hen conceiving her apparel brand in the summer of 2016, travel and lifestyle blogger Fisayo Longe couldn’t decide on a name that encapsulated the fun, unapologetic and celebratory designs she was sketching.
Eventually, after much deliberation she settled on ‘Kai’ which translates as ‘Wow!’ in Hausa, a nod to her Nigerian heritage.
London-based Longe decided to bequeath the moniker to her brand upon learning that it also translated into a string of other languages as ‘victory’ (in Chinese), ‘willow tree’ (in Navajo), and ‘keeper of the keys’ (in Scandinavian).
Fast forward a quick four years and the brand now has a 53,000 strong Instagram following and is still going from strength to strength.
We caught up with Finchley-based Longe to talk all things Christmas and shopping small and local this festive season.
Which part of London do you call home?
Finchley, North London. I love it here!
What are your go-to independent businesses in your neighbourhood?
I love my nail shop on Ballards Lane called London Nails. I also love my local Italian called Il Funghetto.
What does Christmas 2020 look like for you?
I will be at home hosting my siblings. I am trying to get us matching pyjamas but they seem to be sold out everywhere!
What is on your Christmas wish list this year?
I would love some really cute well made pyjamas. Also, a stash of Fortnum & Mason stem ginger biscuits.
Which independent brands from Shop London will you be buying from this winter?
What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever given or received?
I will never forget getting an iPod when I was about nine years old. My parents gifted my brother and I and we were convinced that we had peaked in life. I really enjoyed childhood Christmases.
What’s your failsafe Christmas gift idea?
Candles. I love candles so much and every home needs them!
How do you treat yourself?
I buy myself something that’s been on my wish list for ages or travel - I love, love a holiday.
What has this year taught you?
That I need to become more comfortable with uncertainty and that being quick to embrace and adapt to change is the key to success.
What are your new year’s resolutions?
I don’t have many this year, like I normally do. This year was so stressful that I am reluctant to put pressure on myself for 2021. In 2021, I want to be more present- to read more books and be a better friend and support system to all my loved ones.
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