Her name is just right, especially for someone in her line of work. Meet Amani Kalisa, founder of Amani K Creation and Fashion House; easily the fastest growing fashion house in Rwanda. When it comes to working with different fabric, the expert knows it all; Amani is indeed a force to be reckoned with.
Born and bred in DR Congo`s capital Kinshasa, Amani, just like any other child, had dreams. She went on to acquire a Bachelor`s Degree in Fashion and Apparel Design. She completed her studies in 2003 at the Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore University, India, and came back home - bursting with ideas.
Society Magazine caught up with her at her busy workshop and showroom located at UTC (Union Trade Center) in the heart of the city. They say, if you don’t know how to smile, never open a shop. She has a unique smile and certainly to attracts customers.
“I started putting my dreams into action by promoting and establishing my company in Rwanda with support from my mother. In the process, I developed a deeper understanding of the challenges and issues affecting development of the fashion and design industry in the country,” Amani explains.
“The Japanese government was looking for someone with an understanding of textile after I failed to make a deal with the textile industry in the country then. So when they read an article in The New Times by Linda Mbabazi about me, they contacted her and got in touch with me,” she recalls the moment as if it were yesterday.
“The Japanese government’s project was to develop textile from banana fibre and since Rwandans are well equipped with banana plantations, they needed someone with a good understanding of the textile industry- so they got me,” she explains.
“The Japanese funds helped me attend training in Japan, learning how to use their machines and come up with threads and material. When I came back, I hooked up with the River of Nation Foundation to take the business up a notch with support from the people in Japan who donated weaving and spinning machines,” she narrates.
With her innate capability to develop different styles and forms of clothes, wonderfully combining different mediums to create beautiful, artistic and unique fashion with a keen African touch fused with Western and Indian designs, she is one of the few known fashion designers with glamour and colour especially when it comes to wedding attire.
Married with two children, the hard working thirty-seven year old says she is only getting started and that success has no limits. She has employed over fifteen people and strives towards greater things. She also wants to share her talent with young and upcoming fashion designers.
If you are in need of that polished look for a wedding occasion, now you know where to go.