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South Africa

Funeka Bango, a South African entrepreneur on a mission to create great fitting clothes for professional women with curves

Niche South African clothing brand, Pride Journey, designs, produces and sells exclusive ready-to-wear pieces for professional women with curves to ensure a perfect fit and comfort while maintaining a graceful sense of style. 

What does your company do?

At Pride Journey, we design and produce ready-to-wear business attire for professional women with curves.

What inspired you to start your company?

A few years ago I worked in a corporate setting where business attire was a norm. It is during this time when this vision for Pride Journey was born. I found it incredibly difficult to find well fitting business attire. Store bought clothing was either too small or too big, especially items like shirts. I felt that clothes were either made for people who are quite small or plus size women. No one seemed to cater for the middle, which for me represents women with curves as they do not necessarily fall into the plus size section but they would either have a bigger bust that standard sizes don't cater for or wider hips. When we refer to curvy, these are the women we refer to. These are the women who have no option but to tailor their clothes as standard sizes just don't work.

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Thuli Radebe on securing big clients

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Founder of events and promotion company Eyam Projects, Thuli Radebe has made a success of her business by securing blue-chip clients like Old Mutual, SAA and SABMiller. When Radebe launched her events company in Roodepoort, Gauteng, in 2008, her lack of business experience and track record proved to be a hindrance. “I always dreamed of running my own business and showing people in my community that with hard work, you can realise your dreams,” she says. “Getting the business off the ground, however, wasn’t easy, because clients were hesitant to give me a chance.” She tackled this challenge by persevering until she secured a few clients and then grew the company through word-of-mouth by always exceeding her client’s expectations and delivering innovative solutions driven by quality, affordability and creativity.

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BFFs on their business venture Let’s Learn Toys

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BFFs Terry Pheto and Mampho Brescia have launched an online educational toy store, Let's Learn Toys. We chat to Pheto about how the business came about, the highlights and challenges and how it's been working with her best friend. Launching an educational toy shop was an inevitability for best friends Pheto and Brescia, as they are very passionate about education and giving their children the best life they can. Pheto says for her, it’s personal, as she wasn’t exposed to a lot of tools growing up, so she tries by all means to give her nephews and nieces access to the opportunities and tools she never had. She adds that even when buying gifts for her younger family members, she always makes a point of purchasing meaningful and educational items.

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Kristi Kyle, an entrepreneur based in South Africa making a clothing range specifically to cater for tall women

For all those women out there who are tall and struggle to find great clothes that actually fit, then help is at hand from a great new South African brand, Love Long Length Clothing. 

What does your company do?

Love Long Length Clothing is a locally produced clothing brand for tall women in South Africa.

What inspired you to start your company?

When I first moved to South Africa, I was just about to have my first son. Spending so much time in the United States prior, with all extra length options in clothing available for tall women, I did not realize how real the struggle was here in South Africa to find clothing to fit. Maternity clothing for tall women? Not a chance! Not only that, but my once size 8 figure blossomed into a size 14 overnight. My precious collection of extra length jeans had to packed away into a “maybe later, maybe never” pile along with the rest of my international brand clothing, and I was left at the mercy of the South African retailers. Needless to say I lived in 'too-short' leggings and tunics. There was ONE local store in my local mall cater to tall women and offering a few extra length trousers, but the design and quality were poor, not well thought out or well made. Flash forward to this year and they have almost discontinued that range. On the high end spectrum, there are one or two denim companies that make a Tall pair of jeans, but the prices are out of reach for the everyday woman. So I saw there was a glaring gap in the market for a quality range of basics at an affordable price.

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