Hear from Tafadzwa Gumbo, International Business Management student, about how she has founded her own fashion business while studying at Brookes!
3 min read.
Hey everyone! I am Tafadzwa Gumbo, founder of Runako Designs. We are a Zimbabwean fashion brand that blends African and modern/contemporary fashion together. Our vision is to design fashion for all ages, all cultures and all occasions around the world.
The drive behind Runako Designs came from my love of blending colours and making a unique piece. This was then incorporated with my love for fashion and wanting to see an African brand that mixed colours and cultures to make clothes for everyone. Runako Designs was also inspired by the idea of wanting to help people in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans are naturally artistic people who enjoy creating something out of this world. So I decided to add a bit of that creativity to my designs to support local artists and tailors.
Starting Runako Designs was not easy, especially during this pandemic. I have to face the uncertainty the business world has everyday, such as lockdowns that affect how our factory works because we cannot produce when there is a lockdown. This has led to delays to a new production line and also sending orders out late. I am also having to do everything by myself, such as finance and marketing, keeping my instagram page up to date.
Besides the impact of COVID, I am also trying to run a business but at the same time not neglect my studies, because at the end of the day that is the main reason why I am at university.
So, for me to be able to balance study and running a business, I have learnt how to manage my time, creating a schedule that allows me to focus on my university work in the morning and then my business in the afternoon as well as also have a few hours to myself. This has really helped me complete the tasks needed for each day.
My advice to anyone starting or running a small business is to always be patient. Do not rush or let the world rush you. Take your time and do not give up on your idea even if it takes you two years to finally establish your business. Always be flexible and never be afraid of change.
Good luck to everyone on your adventures!