Eduardo Malcolm and Jacqueline Briggs moved to Riverview from New York City two years ago. In the two years that they have been a part of the Riverview community, they have managed to make their men’s clothing line, Afribera, quite popular in the Tampa Bay area. Their shirts and masks can be found in shops in Ybor City and St. Petersburg.
“We moved to Florida from New York because our style is more focused on spring and summer style,” Malcolm said. “Our shirts are so unique that they speak to Floridians.”
Malcolm received his degree in photography and fashion from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and immediately put his skills to work.
“I got my degree in photography and fashion so I could do all the photography for our fashion business in New York,” Malcolm said. “I always remembered my mom sewing while I was growing up and that inspired me to follow in that path. My creative side is what drives me on this journey.”
When the pandemic hit, Afribera’s followers suggested to Malcolm and Briggs that they start to use their shirts’ bright colors and unique patterns to make masks.
“We decided to make the masks and we reached out to our followers in New York first to see if we could help with getting them masks,” Malcolm said. “Now, we are shipping masks to all 50 states. We also have been donating masks to the homeless here in our area because they have been severely affected by the pandemic.”
Keeping things local is very important to Malcolm and Briggs. With the help of local social media blogger Lisa Freeman (@loveandlisa88), Afribera’s shirts and masks have become quite popular.
“Lisa invited us to an event in St. Pete a few months ago that focused on black-owned local businesses,” Malcolm said. “We went and sold our masks. Little did we know that the owner of Black Crow Coffee Company in St. Pete bought one of our masks. The owner reached out to us and asked if we would be willing to sell our masks in the coffee shop. We agreed, and it has been a great partnership. This shows how a community can come together to help each other. Helping each other is what makes a community grow.”
To learn more about Afribera or to purchase a shirt or mask, visit www.afribera.com or contact Malcolm at 347-615-8445.