From a young age, Divana /Uises was always fascinated by fashion and spent much of her time designing clothes and putting garments together.
Years later, /Uises is stitching her way into the wardrobes and hearts of many fashion enthusiasts across the country.
VIBEZ! caught up with the creative director and owner of Blaque Creative Studio to find out how she navigates the space she occupies.
Coming from the mining town of Oranjemund, /Uises said the market in her town is small, so many of her clients are based nationwide, which motivated her to grow her business further.
“That is another challenge because my town is very far from the rest of the other towns, and we have to produce customised items for people we have never met. But thanks to technology, we are able to communicate via WhatsApp and other platforms,” she explained.
Despite being one of the dominant fashion designers from that town, /Uises said she still has to work twice as hard to achieve the results of designers in Windhoek and other towns.
“So, to achieve that, I have to go the extra mile to reach a greater clientele reach.”
Established in 2016, Blaque Creative Studio has grown consistently since day one, and they are working to make a mark in the gigantic fashion industry.
“When I first started, the business had a different name and operations. I imported clothing and other beauty items to sell, and I would only produce my designs to complement the imported clothing. For example, if I imported a pair of jeans, I would make a blouse or top to go with it and sold it as a pair.”
However, /Uises changed the business operations and structure at the beginning of the pandemic, as there were restrictions on imports into the country.
“That is when I realised that as a nation, we need to start being self-reliant and produce our things, and not only rely on other countries. That is how I rebranded and started producing my own clothing items.”
Blaque Creative Studio’s versatile items range from bonnets for women, satin sleepwear, lingerie and head accessories. They also cater for both sexes and sizes.
Just like any other emerging start-up, /Uises has been operating from home. But due to the high demand and business growth, they are planning to move from a studio into a factory.
“It is still in the planning process, and the finer points are being worked out.”
In the meantime, /Uises has three employees, and plans to increase the number as time goes on.
“What inspired me and still inspires me is my need for wanting to make an impact in other people’s lives. I would also like to help a lot of upcoming fashion designers, especially those in the rural areas, and I would like to help them get their spot in the market.”
The fashion fanatic also aims to pursue commercial garments in the near future.
Asked about her thoughts on the local fashion industry, she said fashion in Namibia has grown rapidly.
“The garment industry is very dynamic and huge, and the trends are constantly changing, so one has to be on top of their game. Namibia has a lot of creatives and people with great potential. I hope that one day we will be able to take our products outside as well.”