Name: Prisca Kwaning
Profession: Founder of The Kind label; model, also for Boob Spring/Summer 2020
Background: Born and raised in Amsterdam; Dutch mom; Ghanaian father. Went to a creative high school; graduated in Editing and Media Production
Home: A little outside of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Family: Boyfriend Daan and daughters Madé (5) and Nima (2)
Instagram: @thekindlabel @priscakwaning
Tell us a bit about your journey and how you came to be the person you are today.
I never knew what I wanted to do or become in life. I am not a planner and I take life by the day. I first studied psychology but stopped halfway in. After that, I studied editing and media production. After graduating, I ended up modeling full-time before finding my true passion—starting The Kind label. As a person, I am independent and strong-minded. I can be very fun and outgoing, but when I’m focused, I am also the type of person that can lock myself in the house for a day, preferably without any means of communication.
I think that a big part of my journey and who and where I am today has to do with being raised by a single mom. She showed me how to be independent and not wait on anyone. I think this made me a strong person but also a soloist, who at times can come across a bit harsh and likes to be in control. The next big phase in my journey has been becoming a mom, surrendering myself to motherhood and learning how selfless I can be, and realizing how rewarding that actually is.
You are the founder of the company The kind (@thekindlabel). Tell us more about the idea behind the company and where it’s at today.
Launching The Kind was a logical outcome of everything that was top of mind for me almost five years ago. The products are made in Ghana because of my roots (I'm half Ghanian). I developed children’s products as I’d just entered the ‘mom market’ and the line is ethically conscious and kind to both people and the environment; I believe that is what all companies and production chains should strive for. We need to change to an economy where human welfare and health of the ecosystem are the main values; The Kind is a creative contribution to this change.
The idea behind The Kind started to form when I was pregnant for the first time. Starting a company and designing everything was new for me, so it was all about trying—trial and error and not giving up. My goals for The Kind weren’t and still aren't to grow as big and fast as possible; I just took steps that felt natural, adjusting as we were going, and slowly the brand started to form.
Our collection consists mainly of hand-woven Moses baskets, rattan furniture, and plant-dyed textiles. All of our products are made in collaboration with small businesses and independent craftspeople in Ghana and exclusively made from natural materials. We respect the time it takes to create each piece. On top of that, we aim to produce timeless and unique products that are made to last.
Right now I am working on opening a showroom in the city center of Amsterdam—this is the next step in our journey. Slowly but surely we are growing, with a more steady demand for the handcrafted processes of our artisans. Before, the artisans saw less and less demand for their products due to low yield and long production times. All over the world, machines and factory labor are rapidly replacing traditional techniques. I think it is important to preserve these handmade techniques. This is also why I try to work with different local crafts and businesses spread throughout Ghana. It does not make the process easier, but it does enable us to really make a difference along the way.
Prisca in Air blouse (Spring/Summer 2020)
Name three things you do not want to be without in your everyday life as a parent.
1. Food in general, haha. Both my daughters, especially Madé, have a really good appetite. It is impossible for me to leave the house without healthy snacks.
2. My bike. I don’t drive, so I do everything by bike with both my kids attached to the bike. Since we moved outside of Amsterdam, I bought an e-bike, which makes me even more mobile.
3. The bath. This is not really required, obviously, but since we are not really living in the warmest country, kids have to be dressed for cold-weather most of the time, so taking warm baths is a nice family ritual. I wasn’t a big fan of going in the bath before, but with the girls, I think it is a fun and a great bonding moment for all of us.
Do you have any favorite spots in Amsterdam and in Ghana?
In Amsterdam, I like to be in ‘Het Amsterdamse bos’ which are the woods of the city. They’re not big or remote if you compare them to Sweden for instance, but full of nature and really close to the city. It’s a place where you can swim, canoe, or just casually walk in nature.
‘De school’ is also one of my favorite spots. It is a repurposed school building, hence the name, that hosts a great restaurant, a café, a nightclub, a gym, a gallery, and creative ateliers.
In Ghana, my favorite spot would have to be either with my family or in the outside workshops of the artisans I work with. When I was younger, I used to visit Ghana with my father and brother, and we would stay at the family house in Tema, a big harbor city close to the capital, Accra. Since I founded The Kind, I’ve mainly traveled to Ghana for work and never really had the chance to see the whole country. I would love to discover all that Ghana has to offer!
To meet with the artisans who weave our Moses baskets, I’ll travel up north to the Bolga region, close to the border of Burkina Faso. The vibe is great there and totally different than both Tema and Accra. Bolga is really laid back and traditional; also, since the roads aren’t paved, a lot of transport there is done by bike, which surprised me the first time I visited.
Prisca in Liv sleeveless top and Once-on-never-off drapey pants (Spring/Summer 2020)
What do you hope to pass on to your kids?
I hope that I will pass on that as their mother, I am a safe and constant place for them to come back to, always. I would like them to live their own lives and discover the world while making their own decisions and mistakes. I hope they can be open-minded and feel free and loved.
What do you want the world your children grow up in to look like?
I would want the girls to grow up in a world where all of us are acceptant of one another and more respectful in general. Respectful to mankind in all the variations we come in, and respectful to Mother Earth herself and all the variations of life that inhabit our world.
Prisca in La la dress (Spring/Summer 2020)
What’s at the top of your wish list right now?
The top of my wishlist would be traveling throughout Ghana with my brother and my little family. I’m not sure when I will be doing this, (though I am sure I will one day!), but my wish is to plan at least a month-long trip and just go. Be on the Ghanaian road. Discover and learn more about the land where my father came from. Where I found my passion and meaning workwise. And meet new people and learn about new crafts.
Prisca in BFF sweatshirt and Once-on-never-off glam leggings (Spring/Summer 2020)