Rachel Apusiyene: Combining law, fashion
At age 25, Miss Rachel Apusiyene is a lawyer and an entrepreneur . The law is her passion and keeps her very busy, but she finds time to pay attention to her other interest—fashion.
Rachel graduated from the law faculty of the University of Ghana, Legon (UG), Accra with a Second-Class Upper Division (Honours) in 2020, continued to the Ghana School of Law and was called to the bar in 2022.
Before this, she had been running a business called Bonnet Haven, a stylish and functional hair bonnet brand that protects and maintains moisture in virgin and relaxed hair.
Miss Apusiyene with her dad, Mr Abraham Apusiyene at her graduation ceremony
In a chat in Accra with The Mirror last Tuesday, Miss Apusiyene said in January, 2019, while at UG, she embarked on the sale of the accessory to her course mates and acted as a middle-woman for a manufacturer.
By June that year, she had launched Bonnet Haven and for four years now has been a supplier to major beauty salons within and outside the country. Her business has been featured on international media platforms such as Voice of America.
Currently, Bonnet Haven manufactures on wholesale basis and at a point, received a bulk order of 1000 pieces from the beauty brand ‘Dark and Lovely’. Her brand has also once secured 500 pieces bulk order from a client in the United States of America.
Miss Apusiyene said she also dreams of partnering with non-governmental agencies (NGO’s) to make shower caps from pure water bags. “I did that some time back and it proved very useful and durable. The only problem was getting the bags in bulk,” she explained.
According to her, being a lawyer is very demanding and having a side hustle at the age of 25 was a blessing.
“The goal is to gain multiple streams of income while helping protect the crown of my ‘girlies”, she said.
Miss Apusiyene is currently a junior associate with a law firm at Adabraka, Accra. Read more about her schooling, passion, achievements and future plans.
Miss Apusiyene (far right) with some colleagues at her Call to the Bar
The Mirror (TM): Tell us about your upbringing?
Rachel Apusiyene (RA): Thanks to my parents, Chief Superintendent Abraham Apusiyene,who is from the Upper East Region, Bolgatanga and Chief Inspector Martha Nkrumah, from the Central Region, Agona Swedru, both police officers, I had a very comfortable childhood.
I am the first of three children, a product of Dolly Memorial School at Labone, Accra and a proud Wey Gey Hey, ( Wesley Girl’s High School) . I live at Labone Barracks in Accra with my family.
TM: How did law come about?
RA: Well, I am one of the few people who pursued law only because of convenience but later grew to love the profession.
Being a strong believer in capitalising on one’s strengths, I only wanted to pursue a course related to English and the options were Law, Business Administration or Journalism.
So after high school and with my background in General Arts, I applied in 2015 to UG to pursue law and gained admission.
Miss Apusiyene’s family
TM: How was the studies?
RA: Reading law has never been easy for anyone because some of the courses can be challenging, especially if the love for studying was absent. One of the challenges I faced was being able to write what I was thinking effectively to make sense to a reader.
However, I worked hard on that weakness and with constant support and encouragement from family and friends, I sailed through.
I am proud to say that, I was the head of the academic committee and it was during my tenure that I influenced the installation of a software called ‘braille’ on the computers in the school library that aided visually impaired students to identify and read texts better.
Miss Apusiyene says her products are stylish and functional
Birth of hair bonnets
TM: What drove your passion and how did you start?
RA: Ermm, I developed the love for business and fashion from my mother and grandmother both of whom have been pillars in my life. My mom sold almost everything she laid her hands on, panties, jewellery, etc.
When I branched out on my own in 2019, during the Corona Virus lockdown period, bonnets were in vogue and so I quickly used some GH¢800 cash gift I had to start.
Part of the money went into the creation of a business logo, purchase of paper bags, silk, satin and print fabrics for the making of the bonnets. In addition, I paid for a photoshoot session with a couple of my friends as models and also paid the seamstress who made the products.
Products of Bonnet Haven on display at a fair
I was able to make only 20 pieces and I sold one for GH¢20. From there, I expanded gradually and was even able to buy a stand for sales at the telecommunications network, MTN, sponsored fair.
Glory be to God that my business is thriving, we were also featured on TV3 and Voice of America.
Our bonnets are machine-made and we use silk fabric, as this helps the hair maintain moisture. It also comes in different styles and designs and currently sells at GH¢35 to GH¢60 for one.
The work station of Bonnet Haven
TM: Tell me about the wholesale business.
RA: We do what is called ‘white labelling’, this is a branding service where the logo of a particular company is tagged on the product.
TM: How do you manage law and being an entrepreneur?
RA: Hmm, it is not the easiest task but currently, I have a permanent staff of three. My sister, a Business Administration student of UG, Annabel Apusiyene, does the day-to-day management with assistance from me. Also, when the orders are too many, I hire extra help.
Miss Rachel Apusiyene (right) at a friend’s wedding
TM: Do you sew yourselves?
RA: Oh yes, I do but I barely practice so I have become rusty but I plan on polishing it.
TM: What is the five-year plan for your professional and business life?
RA: Well, I am not the type to overly dream but with God on my side, I hope to rise to the level of a senior associate then to a partner in my profession. Business wise, I hope to accelerate the brand to the international level and even have shops or representatives in other countries.