Aygails Collection: Bringing style to every story
Fashion 263 Writer
Growing up in Chiredzi selling maize cobs to supplement the family’s income, life for Abigail Chiviya and her peers was not easy.
It was riddled with challenges, dreams and sometimes wishes that could not be fulfilled. At that age, girl’s needs were very basic: toys, ample food and new clothes
Much as she loved new clothes, Abigail could only get a new dress once a year- and on Christmas, only if the family have had a good harvest.
Such perennial unfulfilled young girl’s dreams compelled her to work hard, in anticipation of a better life.
Today, Abigail now owns one of the upmarket boutiques in Harare, Aygails Collections.
“It feels good to sell women’s clothes, and it feels good to wear something new once in a while.
“I love to celebrate with women by bringing them a style for their story, whether it is a job interview, a wedding, a party or even a funeral. I know how it feels if you are not properly dressed. There were times when I could not get a job, after having gone for an interview because I was not properly dressed.
“As Aygails Collection we go by the mantra that “we have a style for every story”.
We have been able to bring a smile to hundreds of women across Zimbabwe and even as far as Australia and the United Kingdom,” revealed Abigail.
However that success story was not achieved overnight, as the road was rugged, with twists and turns as she navigated the entrepreneurial terrain to grow her side hustle, which she badly needed to supplement her salary.
It was while she was on attachment for her degree in Finance and Business Studies with the University of Zimbabwe in 2012 that she convinced a lady who was selling clothes to teach and mentor her on the business.
In no time, Abigail had harnessed necessary skills in retailing that she immediately started selling second hand clothes. Both her passion and business in clothes grew, prompting her to acquire a flea market table and got someone to operate it while she was at work.
Her professional life never lasted a mile and her employer fired her after she failed to deliver, since she now had to juggle between her retail business and her formal employment.
Left with the side hustle as her only source of income, Abigail employed what she had learnt from her entrepreneurial course to grow the business and the rest is history.
In a few years she transitioned from a thrift shop to an upmarket boutique that sells classy women clothes.
However that growth was not smooth sailing.
“It took a number of years to convince my customers that we no longer sell second hand clothes. Some even went around spreading falsehoods that we were still on thrifty clothes,” she recalled.
Her tenacity to stay in a volatile fluid sector that has been flooded with sub-standard clothing simply shows that’s Abigail is not just a local boutique girl, but she boasts of high level of ingenuity which she is now employing to sustain the business.
A holder of a degree in Business Studies, a Master in Business Administration, IMM diploma in Marketing and several courses in Entrepreneurship, Abigail has grown her brand extensively that she now has customers in various countries.
Aygails collection-a name she got from a friend, for her unfettered record of getting A’s during high school- has embraced technology and now does most of its business online, although it has a physical shop in the capital.
“We are innovating. One of our key tenets to success is ‘uniqueness” We need to evolve, hence our decision to aggressively market through various online vehicles. We have also started making our local brands, which we intend to grow.”
With only a few days before Valentine’s Day, Aygails Collection has lined up a number of promotions for its discerning clientele who want to celebrate love in style.
Customers can get gift vouchers for their loved ones, with some of the products on special as Aygails Collections spread its tentacles to fashion lovers.