Talent and hard work are making a difference in Kutlo Marks’ life. Born in Serowe Kutlo says her love and passion for designing and tailoring are keeping her moving. She says she has always loved designing – at a tender age she made little dresses for her dolls with pieces of material cut from her clothes. “I would get in trouble for it but I would not stop because it is what I enjoyed doing,” she recalls. She said her love for fashion also pushed her into designing. “I am always interested in what it is trending and to style different clothing.” She says she mostly designs casual clothing but she would like to start specialising mostly in pageant dresses, dinner and evening gowns. Kutlo (19) registered her own brand ‘Purple Ivory’ last year and began designing and tailoring commercially. “My breakthrough into the fashion industry was when I did a fashion show with Miss Teen Universe organisation. It was my very first collection and I was the youngest of all four designers but I managed to scoop the best designer award,” she states. The award proved to her that she has the potential to do great in the fashion industry. Kutlo says Batswana are very supportive of her brand. “Business is good even though people are hesitant to trust a teenager to deliver exactly on what they want but I can say they are always satisfied with the outcomes, something which keeps me motivated. Seeing people happy of my work really pleases me,” she says. Fashion designing comes with its challenges, including the pressure of meeting deadlines. “That is because I do not do design only but I tailor the clothes myself.” Another challenge she always faces is meeting the customer’s expectations. “It is not easy but it all takes patience and time management to get everything done accordingly,” she admits. Nevertheless she wants to see her brand being one of the best locally and internationally. “I want to work with other designers and showcase my work globally. I want to see myself owning stores where I can sell my clothing and have customers conveniently access the clothing I make,” she declares. Kutlo is an Economics and Accounting student at the University of Botswana which consumes most of her time. But she is not overawed by the pressure she faces.