Local clothing brand, Thumbs Up, a Namibian youth led motivational local brand founded by young entrepreneur Andrew Naftal, continues to make waves while attracting more customers.
According to Naftal, the word ‘thumb up’ is actually a sign of approval, satisfaction or appreciation. He says he founded the brand while at high school, following a policy he created for himself, the ‘rule of thumb satisfactory’. “If I play around with my school work, it’s a thumb down (dissatisfactory), but if I work hard, it’s a thumb up (satisfactory),’’ he explains adding that the policy worked well for him as it acted as a motivating tool, towards his academic achievements.
“In 2015 the thumb satisfactory policy model worked out for me as I smashed the Grade 12 National examinations with 40 points. In 2016, I was admitted to further my studies at the University of Namibia (Unam). As I was very much amazed by own policy, I even decided to print a T-shirt for myself written “Thumbs Up” with a slogan at the back, “am satisfied’’,” explains Naftal.
Wearing the T-shirt on campus, it caught his friends’ attention who and soon they were also sporting it. Naftal saw a business opportunity in this and decided to turn Thumbs up into a clothing brand as it became in demand from most who knew him. “It was not easy to start trading with the general public after most of the people that I know bought T-shirts. However, this did not stop me to trade,” says Naftal. By the end of 2016, Andrew came up with the idea of photo-shoots of his brand to promote it and as gift to those who supported him. This increased his sales and attracted more than 90 participants last year.
Today Thumbs Up is more than a clothing brand, offering photography services, transport services, upcoming local brand printing services, Gazebo rental services, poster designing and motivating sessions to school leaners.
“Self-empowerment is the key,” says Naftal who is now a final year full time Business Management-(Banking and Finance) student at Unam with plans for a Masters in Business (MBA) next year in South Africa.
Thumbs Up… Andrew Naftal wearing one of his trademarks Thumbs Up t-shirts. The brand is currently making waves locally.