A PRETORIA-BASED fashion designer hopes to put her mark in the South African fashion industry.

Nokwanda Dladla, 27, established her clothing brand Kwandaberry in 2017, specialising in designing and tailoring clothes for young girls and women.

Her desire for tailoring encouraged her to pursue her childhood dream.

Dladla said her brand vision is to inspire people’s confidence through garments.

“I started my brand because I felt that the vision had to be handled by me because I understand it better. Clothes have always played a crucial role in how I express myself and how I feel as an individual. 

“The aim is to create clothing that enhances self-love to women and girls of all body types, clothing that makes people feel good and confident about themselves.”

She draws her inspiration from Donatella Versace, an Italian fashion designer, businesswoman, model, and founder of the luxury fashion company Versace.

Recalling her struggles, Dladla said raising funding for her business has been most challenging.

“Finding resources such as fabrics and machinery is difficult since I have no other income to assist me. I have tried applying for small business funding but could not meet the requirements. 

“My business is still fairly new and was recently registered, which makes it difficult to raise funding because it does not meet the yearly financial turnover requirement by most funders.”

Her dream is to grow her business and contribute to the fight against unemployment in the country.

She said she hopes to get assistance with creating a company website, a CMT to produce the garments, and marketing the product.

“I have been promoting the business through the social media platforms as well as word of mouth. However, I cannot reach as many people as I wish to reach. I am hopeful that I will be able to raise funds that will also help with marketing.”

“Getting funding would mean a lot for my business. It would not only be helping my business but helping other unemployed people as well. My wish is to one day employ at least about twenty people in different fields and be known as one of the best local brands.” She added.

Due to COVID-19 and the world going digital, she plans to open an online clothing store.

Effects of Covid 19 to the business

Like many other small businesses, Kwandaberry has been severely affected by the pandemic and the lockdowns.

“I feel discouraged because my business was just about to pick up. Social gatherings being prohibited means there is less traffic in orders and that puts almost everything to a halt.”

She added that she is using the extended lockdown period to refine and better her designs.

Despite the challenges, Nokwanda is determined to realise her dreams and make Kwandaberry a success.

 

Need to attend a Special Occasion? Or you just want to look good for yourself? 

Contact Kwandaberry on social media pages:

Facebook: Kwandaberry Brand 

twitter: @kwandaberry3

instagram: @kwandaberry3

 

Author: Thuli Mabuza