Tuesday 7 May 2013
2Inspire Business Profile: Isossy Children
In this business profile we meet the amazing Amanda Rabor, founder of Isossy Children fashion label - a global childrenswear fashion label for global children. Read Amanda's inspirational business journey and be inspired!
Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
It’s such a mixed bag. I’m really blessed because my days are so varied and during busy periods I never know what opportunities can pass my way. Having said that, I start my day with prayer, meditation to balance myself and emails and Twitter to see what new connections we’ve made and can make.
During busy times, I’m between the office, the car, the studio and meetings. It can get pretty busy.
Sometimes, I have a lot of correspondence between time zones, so I have to be able to respond to that.
I designed my next year’s collection on a Trans Atlantic flight. That was a first for me.
But it all starts with being balanced.
What made you start the business and how did you get started?
For me, Isossy Children is a calling. It's a creative calling but far more than that, it's a calling to promote diversity and global clothing for kids. We incorporate Global and Western cultures to create contemporary clothing that all children can wear. The inspiration is transcending cultural barriers and opening it up for all children. I believe it's empowering for children to see African or South American influences in their day-to-day expression and in turn it promotes inclusion and understanding. That’s the legacy Isossy Children can contribute to the upcoming generations. I started by waking up & feeling spiritually inspired to try my business again. I took one step and the rest flowed.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
We did a series of Fashion Shows last year 2012, culminating with a big show for as part of Global Kids Fashion Week in March 13. It’s amazing celebrating the label with everyone and getting love and appreciation for what we’re trying to achieve.
I’ve been nominated for Women 4 Africa, Fashion Designer of the year award and will find out on May 18th 2013. Being involved with organisations like these are great experiences for me.
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
It requires total dedication which often means sacrifice on many levels. I find it hard to push when I’m tired. But I love what I do and I’m quite single minded in my approach so my family is thankfully there to prop me up when it gets intense.
Also, this recession is tough. I figure, if we can ride the storm, only great things will follow.
What are your future plans for the business?
Global success through sales, job creation and educating about diversity and being Global citizens. Isossy Children is a pioneering company. It has vision and it will grow dynamically around the world.
I’ve started setting up little projects to include kids more in our brand identity. We are working with tween bloggers around the world. This is really exciting and really the future.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I’d be more structured and precise with my investments into the company. Make every penny count.
Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Young women were once children. When I remember my childhood, adolescents and young adulthood I can reflect on the things that I did in my formative years. As a 5 year old child, I cut clothes out of newspaper. As a 14 year teen, I designed and made clothes. As a young adult I did fashion shows, started a children’s label and tried to set-up my business for the first time. What am I saying? When we encourage children, they can become who they believe themselves to be.
My journey has been rough and bumpy along the way and if it’s one thing I’d like to share with children and young people, it’s that you must never stop believing in yourself. Have 100% confidence in your ability. I think that girls and young women seem to struggle with that at times, more than our male counterparts (as a generalisation). It’s something we have to nurture from a young age. 100% confidence doesn’t allow for negativity to enter and grow within, it makes it bounce off.
What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Plan, strategize, KNOW YOUR FIGURES, be business minded and just do it. You can’t do everything yourself, but what you can do, do well and what you can’t do, get someone else to do. You need money to build a brand. Also, develop good contacts.
What or who inspires you in business and why?
My mother has inspired me. She possesses great vision and tenacity in her business life. She has a steely determination to succeed. She really broke boundaries during her younger days. I think what I love most is that she didn’t contain herself in a box. She was just ambitious and she just did it. I love that.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
My husband nick-named me Isipossible. My favourite quote at the moment is “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’” Audrey Hepburn. I love it