Young tailor makes stylish clothes

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  By Eveline de Klerk

WALVIS BAY – A young entrepreneur and tailor Eric Reinholdt Elikana is a trendsetter in Walvis Bay with his simple yet stylishly designed clothes for both male and female.

Twenty-eight-year-old Elikana who designs  upmarket clothing, including for weddings and matric farewells, has become so popular that he  cannot keep up with the demands of his growing clientele he has built up through hard work over the years.

He is currently operating his business from one of the municipal stalls in Kuisebmond alongside many others who dream of expanding their business and moving to bigger and much more upmarket premises.

Elikana arrived at Walvis Bay in 2008 from the north looking for a job at the town.

However he could not find work and had to think fast in order to survive since he was hundreds of kilometres away from his family.

He says the mere thought of survival and the urge to provide for his family pushed him even harder to achieve something.

He is currently the sole breadwinner for his family, among them two of his children.

“It all started with mending my own clothes as I could not afford new ones or take them to a tailor, that was back in 2008,” he said.

He then enrolled at the Namibian Institute of  Mining and Technology (NIMT) to study clothing production.

“I registered my business in 2009 with the Ministry of Trade and  Industry.  I did not have the financial means  to start a  business so a bought a simple sewing machine with my little savings.  Ever since, I haven’t looked back,”  Elikana said.

He says he does not prefer taking out a loan as it puts a lot of pressure on the business.

“In essence during some months business is slower than other months and having a loan will not be such a good idea,” he said.

Currently he employs three women and also trains about 20 students of NIMT.

He says one of his dreams is to finally see his designs packed and shipped off to Europe.