I am Vimbai Madya, the founder of the brand, Vimbai Madya. In January 2014, I escaped from an abusive relationship and fled to Tanzania with my then 6 months old daughter. I wanted to give my daughter a chance at life. Once there, I found out that other women too suffered similarly but couldn’t get out of such relationships due to lack of financial independence. Thus, I founded Vimbai Madya, a handicrafts brand that sells products made by women who have faced hardships. I wanted them to stand on their feet.
She believes in the power of marketing due to its ever-changing landscape.
During the past 2 years, we have empowered over 300 women, facilitated training and skills transfer, and have given hope to vulnerable women. We bring to the world the story of women, as told by the incredible work of their gifted hands.
Market research on what’s trending is crucial.
We also take pride in working with the women prisoners from Zimbabwe because the hand knitting projects do play a major role in their rehabilitation. Most prisoners often find it difficult to integrate back into society once they are released. Often, no one wants to employ them because of their past record and lack of means usually force them to reoffend and go back to prison. Hence, the hand knitting projects provide them with a source of income thereby keeping them occupied which in turn helps reduce crime rates in Manicaland where they come from. Also, most of these women often make for great friends. They find solace in each other which, in turn, helps fight prevalent mental illnesses like depression that affect many women these days.
She grew her brand by taking expert help.
We started operations just as the pandemic struck and it was difficult to navigate the market, but we gained ground and marketed online successfully with the help of a Facebook marketing expert and Blueprint courses. It’s a great feeling to see many people support our mission.
Currently, as a team, we are learning about the American market and the customer needs there. We want to adapt to their mindset while keeping our identity intact.