Founder & Designer
Kids clothing brand Isossy Children was founded by Amanda Rabor in 2010. The label incorporates African, Asian and Western cultures to create contemporary clothing that all children can wear.
Transcending cultural barriers, Amanda is passionate about empowering children to see African prints in their day-to-day expression to promote inclusion and understanding.
A celebration of colour, vivacity, global influences and fashion, Isossy Children is honoured to stand by its “Made in England” manufacturing ethos.
What’s the story behind your brand name?
Isossy is an amalgamation of one of my middle names, shortened to Isi, and my husband’s name, shortened to Ossy. So I made Isossy.
Why did you decide to start your company?
Isossy Children is a calling. It’s a creative calling but far more than that, it’s a calling to promote diversity and global clothing for kids.
We incorporate African, Asian and Western cultures to create contemporary clothing that all children can wear. The inspiration is transcending cultural barriers and opening it up for all children. I believe it’s empowering for children to see African prints in their day-to-day expression and in turn it promotes inclusion and understanding. That’s the legacy Isossy Children contributes to the upcoming generations.
What was your career path prior to starting your first business?
I grew up in a family business so it’s in my blood.
Did you always know that you would start your own business?
This is my second time around with the children’s clothes. The first time my son was still a baby and I decided that I wanted to focus on raising him. I woke up one Sunday morning in 2009 and felt in my spirit that I had to try again.
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
We did a series of fashion shows last year in 2012, culminating with a big show for Screen Nation. It’s amazing to celebrate the label with everyone and getting love and appreciation for what we’re trying to achieve.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
It requires total dedication which often means sacrifice on many levels. I find it hard when I’m tired. But I love what I do and I’m quite single minded in my approach so my family is thankfully there to prop me up when it gets intense.
What’s the biggest mistake you made and what did you learn from it?
I thought my biggest mistake was waiting until I felt comfortable within myself and possibly missed out on opportunities because of lack of confidence.
However, what I’ve come to appreciate, through increased self awareness, is that this is not a big mistake. It’s part of my process.
It would have been a big mistake if I tried to do things when I wasn’t ready. I’ve learnt to be true to myself.
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
My family motivate me. They are all very powerful dynamic people; multi-talented and resilient. Art, colours, photography, graphics, architecture and TV all inspire me. But my deep creativity and motivation comes from God.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting a childrenswear brand?
Plan, strategize, know your figures, be business minded and do it. You need money to build a brand.
You can’t do everything, but what you can do, do well and what you can’t do, get someone else to do.
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Amanda Rabor was interviewed by Octavia Goredema MBE, founder of the Twenty Ten Club.
Do you have a question for Amanda? If so, please feel free to post a comment below: