Belange Mutunda-Lumami - Fashion Designer & Stylist of Belange Handmade LLC
Her life's quote: My duty as a fashion designer is more than just dressing people in extravagant pieces of clothing. But it’s also addressing issues our society faces, whether they are directly related to the fashion industry or not. This is the reason I have always been involved in community projects, because I care very much about the people I serve and the environment we live in." 
Belange Mutunda-Lumami is a visionary fashion designer, stylist, business owner, self-taught 3D artist, and philanthropist boasting over 6 years of hands-on experience in the business of fashion.
Belange was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she independently launched Belange Handmade, a sustainable women's Afrocentric clothing label, at the tender age of 17. Becoming a Fashion Designer was not always Belange's childhood dream as she majored in Mathematics and Physics to pursue a career in Mechanical Engineering like her father. Fashion Design came to her as a God-given gift and Belange embraced it until she made a name for herself as her business skyrocketed in 2014 through word-of-mouth and Facebook.
Belange chose to attend fashion school in college to better her craft and learn more technical skills. Thus, at the age of 19, she would migrate to the USA to attend Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa State University and learn fashion design. She earned multiple degrees from both institutions, including a Bachelor's of Science in Apparel, Merchandising, and Design; an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design and Merchandising; and an Associate in General Studies. She coupled her degrees with business, marketing, sales, and interior design courses. During her time at Iowa State, Belange was a Pattern Making Teaching Assistant and a 3D Designer Teacher Assistant at the College of Human Sciences. At the end of her academic journey, Belange will be recognized as the Fall 2020 University Student Marshall and Graduating Senior of the Year for earning a high GPA ( Magna Cum Laude) and introducing 3D Design and 3D virtual Fashion in the Design major.
Another quote from Belange:  " I ditched engineering school to follow my dreams in fashion. I could have been a good Engineer, but I love that I am a great Designer now. Oh, by the way, I graduated from Youtube Fashion Institute before I ever attended a real fashion school! ahaha".



Belange Handmade, also known as BHM, is an Afrocentric slow fashion designer label providing high-quality apparel to women seeking timeless pieces for special occasions and everyday life that will accompany them at every turn of their lives.



"SIC" short for Sustainability, Inclusion, and Community Service
 Sustainability is not a trend; it should be a lifestyle!
We understand that sustainable fashion is not a trend but a way of living, here to stay. Therefore, we have been committed to eliminating material waste in our production process by reusing deadstock materials and fabric remnants from our past projects or other businesses'. But what is sustainability without conscious consumers? So we have been utilizing our social-media platforms to educate our customers about our best practices and eco-friendly values. The result is a happier and educated population, a healthier planet!
Inclusion for us goes from the hiring process of our employees to all the customers we serve!
We are conscious that we live in a racially divided world where discrimination goes from the roots of a company to the customers, especially in the Fashion Industry. Our goal as a brand is to break this generational problem by becoming a bridge for people of all ethnicities to become one. We are welcome to people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, and body shapes, evident from our current employees and the customers we serve.
Community outreach: Fashion goes beyond style and generating wealth; it could be a helping hand!
15% of our annual revenues helps us fund our nonprofit organization !

We believe that our duty goes beyond dressing consumers and generating wealth, but it also involves addressing community issues we could help with. Since 2019, our leading community service has been fighting Period Poverty, which means the lack of access to adequate menstrual supplies due to poverty in rural areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

We founded our organization, the BHM Foundation, and created our first reusable menstrual pads called EVE, which aligns with the sustainable values of our brand. Our organization aims to create a safe space for women to get educated about menstruation and feminine hygiene and provide free period kits, including our pads EVE. Our foundation is relatively new and only operational in the D.R. Congo, where all charitable activities are held, but we hope to expand our actions to other countries soon. We know that we may not rescue all women globally, but we believe change should start somewhere, even if our efforts are still small.