Melissa Mbile Sánchez is the founder and CEO of La Capacidad, a clothing line in Equatorial Guinea. Under La Capacidad, she has been doing the following:
“The first is textile-related—fashion design, the printing of garments and, in the future, a fashion house. The second is artistic and cultural, which will consist of establishing a school of arts in Equatorial Guinea—this is a long-term vision,” she told Africa Renewal.
Her journey into the fashion business started in 2018 when she began designing Afro-contemporary clothing and costumes bearing her company logo. Sánchez, now in her late 20s, said her fashion business based in Malabo, the country’s capital city, is finding success.
“Equatorial Guinea is a small oil-producing country, but there is still room for creativity and culture,” she said, adding, “We take immense pride in our cultural uniqueness; therefore, among various textures and colors, traditional materials will always be cherished.”
Sánchez describes herself as a multidisciplinary artist who has a deep appreciation of economic policies. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and has experience in analyzing, developing, and overseeing projects.
“I am a fashion designer, dancer, choreographer, singer and actress,” said the young entrepreneur who speaks fluently Spanish, English and French. “I am a defender of the preservation of local culture and its expansion in the world.”
Sánchez’s main aim now is to empower young people and foster their social and economic inclusion. Thus, her company offers internship opportunities to the youth to “enable them to learn and quickly understand the value of work, the importance of customer relations and efficient service delivery,” she told Africa Renewal.
Last year, she said about 12 young people have gained immense experience having completed their internship programs with the company.
Currently, the dancer and CEO hopes to work on gaining more visibility at the national and international levels. She would also want to develop a marketing and advertising plan, both virtual and physical. What’s more, Sánchez would like to be able to, in a year, establish structures for the fashion house and the art school.
Getting financing for her type of business is also not easy but she believes that things would be better. The singer and fashion designer has advised the youth to stand out professionally in whatever they do. “They should strive to become positive role models for others,” she said.