A woman named Mariatu Turay shares her story, and its definitely one to inspire many others who share the fashion world success dream. Turay came from a poor family, raised in Freetown in the west African nation. She had to flee at the age of 16 when the civil war was raging, making her obligated to braid hair in order to survive.
Showing us how there is excellence in every kind of work, Turay worked in a hair salon and managed to learn secretarial and office skills so that later she could get a better paying corporate job. She did not stop here, but instead managed to move to London, pay for college, get en economy degree and work as a civil servant. Along the way, Turay taught herself design with a sewing machine that her mother had gifted her when she was 11. The result from all her self taught education was a company called Gitas Portal, a fashion brand selling African and Ankara wax prints. Her goal was to reflect her Sierra Leone and Barbados heritage, and today aims to emphasize how women must stand out, be bold and work to win in all the areas of their lives. Her brand is created to be an affordable, mid class luxury brand that gives women sophisticated garments in feminine and elegant cuts.
"I went from having a good life to having nothing. No one in their right mind wants to be homeless and face the uncertainty of having nothing. The trauma is on all levels but I never lost my way at the most challenging of times. I always knew that with hard work and kindness I'd make it."
Turay sees fashion as a beautiful expression of individual taste and the reflection of ones’ inner beauty. We have all seen by her example that no matter how hard life gets, nothing can step in the way of your goals and success. Turay, a self taught designer reminds us all about the true beauty of entrepreneurship in the fashion world, where real passion and talent get you very far.