The Thursday Q&A with Stacey Bafi-Yeboa
Stacey Bafi-Yeboa is the owner of Kania, her own line of clothing and a ByWard Market boutique. The “luxury street style” line uses comfortable fabrics that have women flocking to her own shop and the several others across Canada which carry her line (Calgary and St. Alberta, Alberta; Vancouver, Squamish and Tofino, B.C.; Ottawa, Muskoka, Stouffville and Toronto, Ont.) She also sells at a shop in Chicago, Illinois. But it’s not all about fashion. As she reveals on our Q&A, she’s also performed on Broadway.
OCS: Who are your style icons?
SBY: I love so many — Kim Kardashian for her classic elegance, Rihanna for her edginess risks. As for designers, Betsey Johnson for her playfulness and Alexander McQueen for his sheer design genius.
OCS: What’s on your bedside table?
SBY: A candle, my rhinestone lamp, Prestige Design magazine, Elle Decor, The Artist’s Way (a self-help book) and my Forever Remember leather-bound journal and a pen.
OCS: Best home accessory?
SBY: Pillows lots of pillows — drives my husband crazy!
OCS: Best recent fashion find?
SBY: My new nude-leather closed-toe Sam Eldeman shoes with silver studded heels.
OCS: Who would you invite for dinner if you could choose anyone in the world?
SBY: I’d have all my closest friends and family for a huge dinner party. I know most people would name a celebrity but the most important people in my life are my friends and family. They are the ones I can always depend on, the ones who support me and believe in me. They are so dear to my heart. I’d be like my wedding day all over again — a huge party. Magical!
OCS: You can see the debut of any piece of music in history. What would it be?
SBY: Bob Marley in his home town, sitting on a rock, singing from his soul.
OCS: What’s your earliest memory?
SBY: My ballet teacher telling me to suck in my stomach and stand up straight. Wise words to live by!
OCS: Your biggest fashion faux-pas, when, where and how?
SBY: Socks and Crocs. Crocs are bad enough by themselves adding socks make it atrocious.
OCS: Proudest moment?
SBY: My proudest career moment was getting the call that I was hired to dance On Broadway in Saturday Night Fever. My proudest personal moment … saying “I do.”
OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?
SBY: My Asesegua — it’s a hand-carved symbolic ceremonial stool from Ghana.
OCS: Qualities you most admire in a person?
SBY: Loyalty, honest, sincerity. And a great sense of humour never hurts.
OCS: Who would you most like to design for?
SBY: I am very happy designing my own line and creating comfortable, great-looking pieces (that allow) the everyday woman to accentuate her assets and camouflage her flaws.
OCS: Describe a perfect day off (it can be anywhere in the world).
SBY: My perfect day off would be exploring another culture in another country, dancing to their music, savouring their food and embracing their fashion, most likely somewhere hot, near a beach. My dream is to travel the world.
OCS: Favourite visual artist, living or dead?
SBY: Children. I love to see their creativity, allowing their self expression and imagination to fill the page.
OCS: Favourite local artist?
SBY: My favourite local artist would have to me pole dancing teacher Andrea. Her studio, Cherry Blossom Pole Dance, empowers women and teaches them style, grace and movement of the body. She always teaches with a smile, even when it hurts like crazy.
OCS: Best book you read in the past year?
SBY: The E Myth Revisited [by Michael E. Gerber] — an excellent read for anyone running their own business. Walks you through the steps in the life of a business owner, shows you how to apply lessons in order to succeed.
OCS: Favourite food?
OCS: Most-oft-played song on your iPod or MP3 player?
SBY: I have moments … right now it’s a Soca song called Where Yuh From by KES the Band. Makes me want to be in carnival.
OCS: Wine, beer or both?
OCS: Mac or PC?
SBY: Mac 100 per cent.
OCS: Fine dining or plain old diners?
SBY: Love them both.
OCS: Best restaurant in Ottawa?
SBY: Tough one. My husband and I love to explore. We are currently in love with this tiny barbecue chicken take-out restaurant called YKO BBQ Chicken [on McArthur Ave]. But my best meal ever in Ottawa was at Beckta dining & wine, hands down. [I also] love the energy at Mambo and the decor at E18hteen.
OCS: Person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest that you live in Ottawa?
SBY: Everyday, when I drive to and from work, I take Colonel By Drive. Driving down the canal, you can really appreciate Ottawa’s beauty, our city is so picturesque so stunning.
OCS: Fave blog or website?
SBY: Fashion Bomb Daily and Project Can
OCS: Twitter, Facebook or both?
SBY: Both. Just recently started embracing Twitter, love it now! And of course I can’t forget my new pastime Pinterest!
OCS: What’s your guilty pleasure?
SBY: Besides shopping and chocolate? Sleeping in real late on a Sunday with my husband.
OCS: Favourite place to spend time?
SBY: On the beach
OCS: How would you like the world to remember you? What would your eulogist ideally say?
SBY: I want to be remembered for my zest for life, my charismatic energy, for always laughing always smiling. I’m a really happy and positive person but I work hard, I’m a go-getter who never gives up! I want those I’ve inspired to strive for their best to remember me telling them that life isn’t always easy, you have to have tough skin and tonnes of perseverance. Most of all I would like the world to remember the love that I share and that little bit of sparkle that I spread around the world. I named my clothing line KANIA which is from the Ashanti word meaning light, because more than just being a designer, my mission is always to spread the light and be radiant.