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Often a business idea stems from a personal passion, and in the case of Miyoba Buumba, founder of Mwabonwa Designs in Zambia, that passion came from her interest in proudly African design. Today, her brand is a reflection of her own design inspiration and her love of African style and culture.

What does your company do?

Mwabonwa Designs specializes in designing and creating a range of decorative homeware including curtains and duvets, pillows and African prints, and also beaded jewelry and accessories, as well as kids wear.

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What inspired you to start your company?

I love contemporary African wear and beaded necklaces, but they are expensive to have them made, so I decided to learn how to do design and create them myself so that I wouldn’t have to pay anyone else to do it for me. Another inspiration came as a result of my always imagining designs in my mind, but when buying fabric and telling someoneelse how to do it, they would simply look at me with a 'that's impossible' kind of look. So I decided that turning my own imagination into real tangible products would be a wonderful inspiration to start a business. Another reason for starting my business is because I want to be financially independent. As an environmental activist, it is better for me to run an enterprise that is going to employ youths and also provide funding for environmental activities.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

Because at Mwabonwa Designs, all our products are uniquely made with a sense of modernity connecting the customer to African style and culture. They are the best products for women who are proud of their African identity.

Tell us a little about your team

I have a team of two people that help me with the day to day activities of the business. One is a 28 year old lady who has a Bachelors Degree but is interested in fashion. Another one is a man in his late 30s who is a tailor by profession.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

I don't come from an entrepreneurial background and I never imagined I would find myself in the position of owning a brand. I've always been a social activist and my journey through entrepreneurship was just born out of the passion to create something meaningful on my own. My business is driven by passion, so I still enjoy it even when markets are difficult.

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

My future plan is to expand the business and have not less than 5 outlets within Zambia and neighboring countries. I hope to run a tailoring and designing school so that I can empower other young people who are struggling to find their paths in life.

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

Generating my own income and deciding what to do with it. Another source of satisfaction comes from the act of creating something beautiful that people will want to own.

What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

Don’t give up on your passion and dreams. In life we always have to push for the doors of success to open.

Source: Lionesses of Africa