For many, crocheting is a hobby. Something they do to pass time and clear their mind. But with time, crocheting has proven to be an art and craft that has grown to be lucrative to the point that it becomes a business, a stream of income for a lot of people.
Malawians are taught the art of crocheting at an early age and Angella Manda has decided to stand out from the rest by turning her craft into a clothing business. She is the founder of Angelos Crochet and today, her growing customer base are in constant demand for her beautifully crafted crochet garments and accessories.
Angella was born in the Central part of Malawi, in Lilongwe. She graduated from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. In the fourth year of her studies in college, she started crocheting as a small business and upon graduating, she took it on as a serious business. Angella has been crocheting for about 15 years in total. Long enough for anyone to become a professional!
Angella started crocheting because of her deep love for creating that she has developed as a child. This love for creating something was what drove her to start her business. Another inspiration to start her business was the lack of existing suppliers of crochet products because at the time she started her business, there were not a lot of people doing it. So the fact that people wanted crocheted products but had limited options from where to buy, was also a source of inspiration to start the crocheting business.
Angella believes her business is special because it is a representation of a childhood source of joy. Since she had the best time crocheting as a child, she ensures her pieces have that same childlike authenticity and innocence to it.
Concerning her journey as an entrepreneur, Angella did not come from an entrepreneurial background. Being an entrepreneur was never something she envisioned. Her course of study was even far from business.
She transitioned into a business woman as soon as people started showing a lot of respect and love for her products.
According to her, “there would be times I’d think, this will probably not last that long in the early days of my business. But turns out, the support was always growing and now I have come to accept and believe that this is what I was meant to be doing. And my effort into it has also just automatically grown.”
Satisfying her customers and getting positive feedback is her greatest source of fulfilment as an entrepreneur. Satisfying their orders is a source of joy on her end.
“It is also satisfying knowing that you’re doing something you truly love. Every day when I’m doing it, even times when it’s not easy, I am satisfied already.” Says Angella.
Angella’s biggest advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is for them to believe in their work and talents. “You have to have so much trust and belief in your own talent that even on those hard or bad days you know you are great, and you’ll be able to get through this. That way no matter what hurdles you face along the way that try to stop your business goals; they are nothing compared to the belief you have in yourself. It is also important to celebrate others along the way and be open to collaboration.”
Angelos Crochet, designs and crochets all sorts of products – fashion items and accessories, ranging from dresses, skirts, suits, trousers, tops, hats and bags, all produced using quality yarns.