Meet the ’coloured meisie’ behind Coloured Accessories
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I’m a sunglass addict, so when I come across really awesome sunglasses, I become completely obsessed with them.
While scrolling through Instagram I came across a post showing the most fab pair of shades I’ve seen in a while, but it was the name and graphics that drove me to the brand's home page and I’m so glad I did.
The Coloured Accessories page is vibrant, with pops of colour and trendy sunglasses and other accessories each with their distinctive names.
South Africans who grew up and live in Cape Town, in particular the Cape Flats, will immediately identify with the names of the products.
The bio on the Instagram page doesn’t say too much about the brand, other than the fact that it’s “coloured meisie owned”.
Intrigued, I simply had to find out who the “coloured meisie” is.
One DM later, I discovered Cape Town-born Sheree Stevens to be the meisie behind the brand.
The 31-year-old grew up in Seawind near Lavender Hill, now works and lives in South Korea.
She’s working as an English second language teacher during the day as well as running her Coloured Accessories.
A few emails later, here’s what I found out about the dynamic young woman who’s single-handedly developing her brand and growing her own business.
“My dream was always just to be financially stable because we lived a life where we were one paycheck from the poverty line,'' says Stevens.
“Bigger than this, I longed for something that I wasn’t even sure existed at the time. I wanted to be a business owner. Getting there seemed nearly impossible, as after I finished my BA degree in live performance at AFDA private university, the only opportunities I received were either in the retail or customer service industries.”
In 2017 she moved to South Korea, with her mind set on gathering a good amount of capital to start a business in fashion driven by her passion for the industry.
“It was only in 2020, with the start of Covid, that I gathered myself and did some introspection about what I want my next chapter to be, and that’s when I started my business,” says Stevens.
She adds that she’s always had a great love for accessories.
“I was the friend who was always over-accessorised. I remember friends always mentioning to me that I was the only one they knew who could get away with wearing so much jewellery and still make it look fashionable.”
When I asked Stevens how she got to the name “Coloured Accessories” this is what she said: “I feel like coloured people who come from what some would call the ’slums of the Cape Flats’ lack representation.
“We are the ones who are always in the news as crime statistics – both the perpetrators and the victims; always with our four front teeth out. Although there are rare occasions that we break the mould, it never seems to be enough to shake the stereotype. I want to be a representative of where I come from and at the same time celebrate what being coloured means to me.
“I wanted to create a brand for people like me and for those who come from where I come from and who speak the way we do. A brand of our own. That we can feel like it’s a part of us and hopefully make us feel great about being coloured.”
Stevens says that she has the most fun when coming up with the names like “ma se kind”, “yassi” and “hoe lykit”.
“I would reminisce on the silly conversations I’d have back home and when I was in high school, words that were commonly used in my youth, and just classic Afrikaans sayings that I use up until this day. It’s also another way to keep coloured culture within the brand.
“Even though there is so much of the coloured culture integrated into the brand, it’s not done this way to be exclusive; it’s more of an invitation to join me in the celebration of who I see myself as in the world. The brand is for any and everyone who likes to stay authentic.”
Stevens is a one-woman operation running all aspects of the business, from the online store to social media and marketing.
“The funny memes, the poems, funny branding, the shares and the responses are all me, and this is why it brings me so much joy to see how well it has been received thus far. It’s just another way of confirming that I am on the right track.”
To find out more about the brand and shop the looks go to www.colouredaccessories.com