Our Person of the Week is an enterprising personality who is doing a perfect balancing act between her career and personal business ventures.
A multi-faceted boss-lady, banker and entrepreneur, Catherine Jaramba is the founder and owner of Cathejeyz brand, an online shop that is making waves across the board.
The SA-based socialite is a self-described ‘fashionpreneur’ and IT professional. She blended her passion for fashion with her career drive in the banking and technology sector to carve out a unique brand for herself.
“I am the founder of Cathejeyz Closet, an online store that sells exclusive clothing based in South Africa. In addition to that, I am also a professional banker with a special interest in IT. Some people say biology + IT = Bio-Informatics, but I say of myself overall fashion + IT = fashion informatics and that is the category I fall under,” she said, with a laugh.
The story of the Cathejeyz brand started in somewhat unusual yet practical circumstances. As most success stories go, the birthing of the popular online store came from personal circumstances.
The turning point for Jaramba came when she decided to declutter her closet which was full of many pairs of shoes. According to her, some of the shoes were not even her size, so she put them up for sale.
The initiative garnered traction until she decided to fully launch with her own designs in October 2019.
Jaramba is no stranger to blazing a trail in fashion spaces and joined the elite league of Zimbabwean women to launch her own shoe brand, in partnership with a Turkish company.
“I just found a way to turn my passion into a business. . I am one of the few Zimbabwean women to launch my own shoe and nightwear brand. My shoe brand Glitz Bottom was birthed from my fashion addiction and my desire to see women embracing their feminity in style,” she explained.
The latest nightwear offering from Cathejeyz Closet is but further testament to her expanding fashion portfolio and a burgeoning reputation as an astute businesswoman. Inspired by her mother, Julie’s Collection by Cathejeyz has hit the fashion streets running.
“This luxurious Julie’s Collection nightwear is inspired by my mum. She came up with the idea of silk satin nightwear after noticing bad hairline problems and even skin problems in most women.”
“We started researching on how ladies should save or protect their hair and skin without breaking the bank. We even engaged a consulting aesthetician on how best we can help fellow women since I love seeing ‘Women embracing their feminity in style,’ as I mentioned above,” she said.
Witnessing success in a business venture is a gratifying exercise but, little is told of the challenges people encounter on their journey to the top. Catherine also had her fair bit of adjusting to cultural dynamics while setting up but persevered to create a distinct description of her business brand and her persona as a socialite.
“I would like to believe that cultural difference is a huge challenge that we face, despite the proximity of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Each country has its own makeup of languages and its own specific culture or blend of cultures. Thereby Cultural differences can influence market demand for your product or service.”
“Eventually, we found our balance and stake our claim in the business. I don’t want my person to overshadow my brand and, I don’t want my personal life to affect my brand. I like to separate my person from my brand, for the sake of my sanity and the good of my family.”
Cathejeyz has scaled up the ladder and, Jaramba herself has also been recognized for various achievements and awards, but that has not deterred her motivation for more.
“The thing that keeps me going is answering the WHY question. Asking myself that question reminds me of the dream and keeps me motivated. I try to be connected to the original vision because that keeps me going when the going gets tough.”
The challenges in her journey have come with their own lessons and kept her going. Jaramba also believes in lifting other entrepreneurs to realize their dreams.
“I tell myself many positive things which work wonders for me. I should not be afraid to take up new challenges. Everything in life has its ups and downs, so do not give up, just keep your head up high.”
“To those thinking of starting their own ventures and do not know what to do, I urge perseverance. Meditate, find what you are passionate about and convert that obsession into a business. Those in the business already: never give up, keep pushing. Rome was not built in a day, neither will your dreams be accomplished in a short space of time at all times. Therefore, keep trying until you get to the top. My recipe is the 3Ps; Prayer, Passion and Perseverance,” she added.
The Cathejeyz brand looks set to stay for long and is committed to collaboration and helping others get to their peak.
“Cathy as a person will keep on uplifting other upcoming entrepreneurs. We need to fix each other’s crown. A few conferences will be held to help fellow women to grow in business.”
Amid the fast-paced nature of her work, the hardworking entrepreneur believes in recharging the batteries to avoid burnout.
“One of my favorites is just taking a 30-minute nap, and you are re-set! A nap is like a restart button for life. I also like to indulge in self care. Taking a nice long bath and using a facemask helps in physical relaxation. It lets you focus on yourself. When you are physically relaxed, it means it is easier to relax mentally.”
It is a well-accepted fact that rest is just as crucial as the hustle. We eagerly await to see the next big thing from the inspiring entrepreneur. Whatever dreams she envisions during those naps remains to be seen as time has proven that Catherine Jaramba is set on achieving all her goals.