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Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Matching Partner: N/A

My name is Ambavi, and I’m a single mum of a 7-month old beautiful girl. My passion for designing outfits started when I was a teenager. I remember designing outfits for myself and friends for events in my home country. People really loved my designs and encouraged me to perfect my gift of crafting and sewing outfits. When I came to the US in 2018, I started making outfits out of African fabric that I sold to my friends and family. At the beginning of 2019, I started to sell my items on various platforms (Facebook and WhatsApp).

Today, through these same channels, I ship my articles all over the world, including to the following countries: USA, France, Belgium & Benin. I decided to register my company JOAHCUTE, LLC last December 2021. While sewing or drawing my models, I feel proud of myself and filled with joy because this is what I am passionate about. I spend hours sewing without even realizing it – time flies when you are doing what you love.

Business Description

JOAHCUTE is a brand of clothing that offers outfits crafted from African fabric and we also sell accessories for men, women, and children. My designs are inspired by current trends in the fashion industry, which makes them unique. My business is an online store for anyone who appreciates well-designed outfits showcasing African designs and prints. JOAHCUTE, LLC is a company that now serves many African immigrants around the world who want to continue wearing clothes made from African fabrics. Today, we have sold more than a hundred orders of clothing and accessories, and the orders are growing.

I have the ambition to sell (longer-term) my articles of clothing to larger retailers like Fashion Nova or through Amazon channels. In order to get to this point, I need to produce many more clothes and fashion accessories and grow my reach. This is why I’ve decided to apply for this Kiva business loan. I would also like to eventually open a physical store in the City of Cedar Rapids (where I live and work) to attract anyone who likes to wear beautiful and colorful clothes and sport a variety of African-inspired fashion accessories.

What is the Purpose of This Loan?

My company has suffered financially due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It was nearly impossible to sell and export my production abroad which made it tougher for JOAHCUTE, LLC to buy new materials to produce the next summer’s designs and looks. A loan through Kiva will allow me to build back up my inventory of materials and fabrics and assist with the uptick in shipping associated with these purchases. With these funds, I will also plan to upgrade some of my sewing equipment and start building out a retail website (outside my current FB channels, for example). I cannot wait to continue pursuing my dream of becoming a major retailer of African-inspired clothing and accessories.