At first, it seemed intangible and unrealistic, just like most dreams she has had; but soon she would realize that this is not just one of “them”. This was different, and soon the pictures began coming together; the puzzles, one piece after another, broader, brighter and clearer. And then, it dawned on her that she was indeed, looking into her future. And so, she simply stood up, walked into it and became it…………..
Yes, this is Christine Mbabazi, and this is her story.
She started small in the confines of her small bedroom. Her tools were basic; needle, thread and pieces of fabric, with which she created her designs. Unique, beautiful and African designs.
There was simply nothing more to it than a desire to feel and appear unique. She took pleasure in creating her own designs and sewing unconventional personal outfits.
But like an African proverb says, “A good product always sells itself.”
Christine’s friends saw what she wasn’t seeing at the time. They recognized prospect and took a decision to announce it and in fact sell it.
Soon, clients began knocking on Christine’s door, with their unending requests. That was when she realized that she was in business. And more than anything, she was enjoying it.
“My friends saw me and saw I was very unique in parties, weddings, even at work — that’s how the word spread out. It’s still a big challenge convincing people you can go to work when you have a African fabric suit but we are still fighting those small challenges.” She tells CNN African-Startup.
Ideas began pouring in, and in a short while, her childhood past time translated into an amazing venture.
She is now the owner of her own store – Christine Creative Collections (CCC), where she creates and sells a wide variety of exquisite fashion items, including bags, shoes and clothes. All of which are made with locally-sourced materials.
“I love the African fabric,” she says. “[Growing up] I liked looking unique, [so] I used to cut my clothes in different ways — I used to change them, I used to sew with my hands. It all inspired me to come up with what I have today.
Now, her next step is to take her brand, which she calls CCC beyond the shores of her dear country, Rwanda and around the world. “I want to be exporting things made in Rwanda,” she says, “so that when you are in Europe and you see something, you’re like this is from CCC.”
Christine Mbabazi, who is also a radio presenter, makes use of social media to advertise her designs, but says many people still don’t believe that traditional fabrics are acceptable in formal settings.
“The brand is promoting African fabric and African designs, with my creativity, and developing it to the rest of the world,” says the young Rwandan entrepreneur.
And for this African beauty, this is just the beginning…………..