An invention can only be described as great if it’s something totally original, and totally necessary. Without a shadow of a doubt, we can confirm that Nomvuyo Treffers has broke the mould with her revolutionary swim caps.
The “Swimma Caps” – marketed as caps for big hair – help to protect naturally voluminous locks from the dire effects of chlorinated pool and sea water. Whether you rock an afro, braids or even dreads, Swimma Caps are able to keep your hair in place whilst you enjoy a carefree swim.
Nomvuyo has been feeling the love more than ever this week, when social media got wind of her creative solutions. Already making a name for herself in swimwear fashion, 2018 got off to a booming start…
South African mom makes swim caps for natural voluminous hair… A queen pic.twitter.com/dBCBvCm6U1
— McLovin (@EyakwaZulu) January 3, 2018
Nomvuyo – operating as @swimma_caps on Twitter – doesn’t just take the love, though. She gives it out, too. The Cape Town entrepreneur is always on hand to celebrate with swimmers who are no longer limited to what they can do in the water.
What we treasure the most is receiving photos & feedback from #TeamSwimma. Of course we have to share/repost. This was taken in Cape Town, South Africa. Beautiful afro covered! Photo ???? @splendyme #swimmacaps #gold #capetown #southafrica #swimming #swimma pic.twitter.com/Wt4sXOxYIX
— swimma_caps (@swimma_caps) January 4, 2018
Mrs Treffers feels that the feedback she’s getting has vindicated a lifetime of frustration. Not just for her, but for her daughters and people across the world:
Nomvuyo – “The love and support from social media, which I highly appreciate, serves as a confirmation that many people who have lived through the same frustration my daughters and I have, can relate and are giving Swimma a big nod. The Swimma brand is now being celebrated in many corners of the world.”
Nomvuyo’s strong desire to help people comes from her years as a caring parent. She’s a mother to two girls, aged eight and ten, as well as being a stepmom to an 18-year-old. She has a strong family unit, and the former Grahamstown resident has certainly used her thinking cap to forge out a business career.
So, how do these Swimma Caps work? What separates them from normal swimming caps, and how exactly do they protect certain hairstyles?
N – “The Swimma Caps are made of silicone material, like many caps out there. The difference is that our caps are made to fit different hair volumes.”
“It’s about providing a range of sizes thereby being as inclusive as possible. On protection, silicone has a waterproof benefit and with a correct fit should keep one’s hair mostly dry and prevents it from soaking up the chlorinated water which is harsh on hair. Hair like mine, which is locked retains water and takes a very long time to dry.”
Nomvuyo is a photographer by trade. So perhaps it is in her nature to be so astutely observant. There was no ‘eureka moment’ when she had the idea. It was more like a culmination of frustrations over the years which eventually created a concept:
N – “I started Swimma whilst doing my photography work, as I felt my daughters and I were not the only ones that needed the bigger sized caps.”
“The idea came from a personal frustration I’ve had for many years. In South Africa we have gyms that do no allow anyone in their pools without a swim cap. I just could not buy a cap that fits over my hair. In 2015 I finally decided that I would act on the idea, and in 2016, Swimma was launched.”
Inclusivity is certainly a big part of Treffers’ brand. There is no ‘one size fits all policy’ with Swimma. The company provides a range of sizes depending on what a customer’s hair requires, so no-one will remain left out when it comes to hitting the pool.
Nomvuyo has even supplied customised swim caps to schools, so learners who can’t fit into the smaller headgear can now take part in swimming lessons, and feel included.
In fact, Nomvuyo’s achievements transcend many boundaries: Fashion, practicality and inclusivity have all taken on a new dimension, thanks to her entrepreneurial vision and determination to make a difference. Thanks to Swimma, taking to the water has never been less problematic.
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