During weekends Cynthia Bizure-Sithole would board buses with several other women to South Africa to buy wares for sale back home in Zimbabwe.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
So intense was the passion that when she had the chance to start her formal business she grabbed it with both hands.
Now she runs the A-lister male clothing shop, Jan Jam, among several other businesses.
But it is Jan Jam, now turning five, that has made her a name to reckon with it in the fashion business.
Starting off with one shop along Nelson Mandela Avenue in Harare, she stands tall as an example of a passionate businesswoman who has been through thick and thin; growing while others collapse.
Now she boasts of two shops in the heart of Harare while plans are at an advanced stage to open another branch in Masvingo.
In an interview with The Standard last week Bizure-Sithole said her drive to sell has kept her going.
“I can sell almost anything and I believe I am gifted. At school I used to sell almost all the time. In these difficult times I believe what has kept me going is passion. When you are passionate about something the drive comes naturally. It is the root,” she said.
“There are some people that were really good but they were pushed out of business because of the economy and not because they wanted to give up.”
Having started with dressing local celebrities, Cynthia believes there are better days to come.
“I am a Christian and I know the word of God says to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose. We have that hope that there are better days to come because God does not give you a challenge that you cannot overcome,” she said.
Bizure-Sithole celebrated the proposal to ban second-hand clothing and said it would make sure that formal business gets another chance again.
She said it was disheartening that shop owners foot much more expenses that those that sell second-hand clothing yet they get nothing out of it.
“The proposed ban of second-hand clothing will benefit shop owners because we have a lot of expenses; much more than the people who were selling from outside the pavements. Our rentals are high, we have salaries to pay, we have licenses to pay among other expenses so this will help us by bringing people back to the shops,” she said.
“We, however, have more challenges because people do not have cash as the economy is not stable so we are also pushed to lower our prices. But this is total advantage to us as we do not have to compete with the vendors who do not incur similar costs as we do.”
She said the industry was operating at less than 10% with most factories that used to make clothes being closed but said she hoped all Zimbabweans in the clothing industry would exhaust all angles in trying to make things work.
Married to Tanaka Sithole for 10 years with three kids, boys Janice and Jamie and girl Jordan, Bizure-Sithole will be celebrating the fifth anniversary for Jan Jam with a red Carpet event to be held at Maestro Glass House at the Borrowdale Racecourse on August 22.