1. What motivated you to start Tofara?
I’ve had a life-long love affair with fashion and design, and in the last few years I’ve nursed a strong desire to showcase the best of Africa to the world. Tofara is a venture that allows me to express both passions. Tofara was born from the belief that global consumers want authentic and innovative products, and are also interested in the stories behind the product’s creation. Every piece on our site tells a story of its designer and the artisans who handcrafted the final product.
2. You meet someone who knows nothing about your business; how do you introduce it in a nutshell?
TOFARA is the African Net-a- Porter. It’s an ecommerce site that provides carefully curated, contemporary African luxury fashion, with a focus on high quality statement pieces.
3. What is your vision for Tofara in the next 5 years?
I want Tofara to be the go-to destination for high-end, African-inspired fashion that helps bring African design into mainstream Western culture. I envision global distribution with drop-shipping centres in Europe and Africa, and physical retail locations in trendy neighborhoods in Toronto and New York.
4. What is your networking philosophy?
My networking philosophy comes down to a few key tenets:
1) Add value to the conversation – share ideas, broker introductions or provide advice.
2) Bring energy – have some pep in your step!
3) Be sincere – don’t exaggerate your knowledge. Be yourself. Don’t promise things that you’re not prepared to honour.
4) Be a good listener – a lot can be learned by truly tuning in to someone, and not just waiting for your turn to speak.
5) Be respectful of people’s time – don’t monopolize any one individual’s time. Keep mingling.