Areas of Expertise
Entrepreneurial & Business Adviser
As a lingerie business owner with 5 years of experience in the lingerie industry, Annabelle built her brand from the ground up, by developing her website, sourcing her products, and working with internationally recognised brands such as Agent Provocateur, Olivia von Halle & Maison Close. She launched her business by producing a fabulous fashion show, in Lagos featuring Burlesque performer, Immodesty Blaize. She went on to secure strategic partnerships with online retail platforms, Mall for Africa, Mogoogi.com & more recently, Lyst.com - all of which culminated in Beautifully Undressed being shortlisted in the UK Lingerie Awards 2016 Online Retailer of the Year - Small; and featured in True Africa, Africa's media tech platform, as the'Victoria's Secret of Africa'. She is currently developing her own lingerie collection, adding the bow of lingerie designer to her credentials.
As such Annabelle is well positioned to support young fashion brands and entrepreneurs on how to build a brand, by advising on all areas of setup on a practical and strategic level, including the following:
Creative brand profiling, business planning, website set up and design, marketing, newsletter and blog writing; copywriting, social media set up and management. As well as the creative elements, such as photoshoots and brand campaigns, brand sourcing, social media influencer partnerships, collection selection, designing, pop up events and fashion show production.
Art Curator & Consultant
Annabelle has had a successful career as a freelance Curator, consultant & owner of online gallery Cocoa Arts, managing a portfolio of 10 artists from Africa & the Diaspora. She began her illustrious career as part of the founding team of ground break series Africa 95. She went on to curate major international exhibitions including 'Accident & Design' and 'Tapping into the Known - An exhibition pf poetry by late poet Christopher Okigbo and paintings by Obi Okigbo'; both exhibited in London and Lagos. As well as the acclaimed show which she founded and curated, 'As It Is, Contemporary African Arts Series' that took place at the Mojo Gallery in Dubai, as part of Art Dubai in 2012.
Her fundraising prowess has seen her raise funds and sponsorship/in kind from the following: Arts Council of England, Visiting Arts, Crown Estates, NOCACO, Arise Magazine, The British Council Lagos, Afroganice, Virgin Megastore, Dubai, and Canon amongst others.
Annabelle has worked with powerhouse institutions such as, The Christopher Okigbo Foundation, Bonhams, Brunei Gallery, SOAS and W.E.B Du Bois Institute, Harvard University. Whilst living in Nigeria, she collaborated with NGO's, British Council and Alliance Francaise, on their art and education programmes, particularly in Northern Nigeria.
She's had the privilege of working with experts in the field, such as Nobel Laureate for Literature, Wole Soyinka who was patron of her Dubai show 'As it Is'; Professor of African art, John Picton OBE, North African art & cinema specialist, Rose Issa and renowned artist, El Anatsui, whose work she exhibited in Dubai and went on to sell at Bonhams Africa Now Auction for a record $1.5million.
With these credentials she is best placed to advise on the following:
curating commercial and non-commercial exhibitions; catalogue production, artist management, art valuation, art shipment worldwide, organising multi venue shows and artists travel internationally; PR and marketing, fundraising and sponsorship, exhibition proposals; artists, gallery and private lenders liaison and art procurement.
Annabelle is dedicated to bringing excellent quality art from new and established artists from the African continent and Diaspora.
Actively visiting artists studios and exhibitions to guarantee unique artworks for private and corporate clients, yielding both visual appreciation and long term investment opportunities.
Social Media & Brand Marketing
She was the Marketing Director at ProfPay.com, where she worked along side the COO, developing and implementing their social media and marketing strategy and entry into the Ghanaian market for their retail arm, Mogoogi.
Project managed the production of the company's high impact billboard Ad campaign to launch in Ghana, liaising with the Ghanian PR agency, shoot production team and the brands, Austin Reed and Get the Label. This whilst developing the same for her own business, then just 2 years old!
With a combination of brand strategy, digital know how, and cultural insights she is able to assist individuals and brands with their marketing and social media, creating a cohesive and effective programme that is both engaging and focused on delivering results.
Having had the privilege of being mentored by inspiring business and creative minds, Annabelle recognises the importance in giving back, by supporting young people & upcoming brands.
Her mentorship role involves guidance & advice on how best to navigate your industry, from concept, design, social media and fund-raising strategy - as well as being a friend and a shoulder to cry on.
Currently she mentors two brands, A'Zaria Intimates, luxury lingerie brand and Couture designer, Bao Ta London.
What Drives Me? My Approach
A desire to impact and empower in a positive way, the people I meet and work with and the work that we create together.
In creating both my businesses I recognised that in order to be successful, that 'success' could not be the end game, the drive would have to be the process of creating businesses and projects that were passion led, that fuelled me and the people I worked with; and in so doing create incredible experiences that would be impactful and emancipating for all involved.
This is illustrated in a multifaceted career -
Establishing my online gallery, Cocoa Arts
Artist Manager / Fundraiser producing commercial and non commercial exhibitions
Research assistant for Nobel Lauruete Prof Wole Soyinka
Founder and Curator of a multidisciplinary series of exhibition of contemporary African art in the UAE,
Developing the digital marketing strategies for African payment and logistics company – ProfPay/Mogoogi
Fashion Show curator
Founder and CEO of a luxury lingerie and loungewear destination - Beautifully Undressed
Designer of Beautifully Undressed own collection.
I’m an enthusiastic highly motivated creative entrepreneur & art professional and I'm excited by the challenges of setting up and running new projects. I relish in engaging with talented people and as such have cultivated and retain excellent relationships with a wide range of talented creatives, all movers and shakers in their field, all with a desire and spirit to change the equilibrium, reset the balance and inspire in the process.
This is what moves me, this is how I work.
My Happy Places ?
My passions have merged into my professional life. My spare time is often spent painting, reading, visiting galleries, art shows and collecting art and lingerie! I also have an appreciation for architecture and interior design and I love to travel and experience new places and immerse myself in the rhythm & culture of the places I visit. My dream destinations - Ibiza, Rio, Bali - (I'm a bohemian at heart) Music is my jam and I just love to let my hair down and dance! An avid fitness enthusiast, enjoying running, HIIT and yoga, I plan to one day train to be a yoga instructor! Ultimately, I'm passionate about women empowerment and see this at the core of all my endeavours.
'Predominantly Green, Age of Innocence' by Obi Okigbo - Tapping into the Known - Brunei Gallery