Fatima Babakura is a 21-year-old final year student at McMaster University and the founder and creative director of Timabee, a luxury accessory brand which she created out of her passion for sketching designs. Within 3 years of starting the business, Timabee has won a best fashion brand of the year award.
Fatima has also been listed among 22 women redefining luxury in Africa by the Lionesses of Africa group, and has also received the WEF “Iconic Woman” award in 2017.
Her passion for women and girls has inspired her to continue to grow Timabee, as well as start other businesses that would create job opportunities, especially in Africa. She is also the co- founder of Signature Boutique in Canada, a multi-brand boutique that aims to showcase the works of African based designers to the world. Fatima enjoys cooking, traveling and sharing her success story.
What inspired the Timabee brand?
I have always loved accessories and handbags. Growing up, I remember being called “mummy’s handbag”, not because I followed her everywhere as that title would suggest, but because I was always holding my mother’s handbag when we went out together. I guess it was only natural that after I sketched a handbag, I became very curious to see it come to life. That is how Timabee started.
What other services do you offer?
Timabee currently has a bespoke section that allows the client to be a part of the design team for their handbag. You get to pick your leather, style and a whole lot more. I think it’s really cool.
Do your services include any form of offline transactions or are they strictly online? Kindly tell us how the sales chain works.
Being a full-time student and juggling a business doesn’t allow much time for offline interactions but I find ways to work around it.We have events from time to time and I also offer one on one bespoke sessions, depending on my availability. I am responsible for the bespoke side of design, amongst other things, so my schedule definitely affects those sessions.
What are the major social media channels you make use of?
What has been the most challenging moment on social media so far?
So far we haven’t had any challenge’s with social media, thankfully.
What would your response be to someone who is contemplating whether or not to use social media as a marketing tool?
I think it is a very great tool and it is inexpensive too. With everyone being on social media these days, it is the best way to connect to a wider audience. I would definitely say do it!
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