Malawi’s Lilly Alfonso is a perfect fit when it comes to fashion design in Africa. Taking up fashion design as a hobby, Lilly has managed to turn her passion into a business and today she is one of the most sought after fashion designers not only in Malawi but around the world.
Aliko Dangote, the wealthiest businessman in Africa once stated, “If you don’t have ambition, you shouldn’t be alive.” To make it big as an entrepreneur, you cannot afford not to dream and think big. It is dangerous to live on a mountain with a valley mentality. Any aspiring entrepreneur who also wants to make it big on the continent and around the world must first refuse to be satisfied with his past achievements, secondly, he should resolve to leave a mark in his industry and finally, he must have a strong believe in his products. These in addition with hard work will eventually skyrocket any entrepreneur to the top in his industry.
“Everywhere fashion is, I want to be there, and I see myself making it. I’m not doubting on that one. I dream big and I’m dreaming in color.” – Lilly
Pursue your dreams
Speaking to young entrepreneurs around the continent, Mrs. Alfonso stressed, “ I’d advice everybody who has talent- it’s not only in fashion- I’d advise everybody to believe in themselves, and do whatever it takes to make it happen for them because God gives us this blessing but it depends on us to start acting on it.” Lilly further advised aspiring entrepreneurs insisting, “If you know that you can do it, don’t stop it, no matter how you are criticized.”
Do not simply dream; take active steps to make the dream alive. Invest in your dream by committing to an action plan.
Have passion and love for what you do
According to Lilly the designer, her passion for fashion has always been there and as a child, she loved to playing with various fabrics in the southern city of Blantyre, where she grew up. Passion and love for your work is what will keep you up throughout the night without much stress. Many entrepreneurs are workaholics because they love what they do. It is easier to be successful at what you love and are passionate about than what you find no joy doing. Dream big, pursue your dream and as the Malawian top fashion designer puts it, if your hobby becomes your work, you will have no trouble waking up every Monday morning doing it.