We had the good fortune of connecting with UPILE MANDIWA and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi UPILE, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Everything about starting my business has been a risk. I have lost a lot of money with some of the decisions I have made. The thing about taking risks is that you never know for sure if something is going to be successful. I choose to take risks because of the passion that I have in my business. I look at my failures as lessons learned. I look at my wins, appreciate them, and think of ways to make it better. I think when you do something you are passionate about, risks/losses are a small price to pay for potential long term wins.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a fashion designer. My brand is all custom designed by me. My ideas usually come from things I would want to wear but can’t find anywhere else. What I love about my brand is that it caters to those who define their own standards of living, success and happiness. There is no one way or straight and narrow path to be successful. People should be allowed to have their own ideas of what that is without pressures from society. For one person success could be making $50,000 a year, having a family, and owning a home; for another it could be making millions and being able to travel the world. Both are completely acceptable and I wish society would stop making one seem better than the other. Our lives are our own and everyone should be able to decide how they want to live it without hurting anyone of course.
Our mission statement is below: At Rébellious Prestigé we value authenticity. We make our own rules and fxck society’s standards. We have our own standards of living, happiness and success. We are not envious of others nor are we easily influenced. We don’t need a seat at the table, WE CREATE OUR OWN! We are natural badasses striving to be the best versions of ourselves; living our best lives the way we WANT to!
Starting a business was not easy. Originally I owned a boutique where I would source clothes from vendors. I thought it would be a great way to raise the capitol I needed to design my own clothes. Eventually I was just like why not just do it now. Designing is what I love! Selling other people clothes and having the same clothes as other clothing stores wasn’t making me happy. I went for it and I am super excited about what is to come. One of the lessons I’ve learned is to always remember why I love what I do. Those reminders help me get through those stressful times and allow me to keep going.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love brunch and rooftop bars. We would probably go to a cute brunch spot one day like Breakfast at Barneys and then a fun brunch at BQE’s another day. At night we would go to 12 Cocktail Bar, a hidden gem in Ponce City Market, or other rooftop bars such as Whiskey Blue, Regent Cocktail Bar or a lounge.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my younger self; the girl that has always wanted more and has made it through many obstacles to get where she is today!