Well, we had quite a busy year in 2014. Moving on from our launch in December 2013, Toghal has been (in our own modest way) striding ahead with designing beautiful products, hoping to enthuse customers with our take on traditional African design aesthetics, updated for contemporary life. We’ve been to a few events, been interviewed a few times, scouted around shops and pottered about in art galleries, all so we can continue to keep our design ideas fresh.
Here are some of our highlights from the year.
Clerkenwell Design Week
Our first design exhibition! With our excitement barely contained, we hauled all our wonderful stuff to Clerkenwell to introduce them to you, and you to them. We got to chat to enthusiastic and inspiring interior designers, journalists, bloggers, curious graphic artists and many delightful people who simply love textiles, print and colours, and it was heaven!
We also got filmed by eNCAnews, a South African Channel.
Another exhibition! Since we enjoyed the Clerkenwell Design week so much we couldn’t refuse this opportunity to flaunt our stuff to you all again. Our stall had a bird’s eye view of the Clore Ballroom, and we even managed to practise our stretching during the African yoga sessions.
Coming into autumn our hotwater bottles flew off the stall, as did many of our cushions. It was a special thrill to try out the ‘huggability test’ on members of the public, as we so love the touch and feel of our plump cushions.
Seeing Africa Through The Art of Its Children, Islington Museum
Islington Museum hosted a fabulous celebratory exhibition of art from children around Africa for Black History Month in November, which we were very excited to sponsor.
The artwork came from schools in four different countries: Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and the Gambia. To complement the artwork on the walls, we set up a special Toghal reading corner bedecked with comfy cushions. We also created workshop materials so young children could have a go at making their own patterns (with assistance from patient parents).
Getting interviewed by Asilia
Getting the Toghal branding up and running was no mean feat, and could not have been done without Asilia, a graphic design company. One of the creative brains behind Asilia, Lulu Kitololo, is not only extremely talented in helping tease out branding stories, she is also as enthusiastic and passionate as we are about African-inspired art and design.
Her Afri-love blog showcases entrepreneurship and brands with an African theme, as well as some projects (like ours) which truly inspire her. Read our interview with Lulu about the intentions and dreams behind Toghal.
Barbican Christmas Market
So many people! So little time to shop! And so we ended the year at an alternative seasonal shopping event, with a focus on things that are made by small businesses who manufacture in the UK and are eco-aware (like us).
We have met amazing people this past year, who have inspired us and given us some extra oomph to continue with our vision for Toghal. Sharing our passion for African design, and enabling you to add a new (or refreshed) narratives to your homes, enabling you to decorate with culture.
Here’s looking forward to 2015…