Image: GCIS VuK’ZENZELE.
Image: GCIS VuK’ZENZELE.
When Ndina Famadi’s (33) dreams of becoming an air hostess were dashed, she took a leap of faith by starting her own fashion brand.
The decision to bet on herself paid off when she established her company, Shavhi’s Closet. Her garments are now available on Zando, one of South Africa’s biggest online fashion retailers. She has five people working for her.
“I used to make clothes for myself because I wanted to stand out. When I would wear my own designs, I would get questions from people who were interested in my outfits and they would request that I make the items for them as well,” Famadi said.
Due to the interest in her clothes from friends and family, she went back to college and invested her energy into growing her business.
“I decided to polish my skills by going to school so that I can make quality clothing. I went to Tshwane North College to study clothing production for two years. When I was done with my studies in 2021, I decided to go into business full-time,” Famadi said.
The fashion designer also approached the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) to assist her to grow the business. She was offered entrepreneurial training courses by the government institution.
Seda courses are intended to empower small business owners with the necessary skills that will enable them to take their businesses to greater heights.
Entrepreneurs learn to market their business effectively; understand the importance of building a reputable business profile as a marketing tool; maintain financial records and develop a business plan.
She said she did not only use the time in training to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to have a successful career as a businesswoman but also used the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs.
Impressed by her designs, a fellow entrepreneur encouraged her to approach Zando to sell her clothes on the platform. At the time, she was selling her creations on social media.
In 2022, Famadi started selling her clothes on Zando where she offers everyday wear items with an African urban and ultra-modern design.
“As much as I do couture and custom designs, I want to diversify my offering. I give you style for office-wear without looking like you’re going to a wedding but still look elegant in my garments. I want to bring the African print into corporate.
“I want to change the mindset that African print can only be worn when you are going to an event. That is what I want to put out to the world. Being on Zando affirms that I am moving in the right direction. It means that my clientele is broader as I am no longer only reaching people in Pretoria but people from all over the country and the world,” she concluded.