GEORGINA FIHOSY: MEET THE BRITISH-BORN NIGERIAN PHARMACIST TURNED ENTREPRENEUR BEHIND AFRICAN INSPIRED GREETING CARDS COMPANY
British-Born Nigerian Georgina Fihosy is the creative entrepreneur behind the African Inspired greeting cards company Special Touch Designs which seeks to celebrate the diversity of the UK. Her gift for designing and hand-finishing greeting cards, which merge bold African wax print fabrics and quality textured boards, was realised in the summer of 2015. Whilst on maternity leave from her profession as a Pharmacist she made the decision to nurture her creativity and create a brand that would celebrate her Nigerian heritage and culture, showcase her love for fabric and design and recognise the diversity of Britain.
Georgina currently works full time as a clinical pharmacist and juggles life as a mother, wife, home maker and entrepreneur. She was brought up in a single parent household by a strong Nigerian mother, who raised five children and taught her to dream big, live life to the full and be open to opportunities; which is an ethos that Georgina lives by. “Being a woman should never be a barrier to success.” states Georgina.
Growing up, Georgina was always known as ‘the creative one’ in her family.
”If there was something to be made, I would be the one to make it. Thirty something years on, it was only natural for me to move into the greeting card industry, an industry that is creative, vibrant, global and always relevant.” Georgina Fihosy, CEO of Special Touch Designs.
Even in the fast moving technological and social media age nothing truly expresses personal sentiment like greeting cards.
According to The Greeting Cards Association* the total value of single greetings cards sold in the UK in 2014 stood at £1.39 billion with 878.8 million single cards sold compared with 2013, overall market value is up 7.77%. The overall value of everyday card sales stood at £1.057 billion compared to £1.022 billion in 2013, an increase of £34.6m and in 2015 the UK purchased approximately 900 million greeting cards. In a country that is so ethnically diverse with over 12% of the population being from a BAME background**, when Georgina stepped into major high street card retailers, she struggled to find a range of cards that actually represented the ethnic diversity of the nation. Her solution is ‘Special Touch Designs’ a truly unique greeting card company that blends African and western cultures through contemporary designs.
The first range of cards is called the ’Live in Colour’ Collection – A collection of 30 distinctive cards all individually designed and hand finished in Georgina’s home studio in Kent, UK. The fabrics have been carefully selected on the basis of their unique patterns and vibrant colours. These cards are an undoubtedly fresh and afrocentric addition to the greeting cards market with a distinct urban edge. The collection includes 15 birthday cards and 15 occasion cards. All materials are responsibly sourced from sustained and managed forests by FSC accredited suppliers.
The Live in Colour collection is a true celebration of cultural beauty and ethnic diversity in the UK.