Mmegi Online :: Ex-miner resorts to handcrafts after losing her job
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Last Updated
Tuesday 25 September 2018, 17:23 pm.
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Ex-miner resorts to handcrafts after losing her job

Gosaitse Motshabi from Mahalapye did not despair after losing her job at Tati Mining Company last year but used her latent talents to put food on the table.
By Nnasaretha Kgamanyane Fri 03 Nov 2017, 11:04 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Ex-miner resorts to handcrafts after losing her job








The talented mother of two decided to take advantage of her ordeal and started making accessories from various materials. In an interview with Arts & Culture, the 30-year-old woman said she lost her job last year in October when the mine closed. She said after her efforts to look for a job ran futile, she made up her mind that she could not just sit home and do nothing.

“I had to come up with something that can make up for unemployment. Since I love fashion and accessories, by the grace of God this came to my mind. I started doing Ankara and German Print (leteisi) neckpieces, bangles, jewelry boxes and also cover clutch bags. I started in August 2017 after a lot research on what I can do to keep myself busy,” she said.

She added that in order to make her business work she turned her servant’s quarters into a makeshift workshop. Motshabi added that after the idea came to her mind she then started doing research until she discovered a training opportunity with even more assurance that she was on the right path.

Motshabi is now able to do her own designs that an ordinary Motswana could relate to. Choosing handcrafts helped her to discover her creative self. She pointed out that within a short period of time she was able to get recognition from Batswana who acknowledged her talent.

“I have been able to get Batswana to notice my potential and the sales have not been bad. In the last two months, I have managed to sell over 50 neckpieces, which is good support from Batswana. I have even managed to get orders from people of different nationalities both in and outside the country,” she said proudly.

However, just like any other emerging businessperson, Motshabi is facing some challenges such as funding. Luckily, her husband sponsored her as he paid for her training and assisted with start up capital. She said he had been her greatest support even when she wanted

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to give up because of the difficulties every entrepreneur faces when starting a business.

“My husband loves my designs and believes in me. He has actually declared that soon I will make him a millionaire,” she joked.

Motshabi said the other challenge they faced was that Chinese shops copy and sells almost the same designs as theirs and sell them at cheaper prices, something which makes potential customers buy from those shops than local designers. She also expressed displeasure on incidents where some customers make orders and when deliveries are made they are nowhere to be found.

Despite all that, her strength and competitive advantage lies in the fact that her designs are unique and are custom designed for some customers. She said she uses Ankara prints but get maximum fulfillment when she uses German prints, which Batswana are very fond of.

Motshabi believes that in the next coming years she would be a brand that would have employed others, with growth in both sales and expansion contributing to the country’s economic growth. She said she wants to penetrate the international market, not just as a seller but also as a distributor and trainer. She also emphasised that she would like to establish an academy of creative arts to empower other Batswana so that they could partner and supply the international market with magnificent art pieces in future.

“Social media, especially Facebook has really helped me a lot. I am beginning to get support from Batswana whom have said they like my prices because they are reasonable. They can also talk to me about their specific designs if they so wish. I also greatly appreciate support of my family and friends all over the country who act as my sales and marketing representatives,” she said.

She ended by saying that they supply clients with their goods from different destinations. They are operating from Francistown but have sales reps in Gaborone, Palapye, Serowe, Selebi-Phikwe, Mahalapye and will soon expand to different areas in the country.

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Fri 03 Nov 2017, 11:04 am
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