Timabee is a new proudly African, luxury accessory brand on a mission to make luxury accessible and affordable, whilst at the same time celebrating the best craftsmanship combined with the finest leathers. The company’s founder, Fatima Babakura, is passionate about the timeless process of creating the most beautiful accessories, harnessing her country’s tradition of fine craftsman-made products, but in a new contemporary way.
LoA found out more about this young and dynamic luxury accessory brand and its ambitions for the future.
What does your company do?
Timabee is an up and coming luxury women's handbag brand with one mission - to redefine luxury by making it affordable. Timabee believes luxury goes beyond the price tag of an item. It is about the creativity, time, and resources that go into making it. We are committed to designing very unique pieces with the best leathers and hard wares out there! Our promise to our customers is that they will never have to break the bank to own luxury.
"Timabee is an up and coming luxury women's handbag brand with one mission - to redefine luxury by making it affordable."
What inspired you to start your company?
I started my company because I want to put an African name at the forefront of luxury accessories in the world one day. I do not want it to be always about the Italians or French only. Africans are talented, and we have the resources and the ability.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
The impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into each bag is undeniably appealing to anyone with an eye for luxury and quality. I encourage African women to embrace African luxury brands the way they have embraced foreign brands.
Tell us a little about your team
Timabee currently has 2 people on it's team. Fatima Babakura (Creative director and owner), who is a 20 year old undergraduate accounting student at McMaster University; and Salma Rutherford who is in charge of PR and marketing for the brand. Timabee is currently looking to grow its team.
"Timabee believes luxury goes beyond the price tag of an item. It is about the creativity, time, and resources that go into making it."
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My journey so far has been amazing. I have made lots of mistakes and I have also learned from them. I have tried new things, some I have loved, and some I will never try again. My father is a business man and he owns a farm in Lagos, Nigeria. It is likely that he is an influence on my chosen path, however Timabee happened by chance. Timabee is not something I planned at all. Growing up, my dream, like most African kids, was to become a medical doctor (a paediatrician to be precise). Timabee is a result of my curiosity. I had drawn a handbag on paper in the summer of 2013, and it just looked very different from the way handbags usually look. I fell in love with it and I really wanted to see what it looked like in reality. I didn't know how to make handbags or even sew at the time, so I made it a mission to find someone to make me a sample. The rest they say is history.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
My dream for Timabee is for it to become a luxury lifestyle brand. We plan to start the clothing line for the brand this summer. In the next 3 years, I see us having our flagship store and manufacturing plant somewhere in Lagos Nigeria. I hope to employ and empower as many African women and men and to also educate young women who are aspiring entrepreneurs.
"I encourage African women to embrace African luxury brands the way they have embraced foreign brands."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Seeing people from different parts of the world appreciate my designs and even order them is the biggest satisfaction. It just proves to me that we are on the way to putting an African name in the forefront of luxury very soon. I have had customers from Qatar, Kenya, Dubai, London, USA, South Africa and I currently stock a Canadian boutique.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
NO only means Next opportunity. You have to keep trying because at the beginning things may seem a little rough and people will say no to you, but you cannot give up because of that.
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Why LoA loves it….
There is something very powerful about young women entrepreneurs who follow a personal passion and turn it into a business opportunity. It is also good to see those same young women thinking big and having a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve. Fatima Babakura is one such entrepreneur, on a mission to build a proudly African luxury accessory brand and winning new customers around the world as she goes. Her brand, Timabee, is definitely one to watch with interest over the next few years. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa