Loubna Ayouche Combalat doesn’t so much make clothes as she produces wearable art. The Moroccan-born designer is the creative maverick behind clothing label Loayo Art & Creations, and considers Nelson Mandela a personal hero for his fairness, justice and advocacy.
“Sir Mandela is a huge inspiration to me. His essence of leadership for freedom, justice and equality are a true source of motivation. His wisdom, strength, courage, kindness, forgiveness, mercy, perseverance will continue to inspire me and so many people in the world for a long time to come.
In her business, her leadership is one that’s driven by action, and leading to accomplish objectives with the right attitude, and inspiring her employees to dream, learn more and become more. “I strive every day to be a good leader and effective role model who is fair, honest, inspiring and motivating.”
Combalat adds as a fashion and creative entrepreneur, it’s important that her vision is crystal clear and her self-confidence unwavering. “I believe that leading from the front is important, but you can do it while influencing others and inspiring and empowering them.”
Equally important, she adds, is sharing credit with her team and looking out for their welfare and happiness; this is how she builds a strong and genuine team spirit.
She is also led by her passion. “It’s very important to be passionate about what you do, and about your vision. Passion fuels the fires of success. It will also infuse a positive and inspiring energy in your team members, which helps them to be more ambitious, believe in themselves and perform better.”
Like her hero Nelson Mandela, Combalat is passionate about ending poverty, using Nelson Mandela’s now famous Make Poverty History speech as her inspiration.
“He said poverty is not natural. It’s man-made and it can be eradicated by the actions of human beings. He also said overcoming poverty is not an act of charity. It’s an act of justice.”
To commemorate Mandela Day on July 18, she’s going to share groceries with people around her.
“This is an action that’s very close to my heart and I try to do this as often as I can throughout the year. I believe that we can change the world if all lend a helping hand to the less fortunate,” says Combalat.
Other than sharing food parcels with hungry people in her community, she also takes part in fund-raising events for charities; something she has been doing for several years.
She has also hosted charity events, where she sells her paintings.
“We always manage to raise good money from the charity events. We raised over R300,000 in 2016 and 2017.”
The money supports local charities.