FAMILY AND FRIENDS ENTREPRENEURIAL PARTNERSHIP: LESSONS FROM BUQISI-RUUX, A STYLISH AFRICAN SHOE BRAND 

Getting a frantic call from a friend who is mostly calm would warrant some concern.

“I think I need to talk, can I come over ?”

I hesitate. “ Oh, sure!” I was trying to put up my “I am cool” countenance.

A few hours later, we were seated and he opened up on why he had sounded frantic and scared. His younger brother had declared his interest to partner with him in his business.

He was not sure of what to say so he experienced a bout of confusion. Family and friends are dear to us but sometimes, incorporating them into our businesses can be difficult simply because of the presence of the familial relationship and not knowing where to draw the line.

The same thought could have played in the mind of

Nuba Elamin, Lynn Bugaari and Tetsi Bugaari who are all close family members. They are the creative hands behind Buqisi-Ruux, a shoe line from Kenya that designs and produces high-heeled shoes covered in bold and colourful African print material.

The name Buqisi -Ruux, means ‘Queen of the Village’. Buqisi comes from an ancient Egyptian word meaning Queen, while Ruux represents their native hometown, Rukungiri.

At first, Lynn showed an obsession for shoes, Nuba had a thirst for knowledge and a wider experience of the African continent while Tetsi brought to the company a passion for fashion and the desire to create.

Their collaboration created an opportunity to utilise the beautiful colours, prints and patterns on African fabric to create a wide variety of differently styled and highly distinctive high-heeled shoes.

Presently, Nuba takes the lead in the operations of the company, and with a background in project coordination and strength in planning and organisation, she has facilitated our brand relationships, especially with suppliers, to ensure high-quality control and the best possible product release. Lynn focuses on the administration aspect of Buqisi Ruux as a business with a background in business management, she handles the financial and administrative functions of the brand necessary for growth. Tetsi plays the role of creative director for their brand.

There are numerous lessons to learn from these African family which the most common is to find out are the values your family member or friend has to bring to the table, if there is concrete  evidence that you both share same visions, how strong their commitment is to what they do and how they take on personal crises.

The most crucial thing to note is how much you can trust them, with your life, ethics and ability not to give in to endangering compromise.

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