The headline of 2020 will undoubtedly be the COVID 19 pandemic. It gripped the world and many countries resorted to lockdowns to try to contain the pandemic with varying degrees of success. And while there are many valid stories of the misery that 2020 brought about you also have roses growing in the concrete. One such story is Hatiperi clothing which was born in the midst of the pandemic. I caught up with, the person behind the brand Hatiperi and posed a few questions to him about the business and where it was going.
The Hatiperi idea started in 2018 according to founder Tinotenda Matayi (@hatiperi_wacho). However, it became operational in August 2020. COVID 19 became global in March so 5 months into the global pandemic the business started. This was a tough time for many in Zimbabwe and continues to be. However, the idea seems to have taken root despite the conditions it was born in.
They credit their early success to brand ambassadorships which have landed clients in Zimbabwe and abroad. A look at their website and social media pages will reveal pictures with popular people such as Slick Pastor, Jah Prayzah and others while they also learn heavily on social proof with pictures of people in Hatiperi clothing. The storytelling has been a great strength to the brand.
Clothing has always had a huge cultural impact in Zimbabwe even when it was not being taken advantage of by Zimbabweans. The idea of easily identifying or representing is very appealing to Zimbabweans at home and abroad and ironically the timing for Hatiperi may have been just right with people going through many untold inconveniences through the lockdown. While the bulk of their products are branded t-shirts their catalogue also includes hats, dresses and other casual wear items. Matayi stresses that the brand is for both men and women.
Having started in such an uncertain time, it was tough to get a clear answer to the future of Hatiperi. He, however, did say they are very grateful for what success they have so far and are looking forward to growing the brand to become dominant. As something born out of a passion for design and clothing, it is not surprising that he dreams big about the brand.
No rose is without thorns and the business has faced challenges internally and externally. In both cases, they have worked and are working tirelessly on solutions to the challenges faced. Starting in the middle of a pandemic certainly had its fair share of challenges. Achieving 100% customer satisfaction is difficult for even the likes of Coca Cola and these are some of the hurdles that Hatiperi clothing has had to deal with. You would forget that it’s only been a few months with brand visibility.
Pressed for a message he simply said: “stop dreaming, wake up and work on who you want to be”. Carefully selected words I gather as we so often focus on what we want we forget to define who we will be. First, you must be the person, who will do the things that will achieve the results. As Hatiperi clothing has clearly shown.