My name is Tracy Ndlovu. I am the owner of House of Accra. I want to tell my story because it may motivates someone.
I am a lady aged 34, and mother of two teenagers” aged 18 and one turning 15 soon.
I came to South Africa at the age of 18 with no qualifications or anything. I have done all the odd jobs that you can think of because of my poor background. It was normal to me coz thats what I knew better. I have worked as a maid, waitress, cashier and shop assistant. One thing l told myself was that l would never let my poor background define my future. Thus, being the bubbly person that l am, my personality and determination opened doors for me. When l say doors, l mean promoted from being a scullery to a cashier lol. But still l was happy with that because it meant growth to me. I was always the first one to get to work and the last to leave, and l would always volunteer to help the managers with their jobs because l was so eager to learn. Guess what? l was promoted to a shift supervisor, then assistant manager! I was good at what l did l mean for someone whose education went up to Form 1 only. It was a blessing for me. I had this burning fire inside me that kept me pushing harder, and for more.
Unfortunately l lost my job because of not having the right immigration papers. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, for that is when l was introduced to the fashion industry. Even though l grew up in rural areas, deep down l knew my passion. I loved clothes, l loved looking good. I loved the feeling and sensation of holding a beautiful dress, a beautiful cloth. I had never had enough to make my dream come true then. But one day my ex boyfriend who was a designer introduced me to one guy who was also designer. You know God is a God of love, that man became my boss. He groomed me in the fashion industry. I became one of the best learners he ever had. The brand is called Urban Zulu.
l worked with him for 4 years. Unfortunatly our relationship ended because he felt like I was becoming a brand in his brand. Even though, I remain profoundly appreciative to him. When we parted ways, that is when l knew l had to start my own thing. Things were hard to a point where l lost my accommodation and all, but giving up was not an option. I hustled, tried everything, and at some point l had lost hope but you know, there is that fire inside me that couldnt let me give up! Today as l write this, l am a shop owner. My shop is 4 months old!
I still have challenges because l am new to this, but as always, l am ever ready and willing to learn and encounter all challenges. Being a self taught enterpreuner is not easy. However, l am a learner and l listen to other people’s advise, and l know that with God’s grace l will make it work.
The challenges will come to pass and l will make and l will build my brand with your support.
Fashion industry is brutal. If you are not strong enough you can quit at any given moment. As someone’s employee it was easier for me to run their business but running my own is not the same anyone.
Marketing has to be aggressive because the competition is stiff. I have used social media mainly as my marketing platform. I sometimes get clients but its not always. Remember l am in competition with bigger brands who are well established and its not easy to convince clients that you can do what they want like the big brands, or even better!!
I am still learning as l go and l hope my brand, the House of Accra will eventually get to be recgonized one day. The road ahead is gonna be bumpy but giving up us not an option. I hope you will travel with me in this lonely competitive journey as one of my customers. Thank you for taking your time to read this.
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