Image by macrovector on Freepik" target="_blank">Photograph — Freepik

Edna Frimpong has a fervent love for two things – public relations (PR) and shoemaking. Her quest for effective communication led her to study Public Relations at the renowned University of Media, Arts, and Communications (GIJ), Ghana. However, her childhood skill in shoemaking has led her to establish a business that makes a mark on Ghana’s fashion industry through the unique footwears and stories she crafts. Here is her pivot journal.

How it started

As a child, I shared a special bond with my dad, based on our shared love for craftsmanship. My father was a skilled shoemaker, and observing his devotion to his work up close inspired me to pursue my passion for craftsmanship. I would often find myself captivated by the sight of him meticulously working with leather, transforming it into exquisite pieces of art. There was something truly enchanting about the way he shaped and moulded the material, turning it into functional and beautiful footwear. Although my aspirations leaned towards public relations, where I could facilitate effective communication and connection between people, I couldn’t deny the allure of the world my father inhabited.

However, my heart remained steadfastly dedicated to my primary passion: communication. Amidst the array of extracurricular activities offered at my secondary school, I found myself drawn to the debate club as it offered a platform to refine how I communicated. The fulfilment I experienced while participating in debates solidified my decision to pursue a career in communication. Subsequently, I enrolled in the Ghana Institute of Journalism to focus on this field.


From 2019 to 2021, I completed a two-year diploma in Communication. In 2022, I returned to enrol in a bachelor’s degree program for Public Relations. My time studying for the diploma was filled with learning, growth, and self-discovery. Through the program, I was able to improve my ability to articulate, connect with others, and communicate effectively.

However, despite my success in communication, I felt a strong desire to follow in the footsteps of my father, who was a skilled craftsman. I began to immerse myself in the intricate art of shoemaking, seeking guidance from my father to learn his techniques and secrets.

It was during my diploma program that I discovered my passion for shoemaking and decided to launch my first shoemaking brand, Fash Slippers, in 2020. Last year, I rebranded to Ahofade, and I am excited to continue pursuing my passion for shoemaking.

As I honed my skills under my father’s watchful eye, I discovered the inherent beauty in transforming raw materials into something practical yet aesthetically pleasing. I was aligning myself with a tradition that ran deep in our family but on my own path.

Edna Frimpong, Shoemaker and Head of Public Relations, Ahofade.
Edna Frimpong, Shoemaker and Head of Public Relations, Ahofade.


While the allure of public relations remained, another journey had begun – one where I strived to infuse my own creativity into the craft that my father had mastered. With each cut, each stitch, and each design, I felt a growing connection to him and the legacy he represented. Our shared passion strengthened our father-daughter bond and also ignited a newfound fire within me – a fire to create my own magic.

Starting my journey in shoemaking was relatively easy. With my father’s guidance, YouTube tutorials, and the insights of my friends who are also into shoemaking, I was able to learn new techniques. However, when I decided to pursue my own shoe venture, I had to learn how to manage my time effectively and pay close attention to refining the details of my products.

As a female entrepreneur in the predominantly male shoemaking industry, I have faced two major challenges: gender biases and a lack of representation. Despite progress towards gender equality, these obstacles persist. Some people question my abilities in technical and business matters because of my gender. The scarcity of women in this field makes me feel isolated, with limited access to female role models and mentors who understand my journey. This reality is discouraging and underscores the need for change.

Additionally, I have struggled with the lack of an established market, which still affects me at times. Outdated production technology can also hinder efficiency in this business. Therefore, upgrading to modern machines would reduce the need for extensive labour.

How it’s going

It took some time for me to fully embrace the idea of becoming a professional shoemaker, but I made a point to show up and inspire other women interested in the industry. It’s been over three years since I made the decision, and despite my past inconsistency, a lot has happened. I am grateful for my journey.

Today, I am a professional shoemaker and Head of Public Relations at Ahofade. Besides shoemaking, Ahofade also empowers women in shoemaking and helps creatives to showcase their craft. I have successfully found a way to marry the two career paths I am passionate about.

Career hack

Passion and purpose. Start with something you are truly passionate about. It all starts with what truly drives you. Take those initial steps on a smaller scale. Allow your business to grow organically. 

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