This is truly where the journey started for Busanimen.
Previously known as “Busani the Cut”, we focused our brand on selling and tailoring well fitted suits for graduates at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa. Other services included men’s styling and grooming. We identified a huge gap in the market when fashion influencers began wearing skinny jeans. The trend was to fold the bottom of their paints to make them look shorter at a three quarter length. This made us believe that the same mindset would follow in the formal fashion industry and we decided to become a brand that would go on and pioneer the future.
We had no premises when we started. We opted to position ourselves as a service rather than a product based in a store. This allowed us to conduct fittings anywhere where our clients felt comfortable. We did fittings at restaurants, in their homes, at their place of work and sometimes in public bathrooms in malls. I would agree that some of these places made us feel uncomfortable but the final end product made up for the dreaded experiences sometimes.
We first marketed ourselves through posters, our first batch of posters cost R120.00 for 100 posters and the response form that was quite extraordinary. We further continued to conduct photoshoots in downtown Johannesburg and posted pictures on Facebook and Instagram.
As we had no premises, we held our stock in the boot of our cars. Our inventory management system was the notebook on our phones, and all three of us had a book of clients that we serviced separately. Things were tough I should say, but we made it happen and we made some decent money at that.
Our business has been built on a strong Brotherhood system and a consistent journey. We told each other nonsense and sometimes swore at each other when we were messing up and motivated and had each other’s back when orders were piling up. Sacrifices were made for one another and put each other first before ourselves. We believed in each other and pushed boundaries only to make ourselves strong. This is truly what the brand stands for today and will for generations to come.
Have you ever had that moment when you look at yourself in mirror and stared for a while at what you are or who you’ve become. It’s a moment where you question existence and grapple with reality. A surreal moment that can’t be shared with anyone else because no one will understand it like you do, a moment of introspection and reflection at the many moments of your life that made you and sometimes tore you.
Truth is, we’ve all experienced a similar brief moment in our lives at one time or another. We as Busanimen define it as a moment of ‘self-judgement’, a moment where you truly look at yourself and only yourself. Where the things that you believe in all of a sudden seem like distant lies and the values that defined you all these years, now become a unwanted fallacies.
But in this moment, something fascinating tends to happen. We pardon ourselves for being mere human-beings, for being human-beings who make mistakes, human beings who caution abruptly without reason. A people who judge, who look down upon and who take face-value for uncompromising truth. We accept ourselves for how we look, for how we speak, our origin and we accept the very same unwanted and disappointing qualities about ourselves that others cursed us about.
The point here is, as a people, we’ll never truly accept others before we learn to accept ourselves.
This understanding could be wrestled heavily with clothing brands that we’ll never grow effectively nor become immensely influential until we become inclusive to all people.
Graduation day, that’s the first thing you think about on your first day of varsity, believe or not.
It’s the one achievement that constantly lurks in the back of your mind during every lecture, every test and exam, every successful year you pass and of course every varsity party you attend. It’s the only achievement during this time of your life that feels like a necessity to obtain.
In most instances, you’re either the first one in your family to obtain a varsity degree or diploma and so this doesn’t only become your achievement to have, but your family and everyone who’s believed and supported you. And so this day, is an important day.
I must say, varsity has it’s demons though. There’s the beautiful girls and boys who’ll distract you from actually studying. There’s the alcohol and substances which are always a by-product of making friends with bad company. There’s the loud parties the day before an important exam or test, and of course the foreign concepts that you’ll never grasp, but are forced to immediately understand should you want to leave the place with some sort of qualification. But, all of these moments are monumental in making your journey all worth it on graduation day.