Tailor Stoffel Turns Hotelier

Margaret Stoffel
Margaret Stoffel

TSABONG: When it comes to hoteliers, female entrepreneurs have been shaking things up changing the face of the industry. When Margaret Stoffel, a tailor by profession started renting her 12 one-bedroomed houses, she had no idea that she would soon turn into a hotel owner.

Before, she was a full-time tailor saving all her profits. “I believe in growth and always ensure that I excel at what I do. It is the determination that drives me. I took my savings and built a shopping complex. I then decided to transform my rented home into a guest house, started off building the rooms and finally added the executive ones,” she said.

It was during this time that Stoffel realised that the tailoring business consumed more of her time and then shifted her focus to the hotel business as she could see its potential. The business was also lucrative as the hospitality industry in Tsabong was still picking momentum. “The industry was still at an infancy stage in Tsabong as the combined rooms of guest houses were less than 100 despite Tsabong being a hub in Kgalagadi South. The business was doing well until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Most of our clients, who are usually from government and private entities, stopped travelling,” she said. But that didn’t stop Stoffel from pursuing her ambitious project of expanding her hotel.

She took out her savings and started expanding her footprint, constructing a 40 bedroomed hotel in another plot. With the assistance of the Local Entrepreneurial Authority (LEA), she approached Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) to fund her project.

The hotel will have conference rooms, meeting spaces with the latest AV technology and in-house IT support, internet cafe, poolside amnesties such as day bedsides, umbrellas to mention but a few. “By the time we engaged CEDA, the development was already at window level, they came in handy. I anticipate completing the hotel sometime next year, and this would mean more jobs as I will be employing staff to run the hotel,” she said.

LEA has been instrumental in her business as it provided her with business management services, advisory, business coaching and mentoring. Stoffel said being a tailor has supplemented her dreams as she manufactures her hotel linens and also does interior design for her establishment, which she said gives her an edge over her competitors. “I also design the window frames, which my husband welds. This is cost-cutting as we are involved,” she said.

Editor's Comment
Isn’t There A Better Way?

Issues of land have always been complicated, and have presented headaches for land overseers. Hence, there have to be ways the Land Boards can address issues of land disputes that will not leave citizens homeless, stranded, humiliated or stripped of their dignity.Yes, it seems talks between the Land Board and Kootsenye Babo, the rightful owner of the land did occur. She admits that she did get compensation at some point in time. These are tough...

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