Betty

THE GLORIOUS JOURNEY OF BETTY, THE FASHION DESIGNER

NEWS | FASHION | BOSS LADY

By Franco Mwachande Jnr

It is 2019. Gone are the days when young women were parasites, milking and pilfering the male folk. This is the era of the Boss Ladies where uptown ladies are making strides in uplifting their status quo.

26-year-old Betty Chikoko is one energetic young lady who is also following into such a 21st century model swagger.

Based in Lilongwe, Betty is a professional tailor and fashion designer who is plying her trade at Biwi triangle in the city under the name, Betty Beauty Wear.   

Having grown in a family where “dressing to kill” was the order of the day, Betty started appreciating beauty in clothings at an early age.

“I love fashion. I fell in love with clothings since my childhood. As a child, I always loved seeing photographs of people who dress well and smart. From those ages, I vowed to venture into this industry one day,” she recalls.

By 2015, Betty kick started her career into this dream-come-true industry.

According to her, her four years into this business has taught Betty a lot.  

“I am knowledgeable in this business. I’ve even established a good customer relationship such that most of my customers now believe and trust my work. People have accepted and trusted me over the years and I built trust in my customers too. I cater for a wide range of customers and I treat them with respect and equality,” said Chikoko.

Inspired by designer Lily Alfonso, youthful Betty praises her business, claiming she has managed to do a number of things out of it; a proof that her business is a viable source of income.

“I am partly fulfilling my dream. I’ve always wanted to be financially stable and I am today. I make enough money to keep me going. I’ve managed to buy working machine, I’ve my own models who showcase my designs too, and I support my siblings and children out of the same source,” she says.

Through the same business, Chikoko has secured partnerships with other renowned shops from the three cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu, where she supplies her products.

Threat

Challenges in purchasing quality fabric is the main devil haunting Betty’s business.

“Quality raw materials are hard to get by. As a result, the selling price becomes relatively higher, a thing that may not go well with our consumers,” she worried.    

Dream

Betty, a holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Malawi College of Accountancy (MCA) dreams of “opening an online shop to cater for customers across Africa and to be a fashion designer who will simplify dressing as unique and classic to every occasion all over the world and meeting every person in need.”

A word to fellow ladies

Formal employment is not the only gate-pass to “riches”, so says Betty. She encourages women to make use of their skills for their benefit and understand that it is not only employment and white collar jobs that can earn one a better living. 

“The unemployment levels in the country are so high mostly because people haven’t opened up to change and look at other things besides white collar jobs. I believe in sharing knowledge and skills. It is for this that I find pride in teaching others my skills and experience I have acquired to people who are willing to learn and depend on their own financially,” advises Chikoko.   

You can reach Betty via email anniechikoko@gmail.com.

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