By Antony Kays
Women in Namibia are mostly perceived as incompetent, especially when it comes to them being in charge.
They are also constantly being forced to adhere to gender roles, social norms and social standards.
Zita Francis Jesus a 27-year-old, who is a marketing executive at O&L Leisure, the creative director and founder of Orange Peel Interior Designs and has obtained a Diploma in Teaching, Bachelor Degree in Corporate Communications, Honors in Marketing, Certified Interior Designer and Completed Darren Palmar Masterserries – Interior Design will stop at nothing to inspire other women from being ambitious and taking charge.
She’s a phenomenal woman who started her own interior design company at the age of 25 while continuing her studies and still making it work by working a full-time job.
Often women are looked down upon, but for Zita what mattered most for her was feeding her hunger for ambition by proving that hard work and dedication does indeed pay off no matter your age, gender or ethnicity.
Being an interior designer in Namibia is often misconceptualized and is frequently mistaken for decorating, architecture or that you need substantial amounts of money to create your own beautiful space Zita explained.
But that is not the case, “I see this as an opportunity for Orange Peel to reintroduce and redefine interior design to Namibia. What I love most about this is that it challenges me creatively and I’ve made quite a few breakthroughs in designing affordable interiors”, says Zita.
Zita’s love for interior design started way back when she would transform dull spaces of family and friends into beautiful spaces. And it’s only in recent years that she has discovered that she is really talented and has an eye for interior design, thus she decides to go pursue her studies at the Institute of Interior Design Australia.
However, running a business is not entirely easy as it comes with its own challenges. For Zita, it is mostly sourcing her design elements and accessories to bring her designs to life as she stressed, that supplies are sometimes limited. Also explaining design concepts, ideas, looks and feels to contractors can be tough, “ sometimes I wish I could just take them on a trip in my head just to see what I envision for space’’ Zita explained.
Nonetheless, challenges have their own perks and that is actually finishing off the design with a big smile for Zita. Her biggest project by far is ‘Project Ruby’ as it was the most challenging and is one of the projects she has learned a great deal from, but with ‘Project WhiteHouse’ she has surpassed ‘Project Ruby’ in terms of creativity and uniqueness.
Getting all the work done is strenuous, especially with her having to juggle school, work and business but she believes that its a work in progress as she still needs to tune this skill. So she relies on planning her week and using google reminders to keep her on track, but most importantly she makes time for herself and also family and friends, that refuels her.
In spite of it all Zita is inspired by nature and what keeps her going is her passion, but most importantly it’s creating a space that brings both joy and happiness, not forgetting the smiles she puts on her clients.
Nonetheless, starting your own business is not an easy task and being a woman running her own business does come with a certain satisfaction. ”Seeing the fruits of my hard work slowly reveals itself with each milestone has such an unexplainable gratifying feel. However being a female business owner is definitely worth a toast!”, Zita expressed.
“If it makes you happy and you can do it for free any day – then go for it”, Zita Jesus.