Botswana Daily News (Gaborone) Adorn Africa fashion designs owner, Ms Tumisang Santudu, has introduced sportswear in order to expand her business.
In an interview, Ms Santudu said she felt the need to introduce sportswear to address challenges of low sales.
Ms Santudu said initially she specialised in designing clothing items such as traditional dresses and skirts and although the business started off well, she started to experience low sales.
She said the situation was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying ‘ever since the COVID 19 pandemic, I have experienced a drastic drop on sale profits, most of my customers were people who attended social gatherings such as weddings and others events,’ she said.
Ms Santudu said since numbers of people attending such events had been minimised, she hardly made satisfying profits.
Therefore she felt the need to come up with alternative creations.
“I could not afford to sit and whine about challenges that came along due to the pandemic. I had to work hard and come up with a way that would keep my business afloat,” she said.
She said the response from her customers was overwhelming and mostly preferred customised track pants and tops, sweater hoods and bucket hats.
Ms Santudu said the idea proved viable, adding that ‘currently most of my customers are walk-ins who prefer customised items and this is convenient as it saves me from stockpiling’.
She said stockpiled items took longer to sell and at some point she was forced to sell at giveaway prices.
Meanwhile, Ms Santudu shared that settling in as a fashion designer was almost an uphill battle; but since she was determined, she managed to beat all the odds.
Upon completion of her secondary education, she had a zeal to enroll for a fashion design course. However, that did not happen; all the tertiary institutions she had eyed rejected her.
Ms Santudu said the rejection she encountered propelled her to come up with ways that enabled her to achieve her dream.
She started off by designing and selling earrings and necklaces, saying she saved profits to attend a short course in fashion design at Decatic training institution in Gaborone and upon completion, she introduced clothing items.
In 2017, she tried her luck at Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development where Youth Development Fund assisted her with P100 000.
Ms Santudu said through her business name, Adorn Africa, she wanted to show that her products were not only limited to local market noting that she wished to spread her wings to some African countries markets beautifying and penetrating their markets.
While lockdown left some upcoming businesses stranded economically, others with aborted opportunities, Adorn Africa had a different story to tell.
During the first lockdown in April, Ms Santudu said she won a lucrative tender through Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) to design and supply Debswana
Mining Company with face mask and the profits she generated enabled her to buy some advanced machinery and saved some money for dry seasons.
Source : BOPA