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From back room to catwalk

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A self-taught Kimberley fashion designer and businesswoman is taking her natural talent for design from her back room to the catwalk.

Local fashion lovers have plenty to look forward to. Picture: Supplied

A SELF-taught Kimberley fashion designer, businesswoman and pastor, Boiswa Mohitlhi, is taking her natural talent for design from her back room to the catwalk when her boutique, BonBon Creations, hosts its first fashion show on Friday.

Local fashion lovers can look forward to an array of ladies’ evening wear pieces during the fashion show.

Mohitlhi said she never imagined that her love for making clothes for her dolls would evolve into her showcasing her talent at a fashion show.

“I started making clothes for my dolls when I was a teenager. As I grew older I started making my own clothes. People started showing interest in the pieces I wore and they enquired at which store I bought my clothes. When I told them that I made my own clothes, they started asking me to also design some pieces for them,” said Mohitlhi.

“I started sewing clothes for people by hand in 2014 in a back room at my house. I did not even have a sewing machine and did all my sewing by hand. Those pieces drew more and more interest from other people and my clientele grew greater.”

Mohitlhi said she later had to teach herself how to use a sewing machine.

“My husband later bought me a sewing machine as I did not have one. At that stage, I did not even know where to put the needle. Luckily the sewing machine came with a DVD and I watched that for the instructions on how to use the sewing machine,” she laughed.

She said that her unquenchable passion for design allowed her to grow and she eventually moved out of her back room.

“I have always loved making clothes. In 2021, I opened my own boutique. I then moved out of the back room of my house, which I had used since 2014. I realised that I had to expand my business and that the back room was not sufficient for all the garments I had to make. My clientele also increased and I realised that I had to also see my craft and gift in the same way that my clients saw it.

“As I expanded, I was able to secure premises to run my business from and also employ some staff. Through that I was able to employ some women who were not only in need of employment, but were able to bring a significant change to their personal lives.”

Mohitlhi added that her faith also assisted her in identifying possible opportunities and gave her the confidence to make her mark in the industry.

“When I was younger I never imagined that I would be living this life I am currently living. For someone who grew up moving from one shanty to another, while being raised by a single mother who was a domestic worker, it never even crossed my mind that I would one day own my own boutique.

“After I joined Christian Revival Church (CRC) my confidence grew, not only in faith, but I got to a place where I was able to use my God-given talent. I saw that using and highlighting my talent is also a way of worship.

“Being from an impoverished background, I could have easily fallen into the trap of thinking I would amount to nothing, but I managed to use the talent I got freely to now build myself an empire.

“I want this fashion show to not only showcase beautiful garments but also to be a testimony that one’s upbringing does not determine your journey. We cannot remain sitting and pity ourselves, because you might just be the solution to your own problem,” Mohitlhi advised.

Picture: Supplied
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