Amanda Trom

VNTU

What does your company do?

VNTU (pronounced Vin-too) is a Pan-African designer fashion brand focused on sustainability and local manufacturing. Showcasing a creative and modern take on traditional and artisanal crafts. Everything is locally produced , providing employment and skills development to our local community. We aim to tell African stories through art and fashion and export that to the rest of the world.

What is your biggest success?

In a year of being in business we were able to debut at SA fashion week which really solidified our position as a designer brand. This brought quite a bit of traction towards the brand which then led to our collaboration with South Africa's leading online retailer Bash.com, where we created a capsule of winter basics which launched April 2024. We were also a finalist in the Twyg sustainable awards for emerging talent 2023 and won the award for emerging talent at the Fashion Industry Awards South Africa 2023. We also love storytelling through Fashion, art and film which led to us winning "Best New Fashion Film" at the fashion film festival Milano in Italy June, 2023. It was such an honour to know that in our first year, we were able to garner that much attention, it was such great affirmation that we were onto something.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Balancing being a creative and running a business. As much as I love being a designer and the expression of creativity. I have also come to fall in love with business and I really want to create a sustainable business that can just continue to grow and flourish. At this stage access to funding and scaling has been a challenge and our biggest hurdle, scaling and growing in a manner that can still ensure longevity. the lack of mentorship has also been a hurdle, I often find myself wanting to bounce ideas off of or ask for advice from someone who is well versed and experienced in business especially being a young black woman navigating the space.