Door:
Martha Nalukenge

26 maart 2021

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Growing up, it was engrained in us that we had to take particular career paths if we wanted to succeed later on in life. They are too many to mention but one that was never on that list was fashion and design. From being viewed as a female only field, to the outright falsehood that it is a career for dense students. Now, not only has it evolved into a billion dollar empire, but it’s also used to express different emotions and ideas. With that, our very own young entrepreneurs in Africa have also decided to venture into it. Like Nassozi Carol.

Fashion sense differs among different individuals with most people using it as a way of expressing themselves either as a language or an emotion. We are now embracing it because of how unique you can choose to be. From the common man on the streets to influential personalities, more and more people are paying close attention to whatever it is they are putting on. Influential public figures have embraced this wholly and now every piece, color selection and fabric they wear has been carefully chosen and planned. It doesn’t matter how simple a person may appear.

Demystifying the myth

It’s a long running misconception that children who get good grades in school should only go for the so called ‘prestigious’ careers. That is the lawyers, doctors, engineers and accountants. Should you happen to go for a career in the fashion industry, then the assumption is that you’re either a slow learner or you failed in your exam. Contrary to popular belief, fashion and design is not a course for the illiterate in the society. It is a food for all seasons and for everyone. It transcends time and gender. To be more specific, fashion has never and will never run out of business. Who doesn’t want to wear the latest designs and fashion? In this time and age, it can actually be argued that it has become a necessity. At the end of the day, we need designers and tailors as fashion is a language that the entire universe can converse in.

Nassozi Carol (Picture Martha Nalukenge)

Here is Nassozi Carol a fashion designer, mentor and a youth who believes in being exceptional, original and believing in one’s self. She has been through it all from being an employee to now being her own boss. The experience of working as someone’s employee nurtured her into a better entrepreneur. She learnt business management, customer relations, marketing and hospitality management. It wasn’t always a bed of roses; thorns were experienced though they did eventually mould her into a brand called Carol-Claire Fashions & Designs. The challenges she faced taught her that business flows are like an ocean. A backup plan is always the best way to go in case you encounter a turbulence, like when the sales are low, clients are unhappy and also how to maintain the loyal customers.

What lead to Carol- Claire Fashions & Designs?

“Hard work led to the birth of Carol Claire Fashions & Designs. I learnt how businesses are run when I was still an employee. As much as I also got the best mentorship, there were some dream designs I wanted to make but couldn’t. It simply wasn’t their main business target. This only motivated me even more to make my dream a reality. It was actually my best friend Grace Claire who came to my rescue both financially and emotionally. She saw the confusion and stress through the smile I always put on and suggested that I start up my own workshop. Due to my financial constraints, she chipped in some money of her own since my own start-up capital wasn’t enough to get it up and running.”

“After that I was now able to register the business, purchase a sewing machine and rent a working space. As a token of gratitude, I incorporated both our names as the official name of the business and surprised her with the finished posters. Might I add that coming up with a business name is no walk in the park. After encountering several blocks in my search, I resorted to using our Christian names. With that, my dream of becoming a fashion designer took off and here we are with some of the latest designs there are,” she concluded.

Future ambitions

Carol’s dream for the future is to be the best fashionista in the world. To see her work displayed on the most famous fashion events and walking down the runways. I hope Victoria’s Secret don’t keep the secret on how young African designers may be given an opportunity to reach the peak of the fashion empire. Better yet, how to qualify to be part of their designing team.

Author Martha Nalukenge and fashion designer Nassozi Carol

At this rate, it is only a matter of time before we see African designers’ products strutting down famous runways in Paris, New York and Milan. Hopefully, Carol will be part of the pack. That can only happen if we support our local entrepreneurs by buying locally made products. At the end of the day, we need each other. We need them to make us look well groomed, and they need us to survive business wise.

 

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