Q&A: Designer Gloria Kamanzi: Dreaming of exporting Rwandan textiles

Who is Gloria Kamanzi?  I’m a 31–years–old artist and a business lady. I recently discovered that I had a designing touch which I then explored. I own a business, Glo Creations, which specialises in making batik and also textile designing, God willing very soon I will be an exporter.

Who is Gloria Kamanzi?

I’m a 31–years–old artist and a business lady. I recently discovered that I had a designing touch which I then explored. I own a business, Glo Creations, which specialises in making batik and also textile designing, God willing very soon I will be an exporter.

How did you come up with Glo Creations?

The company started officially in 2008. I had started the business before in Senegal where I was pursuing further studies. When I came back to Rwanda after school, I decided to establish the same business here.

What challenges have you met in your line of work?

 One of the challenges I have always encountered is people believing that I’m capable of offering a good product. Because I’m a young woman doing business people didn’t trust that I can do anything right. Clients accepting that I could provide a good service was challenging.

How have you been able to overcome the challenge?

It’s been hard. I can say it’s getting better but I still have to prove that I’m capable. I have to keep a positive mindset. I always surrounded myself with positive messages that help me to overcome the temptation to give in.

Did you dream of becoming an artist as a child?

You know it’s easy to dream but realising a dream is another thing. I will say I’m living a small part of my childhood dream. As a child I wanted to be a big manager in a big company but I didn’t know what kind of company it would be.  Later in my teenage years I promised myself that I would be a better businessperson than both my mother and my grandfather.
I wanted to do business but I had never known which field I would take on. I was an artist from childhood but I didn’t know where it would lead me.  While in Senegal I discovered that I would earn a living through art.

In your veiw, what is the biggest challenge that the Rwandan women face?

We may not face the same challenges but we have some common challenges. So far, when I see the steps Rwanda has taken, I can see that people here are giving women entrepreneurs a chance to go into business. We still have some people who don’t have confidence in our work but we must prove them wrong.

How do you spend your free time?

 
I love hanging out with my friends and dancing because its stress reliving. I also enjoy watching movies especially on big screens.

What is your current relationship status?

I aspire to start a family and the right time has not come yet. It will be God’s timing.

What are your future plans?

My plans are to expand my business and company. I am look to exporting soon. We already have a few clients in Japan and the US. Exporting is challenging, it comes with risks and we have to step up our game in terms of offering goods and services.
We plan to also set up a training centre for people who are want to work for us or even build partnerships to sharpen our skills and help us  meet global standards.

 

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