Shop Local: Mbabazi House of Style

Kim Thomas visits Mbabazi(House of Style) a hidden gem on Broad Avenue. 

The next time you find yourself in search of traditional and cultural African wear and accessories, or you’re looking to find a unique gift for a loved one or friend, consider popping into Mbabazi (House of Style). Mbabazi(House of Style) is a Fair Trade business committed to advocating African designs, and they specialize in clothing that celebrates the creative and colorful nature of African design through modern fashion.

Founded in 2005 by Grace Byeitima, the name is in honor of her single mother (Mbabazi Loy Rujumba) to show appreciation for the skills she taught her at an early age while teaching her the value of hard work. Grace has resided in Memphis since 2014, however she travels regularly to Uganda where her mother now heads the production department of their thriving business. 

mbabazi shop exterior
Kim Thomas
mbabazi shop interior
Kim Thomas

I first met Grace in the Winter of 2018 when she hosted a small event with local influencer Carmeon Hamilton. During that visit I was fascinated by the bold patterns and prints that filled the shop, and I still use the beautiful, bright red woven clutch that I picked up that night to this day.

The shop is filled with so many gorgeous pieces, so one could easily spend a few hours looking over the jewelry and accessories or learning more about the designers and brands that make up the unique inventory.

Grace is a delight to talk to, and I enjoyed catching up with her about all things social media, business, and what she’s looking forward to doing now that we’re a step closer to normalcy. 

owner of mbabazi shop posing in a green and black dress in the shop
Kim Thomas
mbabazi shop inteior kids clothes
Kim Thomas
mbabazi mannquein bust
Kim Thomas

Q&A With Grace Byeitima, owner of Mbabazi(House of Style)

Kim: Why Broad Avenue Arts District for your location? 

Grace: Broad Ave has such a beautiful environment. All of the shop owners sit on a board where we get to communicate on how we want to operate and what is best for our small businesses. The sense of community here on Broad really helps us thrive. 

Kim: What do you feel makes Mbabazi House of Style so unique? 

Grace: Mbabazi’s influence is multi-faceted. Our company supports seamstresses in Uganda, specifically women who are on the path of empowering themselves. Mbabazi highlights and showcases key aspects of Uganda artistry. We absolutely enjoy giving the gift of true, authentic Uganda fashion to our community. 

Kim: What is the size range (clothing + shoes)? 

Grace: Our clothes are offered in all sizes, from XS to 3 XL. We also specialize in custom work to make even the in-between sizes work for all body types. We also offer shoes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 4-12 in both men and women. 

Kim:  How do you source new designers/brands for the shop?

Grace: I like to identify unique makers in Uganda. Someone that gives the Mbabazi brand a little something special. Also, on occasion, I like to invite other local Memphis Makers to showcase their brands if they are aligned with Mbabazi values.

mbabazi close up bracelet
Kim Thomas

Kim: What’s your favorite part about owning a boutique? 

Grace: Following my passion for sewing and being able to learn from my mom, I’m able to make a lasting impact in the lives of others, while also having that same affect on my life. I take pride in helping others lay a foundation for themselves. Having this gift is something no one can take away from me. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

Kim: How can people shop with you/keep up with what’s happening with the store? 

Grace: You can stay in touch through our Instagram and Facebook @Mbabazistyles. You can also check out our website at Mbabazistyles.com. If you sign up for our mailing list, you will be the first to know about upcoming events, updates about our company, and the new styles that will be arriving soon.

mbabazi shop interior
Kim Thomas

Mbabazi has all types of items (apparel, home decor, accessories, etc), available on their website, but their extensive inventory is best to be experienced in store. Trust me, you’ll want to buy it all! Also, they are now offering private shopping parties in the event you’d like to get in a little retail therapy with your close friends.

Go There: 

Mbabazi (House of Style)
2553 Broad Ave Memphis, TN 38112
Phone: +1(901) 303-9347

Hours: Monday 10am to 5pm, Tuesday - Friday 10am to 6pm Saturday: 10am-5pm Sunday: Closed

https://www.facebook.com/Mbabazistyles

https://www.instagram.com/mbabazistyles/

About the Author

Created by Kim Thomas, KPFUSION is a fashion and lifestyle blog that covers of the moment fashion, style and beauty tips + trends with a little Memphis, TN flavor thrown in. This is life through my lens.

mbabazi interior natural light
Kim Thomas

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