Rochester business owner helps good cause – Spectrum News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A local fashion designer is using Ghanaian traditional wear to not only provide style, but also designs for a purpose. She’s making a global impact, one outfit at a time.

Nita Brown has always had a passion for fashion.

“It’s called Seiwa,” said Brown, owner of MansaWear. “All my stuff has pockets and it’s just easy to wear and it’s different. And because you can dress it up and dress it down.”

Growing up surrounded by Ghanaian fabrics, she has transformed traditional pieces into timeless outfits from her mother.

”I learned about color fabric really came from my mom,” Brown said. “She always had dressmakers, fabric makers at her house, at the house to help her.”

Opening up MansaWear, she wanted to create a clothing line that has the versatility of classic African and Ghanaian prints, mixed with modern-themed fabrics.

“So everybody gets to know what it is that Ghana has to offer right?” said Brown “So it’s not only, you know, what we normally hear about Ghana and Africa, but there are different aspects to it. You know, beautiful clothes, beautiful people are just like everywhere else.”

Dedicated to not only its buyers but also giving back to both her supporters in the U.S. and in Ghana.

“I’ve already received so much, so want to give back,” Brown said. “And also, it’s a way to educate people, let people know about Ghana, about West Africa, about the continent in general.”

She is donating proceeds to an orphanage in Kenya and making contributions locally as well.

“It’s just it feels good to give back to the charities that we have in Kenya,” said Brown. “The orphanage and also here mentoring a lot of the young women.”

She recently partnered with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to create custom chemo caps.

“When one leaves Roswell after chemo treatment, they get to pick up a muscle beanie,” Brown said. “So this style, it’s called Darcy, make people who already had hair have the feel that they still have hair on because they are so used to when you do chemo and you lose your hair, right?”

Fortunate to gain support for her line, she makes sure to give back to both communities.

“Because guess what? They succeed,” Brown said. “And I succeeded. Right? It only works if they succeed, then I also succeed.”

Hoping consumers continue to support local businesses.

“I really believe that if we don’t support who we are because we live here. So if you don’t stay here and support it, why would somebody else from outside?” she asked. “I want a Mansawear outfit in everybody’s closet. Let it be part of your closet. You know, get people to see what it is like in Ghana.”