With women making their way into a male dominated sector, Tumelo Mathias is one of the few female entrepreneurs in the country who owns a gift shop named Ina Lebe.
She specialises in engraving and personalising gifts whilst promoting pride and embracing of African languages, names, norms, idioms, to name a few.
Ina Lebe accountant executive, Hafsa Arieff told Business Monitor that Mathias started the business almost three years ago using her own capital. Having been a person who has always loved exchanging gifts, Arieff highlighted that Mathias saw it fit to birth Ina Lebe as a way of giving back and embracing culture more so that engraved gifts are memories that last a lifetime.
She alluded that engraved gifts are the perfect way to transform the gift-giving experience for a personal and loving exchange.
“It is hard to get gifts that have a personal touch, that is where the inspiration of Ina Lebe came from,” she explained.
According to Arieff, the gift shop provides a wide variety of products to choose from.
Customers are also more than welcome to state whatever it is that they need to be engraved on their gifts and they will gladly do their outmost best to make it so.
Ina Lebe aims at becoming the leader in engraving and manufacturing of gifts
Arieff further noted that they use the latest laser engraving technology and creativity to engrave on wood, glass, metal, ceramic, acrylic and leather thus taking pride in who they are as a company and what they stand for. Ina Lebe currently employs about eight young people of whom a majority are females.
Though the reception since inception has been okay and not yet at where they had hoped for, Arieff said they have tough competition.
However, they have managed to still stay in business due to their uniqueness of promoting culture and use of Setswana idioms in gifting.
“Most of our competitors have been here for a long time and have special relationships with their customers. It has been a challenge for us to penetrate through the world of engraving,” she added.
However, she indicated that they take pride in gifting and they are currently looking and hoping to have an investor as they are slowly falling short on finances.