Mrs. Akua Afriyie Sarpong-Ayisa
“The challenges I faced while growing up as a young girl have made me what I am today, and I’m grateful to God and my mother for being there for me during those trying moments,” these were the words of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Floral, Mrs. Akua Afriyie Sarpong-Ayisa, whenWeekend Today caught up with her in her office recently.
Born as Akua Afriyie Sarpong to the late Emmanuel Victor Kwame Sarpong and Juliana Ama Fosuah Sarpong, all from Mampong in the Ashanti Region, the young Akua Afriyie Sarpong grew up in Accra.
Mrs. Ayisa had her basic education at St John’s Preparatory School in Accra, then to Oda Secondary School where she obtained both her Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificates.
After her Sixth Form education, she went to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region to study Estate Management although her dream profession was to become a lawyer.
But as fate may have it, she ended up not even becoming an estate developer but an air hostess. Everything happened when there was ‘aluta’ (to wit demonstration) at the university, which compelled the authorities to close the university down for a year.
She therefore, took advantage of the closure of the university at that time to take a flight attendant course with Ghana Airways Company Limited (now defunct) in collaboration with the Royal Dutch airlines.At Ghana Airways, Ayisa took a lot of Aviation related courses, thus when the need for a Head of Inflight in Ghana Airways became available, she was the best person for the job, hence she took the role.
During her days with Ghana Airways, she had the opportunity to travel across the world, and that was when she developed keen interest in different types of flowers she came across. She eventually developed a relationship with a number of florists around the world who gave her deeper understanding into the world of plants and the floral business which became the beginning of her journey to floral work.
Having gained a lot of exposure in the floral business, Mrs. Ayisa then started buying exotic flowers for her home from countries like The Netherlands, United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK). But she was giving them out as gifts to family and friends until her husband encouraged her to turn the growing passion into a real business.
She took the advice of her husband, and after getting a location officially in 1991, commenced the selling of flowers, which later acquire the business name: “Unique Floral,” to reflect the uniqueness she attached to it.
For almost three decades, Unique Floral has specialized in providing extensive range of beautiful flowers and gifts as well as high standard designs and planning not only in Ghana but in neighbouring West African countries.
She has also been able to create timeless and unforgettable ambiance for all kinds of events through floral arrangements and event design with both fresh and artificial flowers.
She has in stock flowers that have been grown and carefully selected from her 20-acre floral farm in Aburi in the Eastern Region including weekly supply of specially imported flowers from Kenya, Ethiopia and Holland.
After 28 years of being in operation, she has been able to evolve from a very humble beginning to a household name in Ghana and West Africa. She has expanded from retailing of flowers to event planning and design, decoration as well as opening of an ultra-modern flower decorating training school and multiple event venues in Ghana.
She is married to Air Commodore (Rtd) Philip Ayisa who she met in 1990. They have eight children, 3 boys and 5 girls. She likes doing decoration at her leisure time, and wants to be remembered for the advice and counseling she gives to people, especially the youth, who are eager to make it to the top.