A mother, twin sister, child of God, motivational speaker, MC, IT Graduate, Lover of all things fashion and addicted to all things vintage.
The prominent Mbukwashe Zwide of Hombakazi Vintage Cabin (HVC).
She looks even more beautiful in person (if I may add).
She walks in dressed to the nines....oversized knit, loose-fit vintage pants (of course), a gorgeous pair of Zara heels and her killer smile.
We didn't waste any time, we got straight into it. She's quite a busy lady so I had to make it snappy and it was worthwhile.
We sat down and I started recording the interview. I'm glad I recorded because she's such a awesome person interview, she doesn't just give one word answers she elaborates and sometimes I didn't even have to ask questions....so here goes...
From PE to Joburg on a mission to go fulfill her IT career at the University of Johannesburg, she didn't know what her future would turn out like.
She graduated and started working in the IT industry and in that year she unfortunately lost her brother. It saddened her deeply she decided to go back home (Port Elizabeth) and be with her family. Months went by and she just couldn't find employment in PE so she went back to Johannesburg and start her post-graduate degree at UJ. She then was part of an intership programme where she majored in Software Development...which she found horrid - she didn't give up though and soldiered on.
Her work-wear was not like your typical IT-Geek kind of clothing...her colleagues and other people always used to compliment her dress sense and the way she used to style her clothes.
She started familiarising herself with the Johannesburg CBD - sourcing for some vintage wear.
She then found what is known as "uGubhulula" aka Thrift Shopping.
Basically you go in to a store where you find old items of clothing and you pay close to nothing for them.
She was so thrilled and came out with like 2 full bags of vintage clothing.
Whilst still working in the IT industry, she felt a void that her work couldn't fill anymore. The corporate world was just not doing it for her anymore. She felt a sudden urge to pursue her love for fashion/vintage clothing.
She resigned and packed her bags and hit the road...back to PE.
Home bound, she cashed out everything all her savings and paid out all her debts so that she could start out on a clean slate.
As scared as she was, she became a true entrepreneur and took the risk of investing all her hard-earned money into her new business venture.
In 2011 Hombakazi Vintage Cabin (HVC) was born.
She held her very pop-up sale in PE and it was so successful that she made R25 000,00 in one Saturday.....and from that day on she never looked back.
She branched out to doing pop-up sales around South Africa, in cities like East London, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg.
With her business growing each day - came the negativity throughout social networks.
"Her clothes are dirty", "She sells old unwashed clothing", "She sells a small quantity of an item".....blah blah blah
As Rihanna's Cheers song goes "People gonna talk whether you're doing bad or good".
Like the fighter she is, she never gave up and instead came up with a solution.
Turning the bad into good.
She now makes replicas of the items she sources in Johannesburg. So that more and more people are satisfied of the wide variety of clothing in different sizes. She now also performs quality checks with items, if its torn or there's a button missing she has a seamstress to mend the clothing.
She's not yet done with PE, she's hosting "Bhay'Lam Fashion Fair"at the end of November. Where all the fashion and creative souls of PE shall mingle and be merry under one roof.
Duh, Ill be there of course!
It was truly a pleasure sitting down with Miss Zwide.
She is not a quitter. She definitely left me feeling all sorts of inspired.
I found that we have quite some similarities we both have IT qualifications and we're crazily in love with fashion. How cool is that!
Anyway...She is very playful when it comes to her hair.
Notice throughout this blog post...her hairstyles differ quite vastly.
Beauty of African hair:)
Nonetheless, short, braided or even weaved up - she knows what suits her and rocks it well.
I'm not a fan of Vintage. But her way of modernising the trend is totally awesome.
I'm loving it.
"You're never fully dressed without a smile" this song epitomises Mbu.
Plz do comment, love hearing your stylish opinions....
not forgetting to follow the blog.