By Miriam C.R Mushaikwa

Nuptial vows, complimented by a fairy-tale frock complete the wedding night of a princess. But speaking of bridal gowns, what really sets apart a brilliant designer from just the ordinary cut-sew-and-sell type? It’s not just in the fabric, considering that without a mastery touch, it’s just a piece of material… But, it takes artistic prowess, craftsmanship and an endowed passion for the dress to be a beauty-personified piece. Meet our very own Zimbabwean bridal wear designer based in England, who has taken her passion for fashion to the next level. She is none other than the lady of repute and integrity: Karen Tino Jonga, better known as Karentino. I bet you now want to know what sets her apart from the rest in her craft. Do sit back, relax and enjoy the read…
A dressmaker currently based and operating in England, Karentino is a dressmaker and designer who always aimed at designing bridal gowns for the ramp. Her vision came into being in 2012, right after completing her University education. Before graduating, Karentino always envisioned herself as a design specialist, paving her own path in the fashion industry and stepping on it. This motivated her to steal an hour or two from her studies, to make a dress for a client.
Her clientele base which mainly comprised of college mates and a few other individuals, took some time to grow, but regardless of this slow-paced growth, she never threw in the towel. Livings up to her motto ‘Never give up!’ Karentino got enough motivation to pursue her passion for fashion. Karen’s vision became a reality when Karentino Bridal became a registered brand name.
“Well, she had it all easy that’s why”…you might assume. A huge no! Karentino’s journey had its struggles, which included lack of exposure and experience. Having done fashion internships prior to starting her own brand Karentino Bridal, the experience acquired there was just not enough to make her stand on her own two feet; let alone maintain a steady balance. Worse still, invaluable business advice was often expressed because bills had to be paid. Luckily, she met a mentor (name not given) who until now, guides her path in the woods, and has helped her immensely in business.
Karentino believes in empowering fellow women and is now mentoring other upcoming designers because she strongly feels that the mentorship she received made an impact on her Bridal wear Career. As a strong-willed woman, Karentino has never felt as if she couldn’t make it in this male-dominated industry. Failure to her was and will never be an option, and to make it more interesting: she views herself as her personal motivator!
Her advice to all upcoming entrepreneurs and upcoming designers in her own words is: “Stick with something you are passionate about and don’t give up no matter how tough it gets. Let go of doubt, just believe in yourself and remember to be realistic when making all your goals.”
Until next time divas, write down those goals and breathe life into them! Simply because: you can…


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