanderlust journal, each one is made with a specific purpose in mind.
After completing her MA in Publishing at University College London, the brand’s founder Kemi Ogunsanwo worked in media and marketing for three and a half years until a sudden health scare halted a trip to Hong Kong.
“I spent a considerable of time staring at hospital walls and speaking to doctors. It was a draining couple of years, but it led to a different perspective on life,” she said. “I decided to be more fearless than I had ever been before. I left a great job to get better, and to focus on manifesting my own dreams instead of someone else’s.”
Kemi decided to turn a lifelong hobby into a career, developing the unique concept into a business.
“My passion for journals began at the age of seven after I discovered my older sister’s faux leather journal. The journal was void of any of the juicy tidbits I had hoped to find, but it became my prize possession.
“A place to gain clarity in times of confusion, to lament my frustrations and store my hopes for the future. I’ve been journaling ever since.”
Ogunsanwo has marked every milestone with gratitude and is eager to keep ‘giving back’. She is a purposeful ambassador for the diverse beauty of Africa and a regular donor to charitable causes that support disadvantaged girls on the continent.
“The choice to give a percentage of Gazelle London’s profits to the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) was driven by an experience I had in 2005 whilst traveling in Lagos, Nigeria.
“A little girl, no more than five-years-old, approached our slowly moving car as we crawled in traffic on a busy motorway. She didn’t beg for money, she simply smiled. But as she looked longing into the car, at the space between myself and sister, my heart broke.
The memory has stayed with me for the last 12 years. My hope is that Gazelle London will be able to do much more over time
in order to help little girls in poverty become educated women in business.”
The Gazelle London collection ranges from £12 to £14 and will be available on ASOS from mid-January 2018.
Photos by: Gazzelle London