“My mom will allow me to spend the weekends with my aunt and she will buy me all these cute little dresses or skirts and I loved them. When I returned home to my mom it was all I wanted to wear but she wasn’t having it.” – Fashion Blogger, Ramona, recalled one of her childhood moments.
My name is Constance Boakye, U.S. Correspondence for 360Gh Online. In this interview, I go behind the scene with, Ramona McDermott, a wife and mother of two who found her love for fashion at the tender age of five.
“I have always been fascinated with fashion,” she stated.
Ramona, who is also referred to as Mona, resided in the Bronx, New York for part of her life but decided to move back to Ghana, where she comes from. When she returned to Ghana, her plan was simply to attend what she referred to as a “normal college”. However, that didn’t work out as planned, so after some intense pleading and persuasion, her parents agreed to enroll her into Vogue Style School of Fashion. There, Mona studied designing and pattern drafting. She learned that making the clothes did not come as easily for her as wearing them.
When asked how she prepared herself for a career in the fashion world she replied, “You can never be prepared for a career in the fashion world. It’s a tough career believe it or not.”
Although she had loved fashion since she was five-years-old, she wondered if her talent was enough to share. After years of convincing herself, and with the support of her family and friends, Mona decided to tackle the world of fashion blogging. It started off as a hobby.
“I always tell friends the best payment a person can give me is a compliment to my look of the day.”
With some time, she witnessed her favorite hobby blossom into her career.
On the topic of trends, Mona explained that due to social media it is quite easy staying up to date with the current trends. She also mentioned that she doesn’t believe in trends.
“I have realized over the years that we all wear things just because it’s trending and by doing that, we don’t stay true to our style”. Mona also shared that she was not a fan of trends because she believes that “not every trend flatters everyone.”
I asked Mona if she sees any difference with fashion trends between Ghana and the States since she has been a resident in both countries. She shared that in eight years of being back in Ghana, she has not seen much difference between fashion abroad and in Ghana though she believes that, “In Ghana, we are a little bit more conservative.” “Even that is slowly fading away,” she added.
When asked what inspires her to follow her heart in fashion knowing that it is a tough industry, her answer was, “Every young entrepreneur”. Growing up, she watched her family and friends attend jobs they weren’t in love with but pursued them because the bills needed to get paid. And now, everywhere you turn in today’s world, you see the youth being entrepreneurs and succeeding at it. That motivates her to set the bar high for herself.
“I am currently doing my dream job, wearing clothes and blogging about it. I guess I can say it’s my little source of excitement.”
Mona applauded all designers in Ghana who are producing show-stopping pieces. If you view her Instagram page @Amfashion she usually credits the designer by tagging them. She continued by saying that she applauds them because, from her experience, she knows the industry is a rough one.
Mona takes many photos, which always turn out to be stunning. I was curious about who her photographer was, and guys you will not believe it! The magical photographer is none other than her nanny! Mona shared that since she started blogging, she has visited the pages of many bloggers, and realized in their bios that they give shout outs to their best friends, siblings, or spouses as their photographers.
I found this to be interesting because sometimes, people believe they have to go for the best photographers and pay big bucks when that should not always be the case. For Mona, having her nanny as her photographer, was not a problem as she makes sure to “clearly communicate” her needs to her photographer.
In preparation for each photoshoot, she lays out the clothes and pairs them with either their bag or shoes. “I barely do accessories,” she said.
After sorting out the items, the next step is to pick the best location suitable for the outfits. The location is very important to Mona because she believes that the background to a picture could either enhance or take away from it. “Now that all is mapped out, we head out for the shoot. The fun part!”
Juggling career, marriage, and kids is a huge task, so I wanted to get some insight on what a day with Mona is like aside from blogging. Here is her rundown of being a working mom.
“Being woken up by my kids is a daily routine. [I] prep my eldest for daycare and drop him off, get home, have my breakfast, [and] take care of the little one until she takes her first nap of the day. [Then, I] relax and watch TV because in a couple of hours, I prepare to step out to pick him up from school, and maybe, just maybe, we will have a photo shoot if the sun is not too scorching. Then, I spend a few minutes at my favorite place, The Cupcake Boutique, then I come home and spend some quality time with my kids and we start all over the next day.”
I asked her if her kids enjoy fashion as much as she does, and she mentioned that her eldest enjoys getting dressed and holding his hair up. “To him, that means we are going out, whereas the youngest one is still fighting me about putting her hands through a dress, or shirtsleeve.” Her children are so adorable, and also appear on her blog occasionally.
“For now, I see myself going really far if I continue to push and work towards my goals,” Mona said when I asked her about her future plans. She wants to take her career past Ghana and throughout the entire African continent.
“I will love to work with all the outstanding designers pushing boundaries all over Africa.” “Limiting myself is not an option because the sky is my limit,” she added.
I am certain we will be seeing more of Mrs. McDermott trailblazing through the African Fashion industry in a few years to come.
Follow Mona on Instagram on @Amfashion
Facebook on @amfashiongh
Or visit her blog – amfashiongh.com
threesixtyGh Diaspora Correspondent: Constance Boakye