PALAPYE: The Director of Makoro Bridal World‘s love for sewing at a tender young age has driven her into setting up a flourishing dress making business.
Dineo Motlhanka, 39, said she has long loved sewing since her childhood alongside her mother who encouraged her to venture into the same business and has been the driver behind her blossoming business.
She told the Monitor Business that she pursued her Diploma in Dress Making at Foundation Technical College in Zimbabwe in 2002 and she completed in 2004.
“Immediately when I finished my studies at Zimbabwe, I was funded by Youth and Culture in 2006 to start up my own business. My business now specialises in designing wedding gowns and suits, bride maid’s clothes, school uniforms, African attire and protective clothing,” she said.
Motlhanka said when she first ventured into dress-making she was just alone in a small room and she now has two employees and in a bigger apartment located in a busy complex of Setshege along Palapye main road. She currently purchases most of her materials from neighbouring South Africa, but said she usually buys other small materials in the local shops. She said she has intensions to expand her business and to employ more people as a way of helping fight unemployment.
Motlhanka said her dress-making business is expanding and recognised because besides individuals,
She encouraged other women to venture into businesses and work together as teams.
“Government has initiatives open to everybody especially women, so they should take advantage of that and venture into businesses. Women must strive and start their own businesses, and they should work together as a team to help the government fight unemployment. They should also be patient and not give up quickly when businesses are not doing well because the industry always has challenges,” she said.
Motlhanka said the major challenges in her business include the fact that the business is seasonal, sometimes there is no business at all, many competitors and untrustworthy customers who sometimes buy on credit and fail to pay. She said that paying rent is also a challenge in her business.
Meanwhile, Motlhanka said that though there are so many competitors she maintains her customers by delivering quality goods and on time, good customer relations and treating her customers equally, as well as negotiating prices with their customers when their money to purchase is not enough something that have won her many customers.