We had the chance to sit down with the man himself, Mr. Softlife, over a cup of coffee and chat about everything that goes into creating a streetwear brand. From the creative process to the challenges of establishing a brand in the competitive fashion industry, we got the inside scoop on it all.
Vendelinus Amadhila, is an architecture student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). He founded Softlife in 2020 and has been taking the fashion world by storm ever since.
If you’re a fashion enthusiast or simply curious about how brands come to life, you won’t want to miss this exciting interview. Get ready to be inspired and learn what it takes to make it in the world of fashion!
One could say it’s GOD-GIVEN.Vendelinus Amadhila
Born and raised in Windhoek, Amadhila launched Softlife in December 2020. In a recent interview, Amadhila shared that he has always had a deep love for streetwear and fashion design.
He believes that looking good translates to feeling good and doing good. Which is why he pours his heart and soul into every Softlife design.
Currently a sole proprietorship, Amadhila is dedicated to seeing his vision for Softlife come to life. He is responsible for everything from the initial designs to the final deliveries.
His unwavering commitment to his brand is evident. He plans to continue putting in the work until he finds like-minded creatives with the same goals and ambitions to join his team.
With a passion for streetwear and a drive to succeed, the future looks bright for Softlife and its founder.
Q: On the Instagram page only streetwear can be seen. Why specifically streetwear aesthetic?
A: Ever since a youngin’, I would go to church and sit in the back with my friends. I never had the money to buy the trendy clothes that were popping on the streets so I’d draw them. I’d draw my friends and I in cool fits and I’d show them after church like ‘Ayo look at us‘.
So that’s were it all started, it all started with me imagining I had these clothes. It all started in church. So one could say it’s GOD-GIVEN.
Q: Is there a specific target audience for Softlife?
A: This brand is made for everyone that is into looking aesthetic at all times. It doesn’t have a specific target market as it is made for everyone who desires a soft life, a life of ease and comfort while looking saucy, male or female, young or old.
Q: What exactly led up to the founding of the brand?
A: The birth of Softlife came about at the end of my 12th grade final exams (2020). I was at the library studying for geography with a close friend called Amir.
Amir was both a full time student and a full time hustler, he already had businesses up and running while we were in high school. [This day] we were on a study break so we were chatting about life after high school. He was like “Vendelinus, let’s push and once we’re done it’s gonna be soft.”
He kept on emphasizing on the soft part, so after that study session I went to church and I remember thinking about it heavily. I was writing geography the next day, and instead of studying, I took my mom’s phone and surfed the net and came up with sample logos. Eventually I got to the current branding.
After I wrote geography, I went to a printing shop in the hood, got four tees branded and had a few girls in a shoot. Dropped the content on Instagram and then sales came through.
I didn’t have a plan when I started, I just wanted to operate as I was inspired by my friend Amir. That’s how it all began, the rest is going to be history!
Q: Have you faced challenges since establishing your clothing brand? If so, how did you overcome them?
A: As the sales went up, I knew that I had to step up and be consistent with it. At the time I didn’t know how to create digital content. A friend of mine, Joshua, designed my very first advertising poster, and after that I hit him up on some “Can you design another poster for me?”
Instead, he videocalled me and showed me the basics on how to create digital content; forever grateful for my guy Josh! After that I started exploring this digital content thing more and more and started discovering more.
The major challenge I encountered was depression when the brand was going south regardless of the effort, money and time I was putting in. But we all know that that’s just business; it’s not gonna be green all season.
What helped me partially overcome that was consistency and dedication even though things weren’t going well. I made sure to put up a facade that everything was going immaculate. That is one quality every entrepreneur should have. Business will boom and it will decline, it is what you do when it declines that will determine how it will boom.
Q: What’s one thing you wish you knew before starting a business?
A: There was a time round 2021 when I wanted to give up on the brand. My very first customer, who is my best friend Junior, was there pushing me and gassing me up.
I remember he was in Grootfontein at the time and I gave him rights to operate there and in a month he had made the brand popular there. After seeing the dedication he had, I brought him on board as a co-founder, and we kept on operating ever since.
In 2022, he had to move out of town and he was pursuing something that needed his undivided attention. Hence I was back at square one.
Another shoutout to him for being there in tough time. I know that once he’s done with what he’s got to take care of we will be back to running the streets!
Q: Where do you see Softlife five years from now?
A: I don’t want to spill the beans but in the next 5 years or so, Softlife will have a shop up and running in the CBD. First we conquer Windhoek city, then we conquer Namibia, and then we head global. And all this by the grace of God.
Q: From your experience of running Softlife, is there anything you’d like to say to those who have similar dreams to yours?
A: My advice to those with similar dreams, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
1) Not everyone who says they are proud of you will support you. Some people will only support you when it’s popular to do so.
2) Keep pushing irregardless. Take one step back and take 3 steps forward.
Softlife has proven itself to “the streets” that it is here to stay. So many young people leave their dreams just as that, dreams. But Vendelinus proved that all it takes is determination and the right support to execute the dream into a reality.
Business will boom and it will decline, it is what you do when it declines that will determine how it will boom.Vendelinus Amadhila