Meet Our Members – Nita’s Designs
“Once you have a dream, keep pursuing it and never give up” – Anita Akukudike
Meet Anita Akukudike, founder of Nita’s Designs who sell handmade accessories and bespoke jewellery. Since she was young, Anita had always wanted to own her own business and become her own boss. In 2019, she discovered a course to ‘learn how to run your own business’ which appealed to her as it was a life-long dream, she enrolled and decided to see where it would take her. The brand was founded in 2020 during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic when she took the time to explore her passion for jewellery creation and turned it into a business.
Before she became an entrepreneur Anita worked in education for 15 years as a pastoral education and personal development worker with young people. She loved her role and how she helped to make a difference in the community, however, she was made redundant which caused her to explore other career avenues.
When asked what advice she would give to a new business owner Anita says “Make sure that you have a plan and a vision and be ready for your plan to take different angles as it evolves over time”. After Anita began creating jewellery, she ventured into hosting creative workshops considering sustainable approaches.
“Your business is not likely to follow the initial pathway that was planned for it, find a position that you will focus on and do not give up. During the current cost of living crisis, I have turned my attention to repair, repurposing and revamping broken or old costume jewellery which can be turned into a new creation”.
Anita reflects on her life as a child and grew up attending markets with her mother at a young age. “We used to tug at my mum’s coat to go to the markets… it’s very social which is what I love about it. I grew up attending all the East ones, we went to Petticoat Lane, Old Spitalfields and Roman Road, which is why I love trading in markets so much”.
Anita was an active participant at Lady Lanes market, which was “London’s first women-led market” that host pop-up shops in East London and found events for traders which allowed her to expand her brand as a small business. Through Lady Lanes Market, Anita discovered the East End Trades Guild which is when she began trading at the popular Old Spitalfields Market.
“Being given the option to trade at Old Spitalfields Market through the East End Trades Guild was like a dream come true, it’s such a lovely, trendy market. It was a great experience, and I gained some great contacts there, it was unforgettable”. Trading at Old Spitalfields market was a wonderful experience for our traders, but the East End Trades Guild was looking to find new spaces that members can take charge of. This led to the launch of the Monthly Market, an independent market created by the Cultural Group in Hackney, Mare Street.
The cultural group is a collective of black and ethnic minority creatives formed by Guild members in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. Anita became part of the Cultural Group during its initial launch and collaborated with other members of the Guild to build it into what it has become today and accomplish countless achievements.
In 2022, the cultural group launched their independent monthly market in Hackney, which Anita was part of. After its success, the Cultural Group decided to relaunch the market on April 2nd, with a market occurring on the first Sunday of each month up until November. The market also hosted child-friendly activities, which provides entertainment for all the family.
If you are a small business and would like to trade at the market, contact Cultural Group organiser, Henriette Cyrille: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To show your support for Anita, check out her social media or find her at our next cultural group market on June 4th.