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Hustler : Vanessa Ikwang

Ikwang shows off some of her designs. PHOTO BY ISAAC SSEJJOMBWEShe always had a passion for fashion designing but was doing it for fun until her Congolese friend gave her free materials, which motivated her to take it up as her profession.

Hi Vanessa, what makes you wake up early every morning?
My business makes me wake up early every day.

What kind of business is it?
I call it Ikwang, from my name. We design all types of clothes.

How did you come up with this business?
Previously, I was working at a furniture shop called E and E Interiors but was doing fashion designing as a side business and one of my friends saw how good I was and brought me African print materials from Congo free of charge after seeing my sketches, and as they say, the rest is history.

What materials do you use to make your designs?
I use chiffon, lace, cotton, leather, satin, linen and denim. There is usually an African touch on everything I design.

How much do you charge for your designs?
I charge 70k for dresses, 50k for skirts, shorts and shirts, 10k for hair ribbons and bow ties, 5k for earrings, shoelaces and bangles and they all include material and labour.

Why did you decide to go into this kind of business?
Like I said earlier, I got free material, which means I didn’t invest anything in it and then passion also drove me to do it.

Can you tell me the steps you go through to make an outfit?
First and foremost, sketch what comes to mind or what you would like to make, take measurements, select the preferred material, cut out according to design and measurements, sew, but don’t forget to leave room for adjustments and finally fit.

Would you swap designing for anything else?
Never in my right mind.

What challenges are you facing?
I have so much to do in so little time and then clients take long to pay.

Where are you located?
I’m making my designs from home in Bweyogerere, but one can reach me on 0701087370.


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