Home Arts Inspire Salone Series: Her Passion

Inspire Salone Series: Her Passion

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By Eunice Naffie Mustapha 

Knowing what makes the fire burn in you is part of harnessing your inner power. Passion wields our power! Holding on to that passion is where the real battle lies. Amid challenges, Patricia Macarthy still chose her passion.

Arts at First Sight

At the tender age of 8, Patricia Macarthy started drawing designs she wished to wear. She was not the regular child, as Patricia wanted to control her wardrobe completely. Several designs were flying in her head, which she had to transform into her dearest girly dresses.  Luckily for her, her mama was an expert in beadwork, perfect for adding sparkles to her dresses. Learning beadwork from her mama was part of their daughter-mama bonding time, which Patricia adored.

By age 10, she had her small workshop at home. Her papa, a marine, was always traveling and would bring her items to add to her workshop. He even bought her first sewing machine and gave her countless videos to watch to perfect her craft.

Patricia was also in love with painting, as she would paint all the pictures in her head. Her entire life was centered on sewing, beadwork, and painting. It was clear that Patricia had fallen in love with arts at first sight.

The Loop

After sitting with her WASSCE, Patricia knew exactly where she wanted to go. And her papa, being her cheerleader, was already making plans for her to travel to Ghana to study fashion. What excitement! However, her mama had other plans. She insisted that Patricia get a degree first at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), University of Sierra Leone.  Nonetheless, Patricia still had plans to spend most of her time in her workshop, which she did by skipping classes at IPAM. When her mama found out, she closed the workshop, burnt most of her items, and locked up the rest. Her mama was determined to get her through IPAM with no distractions. During her interview, Patricia explained that she felt like she had lost half of herself at that moment. Who was she really without her workshop?

Freed

After four years of pain, she finally graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Financial Services—freedom at last! Patricia hilariously mentioned that after graduating, she walked up to her mama, stating how she had pleased her, and it was time to unleash the fire that had been burning in her for four years.

Because of her body shape and size, getting clothes that would fit her well was always frustrating. But Patricia knew the time had come for that problem to be resolved! Her first step was getting her dearest workshop together.

Mundei Closet 

For Patricia, rocking African wear stylishly has always been her power. It’s no surprise you hardly see her wear anything else. In 2019, she finally decided to take a major step by starting Mundei Closet. Mundei, which is a Mende word meaning ‘our own,’ was selected to create ownership, as she believes in Sierra Leone producing items instead of mostly importing them.

The goal was to provide high-quality African wear with a modern, classy touch. She did not have all the resources needed, but Patricia was using everything available to her, including social media platforms, to establish her brand. She started Mundei Closet as an online fashion house to get a store within 2 years.

Has the journey been full of roses? Negative!

Patricia has battled many limitations in getting her baby to walk and work. She shared how the journey hasn’t been easy, and she has had days when she felt like giving up. Even though she produces classy attires, unlike others, her brand hasn’t achieved the required visibility.  She also struggles with getting trimmings and importing them to get her desired effect. Patricia stated that Sierra Leone has talents that could transform the fashion industry. Still, there are many limitations, and they mostly struggle with getting items needed locally, leading to greater expenses. Nevertheless, Patricia believes in baby steps. She believes in taking her time to build a solid foundation.

As an administrative person, she is just so detail-oriented. Every stitch has to be perfect. Her business isn’t all about making profits; to her, it’s her life, her passion! Mundei Closet produces Kontri Klos, Ankara Print, Bags, etc. She sets standards by working on doing everything excellently.

The Afrikaner Queen

“You can be stylish in your African wear. African wears should not be boring; they should be elegant.”- Patricia Macarthy

She is proud to have landed a space in the YALI Alumni Market. She is going global! Her work speaks for her. Patricia Macarthy believes in building others and has personally coached 10 mentees. She also has a vibrant team of 6 contractors, creating earning opportunities for others whilst embracing her passion.  Guess what? Her mama is now her greatest cheerleader. Her mama has become very supportive of her dreams, and she rocks her designs with so much pride! When you live a life of passion, you become infectious!

Her Message to Young Sierra Leoneans 

“Be yourself! Be original, no matter the circumstances. It will come out if you pretend to be something you’re not. Being yourself and following your passion makes you comfortable in your own space. If you try chasing someone else’s dreams, you will fail. Be willing to learn and be humble enough to take advice. Don’t always look for positive feedback; negative feedback sometimes helps you grow.”

I guess we have definitely met Patricia Macarthy. She chose her passion; what do you choose?

Eunice Naffie Mustapha is a creative writer and a storyteller. She is a published author ( the author of Girlz Planete: Teenage Pregnancy). As the CEO of Nafisa Media Limited, she believes in using stories to inspire social change. She is a Sierra Leonean content writer renowned for submitting content to individuals and entities locally and internationally.

Photo Credit: Moseray Koroma (Super Mos Photography): +23278145373/+23288914840

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