Joining us today is an awe- inspiring woman Aretha Bauwens, former Muvhango actress, model and business woman. Aretha Bauwens grew up in Venda in the Limpopo province. She studied Drama and got her Diploma at Durban University of Technology. Lived in Gauteng for 6 years were among other things she got a role on Muvhango as Thivhulawi. She met her husband in Johannesburg and they relocated to Cape Town which is where she resides now.
She has a showroom in Century City where she conducts her businesses while she waits for the renovations of her boutique and hair salon to be completed. She will be doing a formal launch of her brand in the next few weeks.
Please tell us about your journey.
I started selling human hair www.brazilhair.co.za in 2014 because I got tired of waiting to be employed and I wanted to be my own boss. I then started designing shoes and bags in 2015 September and named the brand after myself AB by Aretha Bauwens because I want to build a legacy and make my mark in the fashion industry. I sell them on www.arethabauwens.com
How did you discover your passion?
I’ve always liked to look different and to stand out in a crowd, and the best way to do that is if I design my own outfits and put them together my way. This all started when I was just a little girl. My mom would hide all the scissors and needles at home because I would cut up new clothes and redesign them.
Have you always wanted to start your own business?
I have always wanted to have my own clothing and accessory line and I have always wanted to own a hair salon. AB by Aretha Bauwens boutique and hair salon will be opening soon so I’d say dreams do come true when God is in the centre of it all.
What exactly does your business do?
I sell high quality human hair, I design and tailor make human hair wigs for women. I design and sell shoes and handbags. I make my own clothes and I have people admiring what I make and I get orders when people see me wearing my creations on my social media platforms.
What advice would you give a young woman who would like to follow your path?
Woman, know your dream and work towards it every day. Don’t let any obstacles or challenges discourage you. You are the only person who knows that vision and the only person who can either make it happen or break it.
You are a very busy woman, what time do you sleep?
Between 10pm and 11pm. Sometimes at midnight or after depending on what I’m working on.
What can you not live without?
My cellphone, my shoes, my bags and my make-up bag, my wigs and my sewing machine… Long list, I know!
How do you keep your head up high all the time?
I know God is always on my side and He has the steering wheel and that gives me so much peace.
What is it that people don’t know about you?
When I design clothes, I fall in love with a fabric and buy it not knowing what I will do with it. When I get home I sit with a pair of scissors and cut the fabric and start sewing not knowing what I am going to end up with. Then I surprise myself when I am done. I don’t have patterns or sketches for my designs. I let my imagination lead the way.
What is the fashion advice can you give us for the winter season?
Try to stay away from dark colours such as black, navy blue and dark grey, unless it’s a legging or a stocking or a uniform. The weather is depressing enough as it is. Wear some colourful coats and dresses to lift up your mood. Break the norm and dare to be different.