Viva Bruce: the banker turned fashion designer

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In times past, the programming code that was wired into our brains in terms of career path was to go to school, pick a career, work for a company or two, retire at 60 or 65, receive your pension, and enjoy the remaining years.

Today, this programming code is being re-written at a time when pursuing one’s passion has become the dawn of the day and entrepreneurship reigning with brute force. But turning one’s passion into a viable and successful business is no easy feat.

While some remain in their cubicle daydreaming of escaping the corporate bars, others take the plunge to pursue that passion and turn it into a successful business.

Creative Lead of VAAD, Mrs. Viva Bruce is one of such individuals who turned her passion into a viable and successful business venture.

Mrs. Bruce was a Chartered Banker who left the Banking industry a year before 2019 to become a recognised fashion brand. The confidence to close the banking chapter translated into the formal birthing of “VAAD”.

“In 2019 the journey to becoming a recognized fashion brand was well on course. Having left the bank a year before, I began seeing a steady growth in my customer base as I was now accessible to clients and prospects. Our business had grown from a ‘one-woman’ business to a business with 6 staff,” VAAD intimated.

According to VAAD, when COVID struck, the effect on fashion was devastating as the Business thrived on occasions and events, but quickly devised a strategy to remain relevant by making “ready to wear clothes” and selling online.

“In March 2020, the government announced a partial lockdown with a ban on all outdoor events. When COVID struck, the effect on fashion was devastating as the business thrived on occasions and events, but quickly devised a strategy to remain relevant by making “ready to wear clothes” and selling online. The effect on the fashion business was devastating as the business thrives on occasions and events. Our fledgling enterprise was dealt a heavy blow as customer requests were reduced. We had to shut down our new Spintex location and like many other businesses figure out how to ‘re-invent’ ourselves in order to survive. We quickly pivoted around ‘ready-to-wear’ clothes and more importantly selling them online. Thanks to social media, we managed to keep our heads above water by aggressively pursuing sales online while hoping for the ban on events to be lifted,” VAAD added.

According to VAAD, the experience has taught her to be resilient, innovative, and faithful.

“Fast forward 2021, while we are not fully out of the woods yet, the partial lift of the ban on events has seen us moving towards making bespoke outfits for major occasions such as weddings, naming ceremonies, etc. We continue to strengthen our online presence while keeping in touch with our cherished clients.’’ Currently, VAAD has 6 staff and continues to grow the fashion business.

“We have a staff strength of 6 and we continue to grow our business footprint. The experience has taught me resilience, innovation and faith.”


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