Blog with Sidebar - Zashadu
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Elongated Box Clutch 

I have always loved box bags; As a designer I love playing with the constraints of space and form, of rigidity and fluidity; by my mid twenties I had amassed a collection of over 200 bags, with around 50 box bags; all of them beautiful looking, but each one spatially inept.

The idea of the Box Clutch Elongated came to me out of the blue; I recently attended a gorgeously lavish event with great company, excellent food and drink, dressed up to the nines with a beautiful metallic Ultraviolet Box Clutch Mini.

As the evening wore on, and I became merrier, at one point I lazily reached across the table to retrieve my abandoned phone from friends now on the dance floor who had been swooning over my son’s cuteness moments before. I couldn’t reach, so I grabbed my clutch and tried to use it to draw the phone nearer; still no luck. Mildly irritated I was forced to get up out of my seat to retrieve my phone. Going home later that night, definitely giddy at this point,I begun to think about the fact that my bag was unable to assist me. “I need a bag that is an extension of my arm!” I proclaimed haughtily and with new found enlightenment.

The first bag we produced was so close yet so far, large and bulky, the artisans at the workshop enjoyed laughing at my expense “Madam done come again o!” “Ma, this one na coffin abi wetin?’ Nevertheless I stuck to my guns and worked at it, and after a few tweaks, The Box Clutch Elongated was born; elegant and perfectly proportioned, and as I tried it on for size and eyed the artisans one by one, I couldn’t help but notice that it was perfectly suited for knocking the heads of those who had mocked me earlier.

I’m proud to share the newest, most elegant addition to our Clutches with you, available in store and online next week!

 

Love Zainab x

How to…take care of your patent leather bag.

Recently, a long time collector called and asked if there was anything we could do to spruce up her beloved crocodile skin TKO Classic she acquired 5 years ago. After she opted in to our ‘Revive and Restore’ service, she was absolutely delighted, and it got us thinking, whilst we might be experts in the field of all things leather, not everyone is! Hence our “How to”series was born. This week, we’re sharing tips on How to take care of your Patent Leather bags.

1.Storage: Keep in dust bag.

Though this might seem straight forward, patent leather is notorious for transferring onto other items, keep your patent bags stored stuffed, away from moisture and other greasy products.

2.Protect from surface dust: Dust after every use.

Patent leather is leather (usually calf or kid leather) that has been coated in a high gloss finish. Because of this, it makes it more resilient to scuffs and scratches, though it also attracts dust and other particles, which dull its shine over time. Dust your bag with a soft cloth before storing it away.

3.Temperature control: Store in a cool, dry place

Due to the nature of the leather, keeping patent bags in warm, humid spaces could shorten the lifespan of your piece and increase the chances of colour migration. A spell out in the sun periodically also does wonders for your bag. Hold on to the silica gel sachet and leave in your bag always.

4.Clean with knowledge: Using the right cleaning products.

This is a vital tip; using the wrong type of cleaning product could really do more harm than good, so be sure to stay clear of leather creams, food and other grease based products. Try using a soft, damp cloth to clean basic marks or a good quality window cleaner for harder to shift blemishes. Spray a small amount onto a soft cloth, wipe in circular motions, and clean with a dry cloth. You can thank us later!

P.S. –Remember to take advantage of our Revive and Restore service, offered complimentary 20th March till 20th April!

Revive and Restore.

From the 20th March till 20th April, we are pleased to offer collectors complimentary restoration on your Zashadu pieces. Think of it as a mini spa for your bag! So why not drop it off in store and let us show it some love? Give us a call to find out more!

Telephone – +2348099912941

Address – 60 Norman Williams street, Ikoyi, Lagos.

How to travel with an older baby (No, not your spouse)

If you’ve not been around babies full time, social media will have you believing that everything about being with them is cuteness, giggles and snapchat-filter-induced glowing. You may also be led to believe that travelling with a baby is a doddle; biggest mistake of your life. I too am guilty of the social media deceit; my recent Instagram pictures of my Cape Town holiday failed to omit the real reasons behind my wide grins; one of Zie’s nanny , (Mrs Oni, a wiry old, warm and wise woman, with tales from the war, and other generally alarming stories), whom Ziemife loves and frankly I cannot do without, traveled with us.

Admittedly I tried it once and I came back frazzled, haggard and in need of an actual holiday. It was to London, I took him to see my parents when he was 10 months, for 10 days and the ‘fun’ started almost immediately. On the plane, all Zie wanted to do was walk around, meeting ALL the passengers, or else he would fling his arms up, throw his head back and emit a wail so loud and decisive, you could hear it all the way from the moon. I had no choice but to walk with him and observe as he introduced himself to everyone. One nice air hostess saw my situation  and kindly offered me several strong beverages; I promptly broke my rule of not drinking whilst in the air and I discovered that dry, dehydrated, ashy looking skin was a small price to pay for some semblance of sanity.

The trials continued, upon arriving in London, Zie refused to be carried by anyone but me; not my mum, my dad, no one. So, he became literally glued to my hips; and he started walking at 9 months, so I couldn’t leave him alone for even a minute. If I managed to take a shower by 2pm, it was a good day. My sister came to the rescue again by taking him overnight, “But Hafsa, he doesn’t go with anyone, not even mum” I bemoaned, “Forget that one, he will follow me by force” she retorted. And follow her he did, when he saw his cousins and their cute barking puppy, he stood enthralled, giggling wildly, without even a backwards glance back at me; I escaped and walked 40 minutes on the country lane, back home, joyously alone.

On our way to see Aunty Oreke in Camden Town

As I walked back I contemplated what I was finding so testing about being his only carer for 10 days and nights, and it was simply the fact that his schedule wholly dictated my own, coupled with the very shallow sleep I was now experiencing as he was back to sharing a bed with me, any slight turn or whimper would wake me up.

It wasn’t all drudgery though, I enjoyed being alone with him and gleaning more insights into his dynamic personality, and we made a good team; a few firm words from me held a lot of power which I didn’t fail to use; in turn he would reward me with sloppy kisses, giggle fits and that priceless look of adoration. I vowed to do a solo trip with him at least once a year.

My tips for travelling with a 10 month old or older baby

  1. Use a rucksack as a baby bag, and a slim cross body pouch for your passports and money. Forget about a handbag my sister; unnecessary extra weight.
  2. Similarly, you’ll find it almost impossible to use a carry on luggage, so forgo it or ask if it can be checked in for you, if you want to use your allocated weight allowance
  3. I’m usually a big advocate for staying hydrated, but I would say avoid drinking many fluids on the day you travel. Constant loo trips with baby are frustrating. Keep up your hydration levels, 2-3 days before your trip; that should suffice. But keep baby very hydrated; he’ll be far less irritable.
  4. Take an iPad with some baby entertainment
  5. This may seem impossible but don’t forget snacks for baby, and for you. All the brain work I was doing left me famished
  6. If your baby is energetic, inquisitive and strong, make sure you secure your wig very well.
  7. Request for assistance from the airline; you can’t push a baggage trolley and a pushchair at the same time. Technically, you can, but it’s not worth it. You deserve better mummy.
  8. Accept assistance from well meaning strangers.
  9. Reward yourself daily for making it through each day(cakes, glasses of wine, chocolates; you catch my drift), and indulge yourself in a countdown till you are back to your normal. Very dramatic but totally worth it for the sense of accomplishment it provides when you make it. And you will make it mummy!

How to be a working mum!

Leaving my business for almost 5 months, and operating it from another country was honestly so daunting and frightening, but somehow I was able to make it work. I’d go virtual ‘shopping’ selecting leathers at the tanneries with my assistants via FaceTime, keep in touch with my team via Skype, and set weekly goals as usual. Right from the beginning I knew I had to be upfront with clients and inform them I was out of town. But I was surprised by how much I still enjoyed working; especially in the last days of the pregnancy, I was grateful to channel my angst into work, even on the day I had him, the only messages I responded to from my hospital bed were work related.

 

Here are 9 things I learned on the way to becoming a working mum

  • Clients are very understanding if you are upfront with them; my pregnancy brain was in a league of its own, but thankfully clients saw the humour in it and were supportive
  • However being yourself is always the best option. If you know deep in your heart that operating your business whilst pregnant will push you over the edge, don’t be afraid to give the business a break. The time away will most likely refresh you, give you new ideas and allow you to take your business to the next level inadvertently.
  • Video calling is a life saver, and vanity is still important when you’re as big as a whale. Before every video call, I would take a bit of time to wear some make-up however little to make myself feel good, and to inspire my team!
  • So is CCTV
  • You need people you can trust, so learn to foster a good team spirit

And upon becoming a working mum

  • Be very gentle with yourself, especially if you’re a workaholic like all entrepreneurs. Take the time out to take care of yourself, watch a nice movie, eat your favourite meal, do things that make yourself happy, regularly. A happy mum is the best mum. Talk about your feelings, don’t believe social media constructs of alleged ‘post natal reality’, remember that this new you is a phase and all your insecurities will pass especially if you address them. BE YOURSELF.
  • Don’t make too many changes – I opened a store at 32 weeks, left the country at 33 weeks, came back to the country when he was 3 months old, left the store, fired some staff, found, rented and renovated a brand new store, all the time breast-feeding him exclusively for 6 months. It’s no surprise that I had a breakdown at 8 months post baby.
  • Don’t forget your partner in all of it! Try not to play victim and instead take control of your emotions. Although I couldn’t physically be away from my baby for the first 6 months (and now in hindsight, I would extend that to 9 months for 1st baby at least), it helped that I took the time out mentally to DECIDE and nominate myself as the parent that stays home in the first year whilst my partner traveled for work. That little shift of perception allowed me feel empowered and added to my happiness.
  • Be Yourself