“I Started My Company With A Borrowed Sewing Machine”-Fay Designs C.E.O
Zambian fashion designer Faith Mulenga Kabende makes it big in the designing industry and urges young girls to work hard for great exposure to bigger opportunities in life
“Be a Girl with a mind, a Woman with attitude, and a Lady with class” Faith Mulenga Kabende
Realty of life tells us a girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own bills should be as happy as anybody on earth. This also tells us the sense of independence and financial security is very sweet despite success comes with so much hard work and there are so many challenges you have to go through, you know being women in this world is not easy.
However, it is those challenges that can provide a great opportunity and a platform for a girl to transform into a woman .the fact is during your life, you will be faced with many obstacles and a lot more challenges that will provide you an opportunity to learn and grow, you know the strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.”.
“Meaning a strong woman builds her own world through her great works she is willing to put in despite the life challenges.
Faith M Kabende is a very hardworking lady that dedicates so much of her time in making her life great as a fashion designer who did her education at Evelyn Hone College under Marketing program and someone who already obtained a bachelor’s degree in development studies, her first job opportunity was with ZAMTEL, After working for Zambia Telecommunication (ZAMTEL) and designing clothes for friends and family in her free time latter decided to quit her job at the age of 27 to follow her passion and start her own fashion design business. People thought it was a crazy idea to stop work and follow her passion. She says, it was the best thing to do and she has no regrets.
Quitting her job wasn’t a hard thing because designing was a seed she had sown with great passion when she was about 12 years old, by the time she was 15 years she already started making her own clothes that she would wear at school on civilian day.
In an exclusive interview with girl empowerment alliance for Change faith recores
“I remember how my friends used to look forward to see what kind of an outfit I was going to pull off on civilian day at school. I would normally wear a tie and a waistcoat, just something crazy. And back then, it wasn’t something very common to wear clothes like that but with the help of my mother, I would sketch and she would hand-sew the clothes for me.”
Out of hard work she is now a director of Fay designs; the name Fay who was derived from her name “Faith”.
Fay Designs is a professional design label established in 2003 which she created it out of her passion for fashion, and she is the label’s sole designer. This is a unique Zambian design label specializing in both Afrocentric and Western tailor-made clothing with a team of qualified tailors that help to bring Faith’s creative designs to life.
Fay Designs supplies clothing to stores in South Africa and has clients from all over Zambia as well as USA, UK, Switzerland and Germany.
According to her success Faith always began with the love to create clothes. She would buy second-hand clothing and alter them so she could wear them. Her company, Fay Designs began in her living room which officially started in 2007 with a borrowed sewing machine with much hard work and family’s encouragement she persevered and now she is the first Zambian Designer to showcase her fashions in London and today Fay Design has three offices, She has dressed presidents, the Zambian First Lady, Zambian celebrities, and important dignitaries. She shows her designs in the annual Zambian fashion week and has showcased her designs in the Fashion capitols of London, Paris and Japan as well as Algeria and South Africa. She continues to grow her status through hard work that today there Fay Fashion Design School that is looking into bringing sustainable development in the future designers.
She explains in this work of fashion and design I have come to understand that Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes, I think empowerment is all about confidence and fashion it is an amazing tool to reflect every beauty that a woman has, Fashion is indeed an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to making women feel more beautiful and it is believed that anyone with the love for fashion will tell you it can help boost the spirit, talent and skills within.
There are so much benefits of being a fashion designer because it isn’t just about making people look great but it is something that exposes you to many opportunities because you meet different people in all walks of life. , I feel I have already gotten everything and I have managed to achieve things both professionally and personally.
With all her hard work her company has empowered a number of young talented girls (Models) who believe and see a future in the fashion industry she explains “It has been 12 years since I started with business, this is something that I started like no differently like any other ambitious little girl who is discovering a future but finding it hard to make it, she only considered designing, making and selling clothes nothing but a weekend hobby, until it dawned on her that she was getting enough orders to start a business, and so she did. When I discovered I was good in it I became so much consistent and believed I could do something out of it, I remember I was always told by my sister that I could achieve anything I wanted as long as I was open, worked hard and remained helpful to others, the truth is am very much proud and fortunate that throughout my years in this journey of designing, I have been surrounded by inspiring women like my sister a person who has kept me strong and someone that used to do different kinds of businesses that helped me get exposed, My desire and passion for great work has so far being the result of a lot of hard work, but also the belief that only the sky is the limit has kept me pushing.
My future plans are to grow my business such that I don’t need to be hands on all the time; she further plans to manufacture printed cotton fabric (Fay Fabrics) from the cotton grown on her cotton farm. The fabric factory will also purchase cotton from over 500 women cotton farmers in Zambia’s copper bel and Faith dreams of Fay Designs becoming a global brand, my best encouragement to women and girls is “Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. Believe in yourself no one has a final say about one’s life but the creator of heavens and earth. No one should talk you out of your dreams. Dream it and say it loud to give it life. You don’t have to work for money when you are starting a business, do it with all your heart and money will eventually come, that’s how you grow a business. “If you dream of going into the fashion and designing industry, you need to have interest and be determined. You should love it with all your heart otherwise you will never make it because this industry is so stressful.”
Courtesy of : Girl empowerment alliance for Change.