“Teach your daughters to worry less about fitting into the glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings.” – Unknown
Have you ever had one conversation with an individual and just knew that person was going to go places? You know, break boundaries and achieve all sorts of great things? Well, I am lucky to have met such a person! Her name is Victoria Conteh. Born to Sierra Leonean parents, this young lady is headed nowhere but up! I mean, the sky is her starting point. She is full of life, creative and refreshingly ambitious in a not so cocky way.
She is a fashion designer at the tender age of 15 and boy does she have some mad skills and originality. I must say, Sierra Leone is blessed with some beautiful talent. I wish so much more can be done by ourselves and the government to sharpen skills and empower people. Anyhoo, I was honored that she accepted to do an interview with me. And this is what she had to say:
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hello! My name is Victoria Alima Suliaman Conteh. I am the brains behind Vicky’s Couture design label. Currently enrolled at the International Academy of Science and Business Studies, in form 4 science and plan to one day be a pharmacist. I currently live in Freetown, Sierra Leone. I would describe myself as shy but confident, accepting of challenges and very prayerful.
2. How did you come about in the fashion industry? How long have you been designing clothes?
I have always liked clothes. And moreover, I noticed that dressing makes people happy. Manipulating fabric into comfortable and unique pieces is something I have been passionate about. For three years, I have been in the fashion world. I started out by frequenting my uncle’s tailoring shop and observing the whole process of fashion designing. I used to practice and sharpen my skills using the unwanted fabrics in the shop. Over time, my uncle noticed my drive and trusted me with more and more work until I started making designs for myself! I absolutely love making designs that comfortably fit all shapes and sizes.
3. What are some of the challenges you face working in this field?
One of the challenges I face is financial constraint. I have to make do with the equipment I have which makes creating designs much more challenging but not impossible. There are so many brilliant ideas in my head that I will love to bring to life but because of the lack of appropriate equipment, I cannot create them for now.
4. What are your future career aspirations?
To simply be a recognized fashion designer and be appreciated by the world.
5. What is your advice for young girls and ladies out there?
If you have a talent, you should definitely pursue it! However, do not do something just because you see others doing it. Follow your dreams and see where it takes you!
6. What does success mean to you?
Success to me means being appreciated for who you are and what you do.
7. What do you think is a barrier to female leadership?
We are the barrier ourselves! Why do I say so? Because we think we are not strong enough to lead. As soon as we think and decide we can lead, we will lead. It is all about determination!
8. What woman inspires you and why?
My mother is my mentor. She is a single parent who sees me through school. She does not allow circumstances to justify sending me out in the street to engage in improper behavior and acts. I really admire her and she always encourages me to be the best version of myself!
9. What is a typical work day like for you?
Every other day, I spend an hour at the tailoring shop after school. After which, I go for extra school lessons followed by doing assignments and house chores at home. The one thing I put above my passion for fashion designing is my love for God. My relationship with Him is paramount.
10. What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
The first accomplishment I am very proud of is winning the Ankara competition at my school. Also, I am grateful for having the privilege of designing the clothes for the fashion show segment of the Freetown Music Festival 2017.
11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In the next ten years, I see myself as an international designer.
12. Name one interesting fact about you that people do not know.
I am a jack of all trades, really! I do photography, sew my own clothes and also studying IT.
13. What is unique about Vicky’s Couture?
My fabrics are unique. It is hard to see them when walking on the streets of Freetown. Vicky’s Couture caters to all ages, shapes and sizes.
14. What is a core message you receive from your mentor?
My mother always tells me, “No mountain is hard to climb.”
15. What are your contact details?
You can get in touch with me via:
Phone number: +232-79-092-103 / +232-78-528-625
Email: [email protected]
Facebook page: //www.facebook.com/vickyscouturee/
Want to know more about Salone Sisters Circle and stunning things being accomplished by Sierra Leonean women? Read about this great lady who decided to go against all that is considered normal and become a mechanic.
Remember, be sincerely you!