Hatiperi: Youths Harnessing the Power of Collaboration to Create Fashion despite COVID -19

Hatiperi: Youths Harnessing the Power of Collaboration to Create Fashion despite COVID -19

COVID-19 came as a surprise to every one of us and many adjustments had to be made to the way we led our lives. Having found ways to mitigate its devastating health effects, we now had to figure out ways of cushioning ourselves economically. Young people in particular were the ones affected the most, having lost their sources of livelihoods. The situation called for much ingenuity and innovation, especially in contexts like Zimbabwe where the economy was already going through torrid times. Amid such times, a young man from Zimbabwe, Tino Matayi rose up to the occasion and leveraged the resources available to him to build a formidable clothing label, making his mark in the creative sector.

Tino Matayi is the young man behind the clothing label called Hatiperi. The label specializes in casual wear such as t-shirts, caps, hoodies, and masks.  Primarily, the brand appeals to the youth demographic, as well as corporate brands that aim to reach the young at heart. The founder of the brand Tino, is an engineer by academic training. He is backed by a dynamic and lean team of other young people of various specialties such as marketing, operations, and graphic designing who provide much of the businesses services. The Hatiperi label identified by an infinity sign literally translates to “we will never end”. Tino believes the infinity sign was the appropriate depiction of his brand as he is convinced that its vision will transcend beyond generations to come. Though the brand gained momentum in 2020, its journey begun in 2018 in Tino’s early years in college. As a young person, Tino has always had a drive for boosting income through various streams. As such, he would hustle for income to sustain his extra curriculum activities over the weekend even when times were tough. It was because of this trait that he earned the name Hatiperi as an individual, before the thought of forming a clothing label came to mind. He was popular for never being short of a plan to boost himself afloat.

The name became such an identifier of him that he decided to design a hoodie with the logo and caption for Hatiperi.  Once his cousin saw him wearing it, he loved it and insisted on buying it such that Tino had to get another one made. As he walked around with the fashion piece, people began to admire it and enquire as to how they could get their own pieces. However, it was not until 2020, when the pandemic hit that Tino decided to turn his creative hobby into an actual business.

The dream to build a business had finally come alive, but Hatiperi was not immune to the challenges that emerging businesses face. For its first product shoot, Tino had to negotiate for space with a vendor who had a stall down town, and rely on the good will of a volunteer to wear his apparel for the shoot. Instead of seeing this situation through a negative lens, he used it to give an honest reflection of the struggles faced by young entrepreneurs, and how it was important to work around them, through his social media platforms. Being a person with a huge social media following of young people who were pro-trends, gave Tino an opportunity to connect with his audience, test out concepts virtually and gauge their popularity with potential customers. In return, his social media following showed appreciation for his attempts to connect with them and this led to many people falling in love with the label.

The establishment of Hatiperi was financed by Tino’s own savings, collaboration and bootstrapping. Tino understood the concept of reinvesting in the business early, and appreciated that a strong business required personal sacrifices and commitment for it to grow. In a lot of instances, he found himself having to carry packed lunch in order to make the most of his profit and be able to direct his revenue towards business engagements and sustainability. Another significant factor in the establishing of the clothing label was Tino’s rich network of young people and friends who were willing to supply critical services such as t-shirt printing, graphic designing, at affordable prices and very flexible payment terms, out of sheer support for their colleague. As such, the Hatiperi brand grew organically, gaining traction first from close friends, then from impressed customers who would in turn popularize Hatiperi’s work through social media mentions. A key feature of the brand that stood out for growth was Hatiperi’s impeccable customer service. Tino and his team made it a priority to always deliver value without giving excuses, and to never let the brand’s internal challenges interfere with their value provision.

Customers of the label attest to their great customer service, timeliness and consistency even though they are an emerging business. Word of mouth has therefore stood out as their most powerful marketing tool. It is this reputation that earned Hatiperi contracts and collaborations with a renowned local tours company, Zimbabwean music icon Jah Prayzah, and even Zimbabwe’s former minister of energy. With the presence of virtual connectivity, Hatiperi has also managed to secure the diaspora market, serving clients as far as Dubai.

What has stood out about the Hatiperi journey is its resilience, and pursuit for excellence despite being established in one of the most trying times. Moreover, the business is largely anchored by young people, faced with a difficult economic context in Zimbabwe, who still managed to make something out of their capabilities and limited resources available to them. Tino envisions that one day, Hatiperi will not only be a big brand in Zimbabwe, but a tool for ambassadorship and national pride for Zimbabweans, promoting fellow young people whose lines of work are connected to the brand. He hopes that by having it worn outside the country, Zimbabweans can use it as a tool to connect and ignite hope for all the incredible things they can do as a nation against all odds! For more of his work, visit Instagram-hatiperi_zw, Twitter-hatiperi_zw and Facebook Hatiperi_zw.

All comments

  1. WeCan Paintings

    Hatiperi has been persistent and we have witnessed. As young Zimbabweans we would like to support this local brand with everything we can, in no time i know this label is going to contribute in bringing back zimbabwe in the map. #Hatiperi

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Hatiperi: Youths Harnessing the Power of Collaboration to Create Fashion despite COVID -19

Jan 26, 2021
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