Black Girl Knit Club was founded in 2019 by Sicgmone Kludje & Vanessa Koranteng to create a safe space for Black creatives to build confidence, inspire each other through craft and equip the next generation with a new skill.
Since its launch, they have grown its community to 600+ members who meet monthly to participate in workshops and online events.
The two wrote their book Conscious Crafts: Knitting – 20 Mindful Makes during lockdown, which was a massive milestone for them. Now proudly published, as of March 2022, their book is now stocked in Liberty, in the States, online and, in French!
Talking about what drives the duo in their continued success, Vanessa talks about how her newborn son inspires her to succeed for her family. For Sicgmone, her mother inspired her to be determined and put her best foot forward. Sicgmone finds she is comfortable expressing herself when she’s around a group of friends, or when she is fully engaged in a project that allows her mind to be free.
Vanessa finds that she is able to freely express herself when meeting new people, especially in a space without judgement.
To them, #BeWhoYouAre means being true to yourself and investing in your passions.
The COVID-19 lockdown was a challenging period as Sicgmone and Vanessa were unable to meet in person, and therefore struggled to engage with their community. They overcame this hurdle by rethinking their entire strategy and moving their business online.
Sicgmone and Vanessa were both raised in East London. To them, the area is all about community. You can meet people from different backgrounds and still feel like you belong. East London is also a hub of creativity, which has allowed them to link their craft with the community.
Being situated within a cultural pocket of London enables Andaz London to be in touch with the community and local artists. Vanessa and Sicgmone believe that it’s a space you can come to after work, for drinks, for a date, or even with your family – and being welcomed into an establishment that embraces and celebrates diversity is incredibly important, as it enables them to be free, be themselves and feel normal.
This hidden gem offers guests an escape from the hustle and bustle of the outside world: a place from which to work or play accompanied by an artisan coffee or a specially crafted signature cocktail. The Café Bar can be enjoyed across three distinct rooms,
The Front Room, a garden-influenced space and the first room guests experience at Rake’s; The Parlour, a sophisticated yet casual lounge area; and The Orgy Room, the Rake’s private dining room.