Q & A: ‘I would like to be remembered as a change agent’ – Edwina Kulego

Born to Ghanaian parents and raised in sweden, Edwina Kulego works in International Business Development, at UBM Fashion Group. She began her career working for Zara / Inditex Group, as a Sales Manager in Copenhagen, Denmark. She moved to New York in 2007 where she interned at various companies such as Essence Magazine, Tommy Hilfiger and PROJECT Trade show.

She is a proud member of African Health Now, a non profit organization that provides accessibility to primary health care in Africa and Global Language Project , an educational nonprofit that supports world-language learning for students in underserved communities.

After graduating from Berkeley College with a Bachelors Degree in International Business she landed a job as the Executive Assistant to the President at PROJECT. After that, she became the Business Coordinator to the Fashion Group CEO and eventually went on to manage International Business Development at PROJECT. This role includes helping international fashion brands create pathways into the US market. 

Edwina will be a Panelist at Fashion Design To Thrive Workshop in Atlanta May 20th.

Edwina is Fluent in Swedish, English, Ga, Ashanti and proficient in Danish. Enjoy our Q&A session with this powerhouse.

Who is Edwina?
Edwina is a travel enthusiast and a go getter who doesn’t take no for an answer. Daughter of Beatrice Morton, a loving mother and hard- working entrepreneur. Edwina is a blend of many cultures due to her diverse background which enables her to see the world through many different lenses. Edwina merges the two dynamic worlds of International Business and Fashion into her own domain.

Tell us more about what you do.

I currently manage International Business Development for the largest Fashion Trade Show organizer in the US, UBM Fashion. This role includes helping international fashion brands create pathways into the US market. This role is ideal for me as I’m passionate about fashion and business. I feel like most people are exposed to the glamourous side of the fashion industry such as runways shows but there is a whole business side behind it that I find very interesting. I am also building my own brand Edwina Kulego and diving into entrepreneurship through public speaking and collaborations. It’s really exciting!

Would you say you have found your purpose in life? If yes…How were you able to decipher?
I wouldn’t quite say that just yet but I am well on my way. Here’s what I know so far…. I love immersing myself into new cultures and travelling. I love teaching and sharing. I have a passion for business and problem solving in order to make people’s lives easier. I believe that in due time, all of these ingredients will bottle up into something called “My Purpose.” I used to be in a rush to figure it out but now I’ve decided to embrace the place I am at in life and life for the day.

What are you passionate about and why?

Growing up as an African girl in Sweden there weren’t many role models around who liked like me. I never had a black teacher, nurse or doctor etc. I want to represent what we don’t often see; but what I know exists. A woman of color, fearlessly chasing her dreams and setting new standards. I am also passionate about discovery and diversity which is why travel is so important to me. Having the luxury of comparison and realizing that things are done differently in different places is truly fulfilling.

What is your personal vision statement?

Being a Global Business Woman who empowers other women by creating experiences that can positively change their lives and open new doors.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Something very similar to the phrase” “Nothing works unless you do.” In other words…nothing comes easy and you have to work for the things you want. I remember being so upset with my mother for forcing me to work in her salon during my summer holidays. At that time I thought she was punishing me but now I am so grateful that I’ve learned the importance of having work ethic. In this day and age, social media can cripple people into thinking that success comes easy. We often get blinded but the glitz and glamour and forget about the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Which is your take on “women supporting women”?

The most amazing things happen when women support women. We truly accomplish so much more through collaboration and partnership. Now more than ever, I see powerful women coming together and standing up for change. Important events such as Women’s Day March, conferences such as Create & Cultivate and platforms like Her Network are all indications that we are moving in the right direction. I have been fortunate enough to have wonderful women by my side who have mentored and supported me in my personal and professional journey. I am now taking on that same role and making time to share and educate in order to help others. It’s an amazing movement!

What is your favourite Quote?

One of my favorites is “Cheap Things Cost” I actually stole it from my mother. It basically means that you can’t take short cuts in life. If you want to succeed you have to go through the steps otherwise you end up right where you started.

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would you say to her?

Be fearless and be true to yourself. Take the time you need to discover who you are. As a teenager, I put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself. I was an overachiever and strived for everything to be perfect. I had unrealistic expectations which often led to disappointments. I was always in school, studying or working and didn’t really take the time to focus on hobbies and the things that I loved outside of school. I would definitely tell myself to take my time and enjoy each day.

Time travel or teleportation?
I would have to pick time travel. The 1980s is such a spectacular era to me. I would’ve loved to go back and experience it; the music, the lifestyle and the fashion.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?

The separatism and the hatred. Our failure to embrace differences along with hate and ignorance has caused so much division and war in this world. It’s a shame that in 2017 we are still living in fear of terrorism and war. It saddens me that we constantly fail to come together during challenging times. I travel a lot and I’m constantly on the go; nowadays I really have to be careful and apprehensive about the countries I travel to for my safety, it’s sad.

What would you like to be remembered for? 
Contributing to society, sharing, partaking.
I would like to be remembered as a change agent; someone who contributes to society by offering positive solutions and changes. I want to change the way young women see themselves. My goal is to visit more class rooms, attend more career fairs and share my story in order to uplift and encourage others to go for their dreams. At the end of the day, I was a young girl who decided to go for it. I left my comfort zone at the age of 19 and continued to strive until I saw results. I am planning on writing a book next year which will highlight some valuable tools that have helped me throughout my journey.

Connect with Edwina;

Instagram: @Edwinakulego

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