Samata is a British born Ghanaian entrepreneur working across fashion and media. She is the author of The Fashion Designer’s Resource Book, a writer (The Guardian, VOGUE, Huffington Post) and is also known for her work as CEO for Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress campaign, showcasing sustainable fashion on the red carpet at the Oscars every year.
1. What has been your Best Life Project to date?
It is what I have been doing more recently. Whether it is in my professional field, with all the work we have done with Red Carpet Green Dress (too many amazing moments to name!), across to working on the Tribe Empowerment Journal to create something that encourages women to celebrate who they were, across to projects that I am working on right now. It is actually hard to name a best one to date because I feel I am constantly working on things that I am really happy about. Professionally and personally I think my Best Life Project to date is being on this journey of trying to always educate myself, to learn and to be better, and to know more about how the world works – which is a continuous journey. Also and always at the top of every list is being a mum and having my son!
2. The unknown … What challenges did you have to overcome?
With all of these things, I think the consistent challenge I have had to overcome is self-doubt. Whether it is working on something really exciting with Red Carpet Green Dress, writing the Journal or trying to be a good mum, you have those thoughts that creep in and make you feel doubt in yourself and think… “Oh, do I have what it takes?”. Even if you believe you have what it takes, doubt can still find its way in. I think the challenge is a more mental challenge than actual tangible things from outside. I think I am quite good at navigating outside challenges, but the internal mental challenges, I personally find hardest to deal with.
3. In hindsight…..what would you do differently?
For all of these things, what I would do differently is be kinder to myself. I am very tough on myself and I do not always allow myself the space to make mistakes. I am my own worst critic.
So just be kind to myself and enjoy the process more.
4. Next steps?
To keep doing what I’m doing. I’m always working on being creative.
5. What lifestyle changes has lockdown made you consider?
I have always been someone that works anywhere, so being in lockdown has not really changed the way I work. I think it has made me slow down in a good way and just to appreciate family and doing nothing more. It helped me appreciate vegging out, and how relaxing and calm that can be.
6. Kissing frogs …. is there an unexpected person who has helped you and, if so, how did they do it?
I keep saying Suzy Amis Cameron, because it was an unexpected connection when I entered Red Carpet Green Dress. I didn’t know she was the person behind it, so she was an unexpected person to come into my life. She has helped me in so many ways. One of the main ways was to see my role and space within the fashion industry differently and to find my own home in doing things I actually truly enjoy that feed my soul within the industry.
7. My Inspiration ….who or what inspires you?
My family inspires me. My partner, my son, my sisters, my mom, my dad. Everyone having had such interesting life journeys, they blow my mind and inspire me daily! Also watching my son grow is very rewarding. My family inspires me to get out of bed, wake up early for that conference call, push myself out of my comfort zone, put on wellington boots and go walking in the forest. I am not a very big fan of muddy places (random but true), but now that I have a son – I get out of my comfort zone and actually go squelching in wet mud to keep him happy. A big challenge for me!
8. How do you relax or do you struggle to relax?
I struggle to relax but I am getting better at it. Good ways for me to relax are by sitting on the sofa with a hot water bottle and a blanket. I love watching shows that make me cry, like This is Us. The sun makes me relax as does the sound of waves so I have playlists of different ocean sounds. Baths make me relax, but then after 20 minutes, I just want to get out and shower so being honest with myself actually helps me relax the most, managing myself!
9. Guilty secret pleasure?
Sweets are my secret guilty pleasure. My Achilles’ heel.
10. Words of wisdom
Trust the process. Stay in the saddle.