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From reluctance to success: Christy Akitame’s journey to becoming a fashion mogul

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Sometimes, as humans, we set out to do one thing, but life may set us on another path that may lead us to become more successful than the original path we had set out for ourselves.

This is the story of the Chief Executive Officer of Creative Designs, a fashion-oriented business based in Bolgatanga, Christy Akitame.

Ms. Akitame recounts how she had no interest in pursuing fashion despite the constant nudging from her close relatives. Eventually, she gave in to pursuing the trade, a decision she says she has no regrets about.

She spoke on Equal Voices, a platform provided by the management of A1 Radio, to promote women who have been successful in various aspects of Ghanaian society. It is also to serve as a platform to draw attention to the sociocultural factors affecting the growth of women in society.

“It took me by surprise. I remember my mom used to tell me to join, but I used to tell her no. [I used to say] there are a lot of people into it, and when I enter the market, I used to see a lot of apprentices, so if I join this, how would I get work? Or rather, how would business boom for me?”

“Along the line, I, however, changed my mind and joined the fashion industry, and I can say it is good,” she said.

Ms. Akitame said when she was around 20, her decision to go into the fashion business was made. After that decision, she apprenticed with an experienced fashion designer, and along the line, formalized her education at the Bolgatanga Technical School.

The CEO of Creative Designs stressed that but for her persistence and determination, she would not have succeeded.

“I remember I worked and saved money and gave the money to my dad to go and pay for me [apprenticeship]. When I began my apprenticeship, I was very committed. I remember that I used to close at 2 pm and then go to BOLTECH for a part-time fashion course,” she said.

The fashion designer whom Ms. Akitame apprenticed under only did men’s clothing, but that did not prevent her from innovating and learning to sew women’s clothing.

After a 4-year apprenticeship period, she began running her own business in her mother’s living room. She then saved some money, made a deposit with a welder to fabricate a shop for her. She continued to pay in bits until she had the full amount and a shop built for her.

Through word of mouth and continuous improvement, today, Ms. Akitame can boast of multiple shops, with many apprentices learning the trade from her fashion school.

Ms. Akitame is, however, worried that many young people who show up to go through the apprenticeship process are not serious.

“Most of them want it easy. First, you start with making a shirt, then you move into making trousers, and then maybe go into making suits. When they come, however, they are in a haste. Within two or three months, they want to be doing suits, and then they feel that you are not teaching them. Meanwhile, this is something that goes through a gradual process,”

She added that most apprentices are more interested in making quick money than learning the trade properly.

Source: A1Radioonline.Com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Bolgatanga|

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