Throwback to March 2013! Let’s go back to our first ever photoshoot at our house in Yaoundé, Cameroon. It’s hard to believe that was 8 years ago! So much has changed since then, we have celebrated milestones and experienced many setbacks, but back then, we were just bright-eyed women in our early twenties, trying to make something of ourselves.
Prior to this shoot, we had been posting consistently on Facebook from November 2012, but when March rolled around, we were not ready to start selling as we had planned to. We had very limited funds, so our first ‘collection’ consisted of a skirt, a pair of shorts and a dress (a far cry from our weekly collections now!).
The samples were made by our mother’s tailor and Michele was set to be the model (I mean, look at that waist!) When I returned to Cameroon from London, I had raided Boots for some Sleek foundation and came equipped with my Samsung Galaxy phone. That was the only equipment we had and they became core components of the shoot. I did Michele’s makeup and we took hundreds of pictures, ready for our launch.
When it came time for me to step in front of the camera, I froze. I just didn’t feel comfortable, and if it wasn’t for the loving encouragement Michele gave me to keep going, I probably would have disappeared to my room and cried! To my surprise, all the pictures were really well received and we actually got a few orders when we put them up. During the time we were on Etsy, those pictures were what brought in sales.
Even though we now have access to photographers, makeup artists and models, I still look back at those days fondly! Some of my best memories are of us shooting and enjoying each other’s presence. No matter how much we grow, at the end of the day, we are still those sisters who wanted to make something of ourselves and better the lives of our family. That will never change.