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Making her footprint in Maboneng

On business, we visit Imogene Rider, the founder of BG designs in Maboneng Precinct, she shares her extraordinary journey with Carob Magazine.

Ntsako Mbhokota

It's a cold Winter morning I have just finished my first meeting of the day in Newtown and I'm headed to Maboneng for the first time ever since all cool things "moved" there.

Maboneng is like a new town that is booming within the big city of Jo'burg. A totally exciting and different environment all together. Everything about it is lit. From restaurants, boutiques, clubs, bars, galleries etc.

Moving up the street trying to locate BG Designs by Maverick corner, I see everyone, and I mean everyone taking a picture of themselves... If you're not taking a picture of yourself then you'd have to be the photographer.

It is soon obvious that Maboneng Is considered to be the place to be. .. And if you ever make it here, then the whole world must know that you too were also here.

But I'm not here for selfies or to prove that I was here, I'm here to meet an extraordinary young Namibian business woman by the name of Imogene Rider. She is the owner of BG designs, a trendy boutique that has an interesting collection of women's clothes sourced from all around the world.

As I enter the store Gina welcomes me with a beautiful warm smile and and a cup of Cappuccino.

Born and raised in Namibia, Gina is a business woman of note.
She has traveled all continents of the world and is in the process of getting her 2nd degree (Expenses paid for by her business)

"My business is organic, no blesser, no bank loan, no rich background, I work hard everyday but I couldn't have done it without the support of my clients and people who have contributed in my life in the smallest possible ways. "

This is my second shop and God willing I'm rolling out my third one soon down the road

Growing up in a Namibian Township was challenging for Gina but that never deterred her will to succeed.

"The hardest thing about the society that I come from is when your family has made provision for you to fall pregnant in your teens or get into drugs because everyone around the community is doing that.
I refused to subscribe to the norm of the society that I come from because I knew it was temporary, I knew that it was not where I wanted to be.

As we were busy with the interview a couple walks in to buy a jacket and I observe Gina's sales skills,  I quickly understand why her business is a success. She is nice and helpful to her clients and provides top class service. She walks back into the shop to continue our conversation after seeing her happy customers off.

I ask her what her sales trick is.

"People buy into the service and how you present your brand,  your attitude,  you can have a brilliant product but if it is not well presented with kindness and humility,  people never buy." Says Gina.

It wasn't long after that when another lady walked in to buy a coat. Again I observed as she helped her try on several coats up until she found one that was suitable for her body size. Again another happy walked away from the shop happy.

Gina is also a stylist and has a production line under BG designs. Even tough she has built a solid clientèle over the years to sustain her business,  she still gives her new clients 100% attention.

"They say life begins at 40, my life Began at 30! She says with a bright sense of humor, by the age of 30 I had ticked off a number of things that I had set myself out to achieve, a house,  a business, a car and furthering my studies. This is just the teething process though,  there's still so much that I want to achieve in my life." Says Gina.

As I get ready to wrap up the interview a lady walks into the shop, Gina welcomes her in and asks how her day has been. She tells us that she has been reading a motivational book called "The circle maker"

" The book is about praying in circles around your dreams and everything that your heart desires. You just need to pray until your dreams come true. Explain to God what it is that you want, don't be vivid about it, be very clear. The message of the book is basically that God is the giver of all dreams  and wants you to make those dreams a reality. The book goes on to say, to dream is to pray and to pray is to dream."

She lady explained before she purchased a pair of ear rings and left.

The message she brought with her was heartfelt, what a way to end of an interview.

As soon as I was done photographing Gina, I say my goodbyes and head for my next meeting leaving her shop inspired.