At just 20, Ake is honing her entrepreneurial skills in fashion, events

Sandra Ake. Courtesy.

For Sandra Ake,losing her mother, who doubled as her business mentor and partner was not a sign to stop, but a wakeup call to push forward despite her young age.

When Ake’s mother, who was a business woman and an event planner passed away in July of 2018, the young entrepreneur decided to forge ahead and pursue her goals and ambitions so she could still make her mother proud. She was the only parent she had having lost her father earlier.

As an event planner, and a self-made designer who had started as early as her senior two, Ake reveals that she learned from her mother and took after her.

“My mother was very hardworking, which motivated me to work on my own goals as well.”

She tells of how her mother had spent time to groom and support her financially, emotionally, and offer her advice on how she could grow herself and her small business even at a very young age.

In 2015, when Ake was in senior three, her mother invested in her by buying her various decorating items and materials so she could carry on with her dreams.

That same year, Ake set up her own fashion agency, planned over thirty-two weddings, and hosted about three red-carpet events at Sports View Hotel. She also got the opportunity to participate in that year’s Fashion Awards.

“I employed twenty-three models to go on the runway and present the clothes I had designed,” shares Ake.

She, however, put on hold her work so she could go back to school and concentrate on her education.

In 2016, Ake continued to design clothes, plan clients’ weddings, as well as host house parties to generate more income. After hiring a tailor to aid her, she set forward to save up her income in preparation for grander business ideas.

2017 opened doors for Ake’s mother as she reaped a lot of profits from her business, which enabled her to fully set Ake soaring in the skies.

 “My mother had acquired enough material of her own, so I rented from her and used it for other events. I would then earn profits which I gladly shared with her.”

The two became business partners of the sort. They were both shooting for the stars as the universe blessed them with financial growth. Meanwhile, Ake was about to wrap up with her secondary education and so in preparation for the outside world, her mother started serious business briefing with her daughter.

According to Ake, she wanted to gain more resources so that she would set up her own company and employ other young people who are talented in many different ways such as make-up artists, models and so on. She hoped to grow her company with a target of getting all young hardworking people to work towards a similar goal.

As unpredictable as life can be, in 2018, Ake’s only remaining parent, her mother, passed on. Although it was a huge blow, she quickly picked herself up and turned to savings from her years of work to set out to fulfill the promises she had made to her mother.

Ake embarked on writing a book as her testimony and to be a source of strength for other people experiencing setbacks.

 “The book titled, “My choice, my ways,” is set to be published in March of this year,” discloses Ake.

Meanwhile, the young entrepreneur is focusing on event planning as she wants to create job opportunities for fellow youths.

 “There’s so many youths sitting around and the fact is that we are each other’s help,” she says.

Ake employs about fourteen workers and among them are photographers, makeup artists, entertainers, decorators, among others. She also works closely with a colleague from Tanzania known as Vava Trends, who supplies her with wedding clothes.

At the moment, Ake is looking to expand her fashion and events business to employ even more young people.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

 

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