Welcome to the first of our ‘Great Minds‘ features, where we will profile the great minds that BongoHive works with to create viable solutions that change the world.
Founded in 2016, My Perfect Stitch creates authentically African products in fashion and furniture to ‘Inspire Happiness and Happy Spaces’. The company, which is in its 3rd year, started out as a hobby that Ruth decided to turn into a business. The idea was sparked by her love for chitenge material, coupled with many disappointments from local tailors. Ruth set out to find a solution to her frustration by creating her own beautiful garments, which drew interest from her family and friends.
Together with her current team of 9 staff, My Perfect Stitch has expanded to include a furniture line, My Perfect Stitch Home. The outdoor seating of our coworking space – The Hive is furnished with tables, chairs, pallet seats and bean bags all from My Perfect Stitch Home.
As an entrepreneur, she admits to having faced challenges in building her business such as creating systems for the business, but in her words, she says “it’s a constant process of learning and building”. Following the completion of the Launch Accelerator Programme in 2017, Ruth is still a regular at BongoHive which she appreciates for the wide network and business advice she gets during her visits and consultations with the team. Her business continues to grow from strength to strength, evident in the awards that have been presented to the company, such as the Emerging Entrepreneur Award from Graca Machel’s New Faces New Voices Initiative.
What advice would she give to upcoming entrepreneurs? She says, “you must learn as much as you can about what true entrepreneurship, and not the glamour you think it is”. She recommends two books:
- The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz – because if you are an entrepreneur you will appreciate the truth.
- The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber – because you have to work before you can enjoy what being an owner of a business really is.
Looking into the future, Ruth would like to open up 3 more stores in the next 5 years for both company products. Doing this would also allow for her to train locals to a higher standard in tailoring and furniture, creating value within the supply chain and changing the narrative of the work, making it a highly valued skilled craft.
When she is not creating beautiful garments and stylish furniture, Ruth describes herself as “a happy wife and a mum of 3”, who enjoys spending her time exploring her other creative traits such as cooking and baking. She also enjoys taking time to learn more about fashion design and interior architecture and has recently returned to school. Ruth is inspired by her mother, her aunt, and Ibukun Awosika, who represent pursuing one’s dreams, being a woman of virtue and working hard.
She ends by sharing her favourite quote by Napoleon Hill – “Whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve”. It reminds her that her dreams are valid and that her mind is brilliant and can achieve anything – no matter how adventurous and wild it may seem.