TENDAI Murairwa, a former National Health Service (NHS) Sewing Room Assistant at Tickhill Road Hospital, Doncaster, has quit her job after taking part in York Fashion Week in May to launch her own fashion brand Teestyletribe and focus on her role as a freelance costume design trainee for film and television.
Tendai, age 44 from Stainforth said: “Being part of York Fashion Week in Spring as a speaker at an event for students reaffirmed my belief that there is huge potential in the world of fashion in the North and gave me the confidence I needed to leave my role in the NHS and focus solely on building my business.
“The support shown by the organisers was phenomenal and it provided me with the opportunity to network with fellow creatives and celebrate diversity within the industry.”
Following York Fashion Week, she secured a placement with Emmerdale, dressing some of the soap’s most famous stars including Mandy Dingle. Working in the costume department, Tendai was responsible for selecting relevant outfits for specific scenes and overseeing the issue of continuity on screen.
Before launching her own business, alongside her role at the NHS Tendai worked for Doncaster Homeless Services as a Project Assistant and was responsible for booking in homeless people, securing alternative accommodation for them and providing support.
But her creative journey was sparked by upcycling clothes which ignited her passion for fashion and led her to undertake formal training in Costume Design at Screen Yorkshire in Leeds.
Tendai explains: “I’m a firm believer that age should not be a barrier to pursuing your passion. And I never imagined that I would have the courage and conviction to switch careers. I didn’t learn to sew until the age of 40 which proves that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.”
Tendai, who was born in Zimbabwe, has taken inspiration from her African heritage to create a stunning collection of wrapskirts, kimonos, tote bags, headbands and headwraps. She continues: “With a clear vision for the future, I aspire to see high street shops globally offering African print clothing, accessories, and furnishings within the next five years.”
Looking ahead, Tendai has a strong desire to create more genderless clothing, reflecting her inclusive and forward-thinking approach to fashion. In addition to her creative endeavors, Tendai is committed to giving back to her community. She continues to support Doncaster Homeless Services and the NHS, using her skills to help improve the lives of others.
Tendia’s collection will feature in the Contemporary Fashion event on Sunday, October 1at Jalou, 2 Micklegate from 7.30pm – 10.00pm. York Fashion Week launched in 2018 in a bid to empower and champion grassroots and independent designers that are revolutionising the fashion scene to showcase their latest collections.