Sonia Mugabo is an eponymous fashion brand. I’m a fashion intrapreneur and I am born and raised in Rwanda.
New York City is very competitive and I just found myself saying but why am I struggling when there’s all these opportunities back home?
You can be able to get a job, you can be able to start a business in one day and so all these things really encouraged me. Like why struggle there when I can literally succeed here and that’s what was like, that’s what has happened.
I feel like if I had stayed there, there’s no way I would have created a brand or created a following or, you know, done what SM has done. We say we’re the destination for the fashion girls essentials.
We also cater to different body shapes, for example, inclusivity is something big in this world today. I am definitely thinking of other product lines that I can include. I wanted to be a lifestyle brand, not just you know, clothes, I just want it to be like a way of living and I don’t want to be limited. So I use different prints, I use different colours, I use different cuts, I just want it to be like any essential like I said, you know, the fashion girls essential.
The thing with the fashion industry, you know, because it’s the glamorous industry, people think everything is its lights, camera and action but it’s never always like that behind the scenes, there’s a lot going on.You might have a brilliant idea but you can’t go to the bank with your idea so access to capital is hard.
I think my past has affected me in my business, both in positive and negative. Negatively, I would say my mental health would have been better if I had not gone through that time. But positively it has also given me a result like you know, I’m resilient and I have a survival instinct, I’m able to not give up. So I always knew that I had to live a meaningful life and create something that that was meaningful.
I always compare myself to my mom. At my age, she would not have these opportunities and it’s not because she was not capable but it’s because she was not she didn’t have that opportunity. So the fact that we have this opportunity, you have to seize the moment. You just have to go for it because a lot of times people think their secrets behind but go for it and you never know where where the journey will take you and be open minded.
I’ve cried I’ve sweated, I’ve been so happy. So there’s a lot of emotion that goes into it and but it’s all worth it in the end, it really is.