“Women empowerment actually comes from females seeing the potential of another woman.”
Well, my name is Michelle Makwakwa and I started Urban Retro Vintage Sisters while I was still at university of the Witwatersrand. How I started was, I was already wearing retro vintage clothes inspired by my style icon my mother. My friends would come to my room looking for clothing that would spice up their outfits when they are going out partying or to an event. My one friend from the residence I used to stay in would call it “Michelle’s Closet”, the closet with all the good clothes that make her stand out from any crowd. As this continued more people started coming to my room for clothes and if they really liked something they would want to own it and offer me money for it. This really got me thinking, thinking about how this could be a viable business, since I was already obsessed with buying retro vintage clothing and the girls would come to my room looking for the clothes. This showed me that there was a market this and making it a business wouldn’t get in the way of my studies because my customers would come to my room. I started selling from my room, and thought there would be more profits if I sold to other girls in other residences. I decided to incorporate my two friends who were also into the same fashion sense and lived in a female residence close to mine hence the name Urban Retro Vintage Sisters. To expand the business and show more people the style we are selling, I then started the Instagram and Facebook page, where people can view what’s in stock and be able to order around the country. I use different models to show that the style is for everyone who wants to stand out and be different from the rest.
The Message of My Story…
The message that I am trying to portray with this story is that women empowerment actually comes from other females seeing the potential of another. This is what my fellow residence mates showed me and with this I could understand that the confidence they had in me could help me build others confidence in fashion and styling. I got to understand that I love fashion,I love styling I love it when another woman looks good and their confident in the clothes they are wearing, thus this is what we strive for as URVS. Boosting women’s confidence with the clothes they cover their bodies with. Apart from all of this looking at it from a business angle, other women from the university i went to have also started their own businesses and use the same platforms I use to drive my business, this means that they studied what we do, got inspired and persuade the fashion retail business. This is also inspiring to do more to reach greater heights. Women empowerment is what i am trying to understand fully, how it can be done financially and non-financially from one woman who understands something to the next woman who would like to learn, and that is the message behind the URVS story.
-Michelle Makwakwa (South Africa)
If you enjoyed Michelle’s story, you can follow her Instagram page @urban_retro_vintage_sisters