Designer, Business Owner, Model
“I was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I came to the US in December 1996 as a refugee after my father was killed. We had to flee. I settled in Houston, Texas – my second home. I moved to Tidewater in Virginia in October 2006 when I got married. I was born into designing… my grandmother back home was a dressmaker.
"I didn’t go to fashion school because it was just too expensive. My teacher was really YouTube. I already had the basics because I helped my grandmother with buttons and zippers at age five.
Becoming a mom, a military spouse at home while my husband traveled, pushed me to look into what my values were, so I tapped into the gifts my grandmother instilled – designing - and so I just went with it. I wasn’t too serious but then I realized I can make a living doing it – people love my designs.
"The more I pushed myself, the better it got. I started this December 2015, the same day my husband left for deployment for nine months. I fasted and prayed and looked for a sign from God to guide me. I knew I could be more than a mother or spouse.
By the third day, I went to the thrift store and got a sewing machine. I already had fabric. I started making maxi skirts and head wraps and going to the commissary and to Walmart – and that’s how I started finding clients.
"Next thing you know, local photographers started reaching out to me to style their photo shoots, and then models. Then I turned my personal IG page into a business page.
The name Fanny’s House Collections came from my desire to focus on anything that has to do with African culture, history and heritage. In the home, you’ll find home décor, pet wear, women, and men’s wear – pillows and curtains, you name it – anything that has to do with African culture is what I specialize in.
"My hope is to own stores. I walk in the mall and see small shops, and that’s how I see myself. I have a vision for my brand – Fanny’s House Collection. You’ll find it all – artifacts, drums, décor – all African focus. It will be carried by my brand. I see my brand growing to a multi-millionaire company, something big.”