From Lady Zamar to Shekinah: this designer is making big moves
While he may be shy and an introverted Thomas Rikhotso has made his passion for fashion a lucrative business even catching the eye of singers like Shekhinah and Lady Zamar.
Rikhotso runs his own his own fashion company, Tomi R Creations. Sewing became a career prospect when his mother taught him at just 13-years-of-age. Since then, he has loved expressing himself through the many garments he has created.
“When the machine got broken she would tell me to fix it and I would miraculously fix it so even her friends who were also dress makers would call me to fix their machines too when they were broken,” said Rikhotso, “I knew then that this is something I love doing.”
Tomi R Creations started off as a bag designing company. Rikhotso then got a learnership at the Department of Social Development to learn how to create patterns and construct garments. During the six months in which he partook in the course he was already running his business.
Sadly, Rikhotso became the sole support system at home due to no one else being employed. Not only were his profits a means of keeping the business alive but he also had to use them to support his family.
Through word of mouth, demand for his designs grew earning him new customers for the events his clients often attended. This also urged him to use one of his friends as a mannequin for his designs.
“At some point I found a friend who I knew went to a lot of weddings and I'd dress her for free so she could attract new clients,” Rikhotso shares.
While some clients have been useful in getting him more clients, Rikhotso has also worked with some difficult clientele whom have taught him a lot about being patient with their temperament.
“I've learned to be humble and slow to anger, make sure to make a client happy cause through them I can get more clients.”
Rikhotso advises new designers who want to work in the industry to pursue passion rather than overnight success, as it often leads to a lot more frustration when they realise it takes years to make a substantial profit.