Rosa Mensah poses for a photo in front of her Minnesota State Fair booth, Batakali Fashion Design. Credit: Drew Arrieta | Sahan Journal

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Rosa Mensah was swathed from top to bottom in brightly colored clothes on the first day of the Minnesota State Fair. Her yellow outfit was punctuated with a riot of mixed patterns in turquoise, black, and red. Racks of colorful tunics, dresses, and wares hung in the background.

Mensah owns the Batakali Fashion Design booth at the International Bazaar, where she sells clothing made in Ghana.

Sahan Journal spoke with Mensah, who is from Ghana, about the wares she sells at the fair and online.

What is all of this stuff you’re selling?

“I’m selling dashikis, women’s clothing, skirts, jackets, bags, jewelry, and I have children’s clothing, too. Beautiful stuff!”

Have you had this booth at the fair for a while?

“Yes, this is my third year. The first year I was over there on that side, but this year I have more stuff, so they gave me a bigger booth.” 

How did you get interested in having a shop at the fair?

“I used to come to the fair, and I saw that people were selling things. So I said, ‘Let me just come in and do my designing, too.’ So I came in and set up one day, it was OK, and I’m here.” 

Where do all of these clothes come from?

“From Ghana.” 

Do you have a shop like this outside of the State Fair?

“Actually, I don’t have a shop, but I’m doing internet sales right now. I’m going to be on Facebook, on Instagram, and I’m working on it. Right now I’m just doing pop-up shows.”

How has business been on this opening day?

“Well, today is the first day, so people are looking and trying to see what they like. If they want it, they buy it.”

Any deals you want to let people know about?

“I’m reasonable, trust me. When you come and buy something, you’ll enjoy it and come back again, because my stuff is reasonable. It’s not expensive where you can’t afford it.” 

Where can fairgoers find you?

“In the International Bazaar. And they can call me at (763) 954-0359.”

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Joey Peters

Joey Peters is a reporter for Sahan Journal. His work has appeared in Reuters, Public Radio International, Columbia Journalism Review, KFAI Radio, the Pioneer Press, City Pages, MinnPost and more. He previously...

Samantha HoangLong is the audience growth manager at Sahan Journal. In her role, she leads innovative digital strategies to expand the nonprofit newsroom's reach to Minnesota's diverse communities. Her...