So as you all know I love to support local and really wanted to share an incredible brand that I came across recently! During lock down especially, we need to help small businesses and we would appreciate your help to share and like their social media pages and check out their online store!
So I want to shine the spot light on AFRICA MADE ONLY today. They make and sell the most gorgeous clothing and accessory items, made here in South Africa. There are so many beautiful items, you are spoiled for choice! And, I discovered they have a payment plan option, through Pay Just Now that allows you to pay over three months, but get your purchases straight away! How cool is that?
So I reached out to Ryan Amory the Founder of Africa Made Only, and asked him to tell us about his business and how we can assist him and his company in this crazy scary time. This is what he had to say.
You opened your own business – How does it feel to be a successful business owner that inspires others and loves what they do?
Our business is community conscious at it’s core and we pride ourselves in making sure there is a win for everyone involved. It feels good because we are keeping our economy moving forward despite this current set back.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
Expecting that everyone will do the right thing when called to is not a given you must chose who you work with very carefully and make sure you have done your research. Not every opportunity is an opportunity for you, if the relationship is not mutually beneficial then don’t pursue it.
This is a classic but do not put all your eggs in one basket. In order to succeed you will need multiple entries to market and then you will need to make sure you promote them, the old adage of “if you build it they will come left off “supply directions and what you want them to do when they get there ” Knowing who are is one thing knowing what to do with that information is another.
Good people are out there but you need to look for them and not settle. When you find them they will believe in what you are trying to achieve and it’s up to you to make them feel like they are a partner in something far bigger than it is right now. Pass on every bit of knowledge possible, your business needs to thrive without you someday and if you keep all the knowledge to yourself you will never build something that has a long lasting impact.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.
In 5 years we aim to be South Africa’s biggest ecosystem for Africa Made Only products, services & manufactures. We hope to partner with thousands of other local entrepreneurs to share with them what we have learned and how to effectively implement them while selling them to the world on AfricaMadeOnly.com
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
This pandemic has caught us all by surprise and it has proved that there really is no such thing as job security. Now might be the best time to consider starting your own thing. I am not saying leave your job and start off into the night with a dream. A dream alone is not enough but this could be the best opportunity to flesh that dream out, write that business plan & build that MVP. There are incubator programs like the Investec Startup School which we won in 2019 that will guide you through the entire process and force you to sit down and put thought into the right practice and onto paper (or in the cloud!) & into the hands of investors.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
The best part of owning your own business is seeing the benefit to the local community. There is no better feeling than waking up in the morning knowing you are enabling & driving the local economy and in so doing supporting your family. Putting purpose at heart of what you are doing is the best way to know if you are making the right decisions. Making sure that everything that can be made here should be made here is our purpose and I live it each day.
How has lock down affected you and your team?
Lockdown has affected us tremendously, we were unable to produce garments in our makers cottage for the duration of level 5. We have only just begun to come back online with level 4, producing masks which we are giving away with every purchase online. The women of our local makers cottage survive by us keeping fabric on the machines. Our retail stockists & our store in Bay Harbour market in Hout Bay remains closed and our wonderful store manager Caroline is at home in Imizamo Yethu unable to work. Our business is now dependent on online sales alone and at the moment all or any sales are going towards supporting our team even if they can’t come to work.
How can my readers help you?
The readers can enable us by sharing this segment, following us on Instagram, sharing us with your friends and if you can purchasing products or gift cards from us online.
We will also accept donations of local African fabrics which the makers will use to produce more garments for sale online. Donors will receive their own personal garment made just for them.
Lastly for other local fashion brands if you would like to manufacture in our makers cottage that would be of tremendous help. We will also provide a collection page on Africa Made Only to further promote your sales. Please send all possibilities to partnerships@africamadeonly.
com take care, thank you reading this and stay safe.
Please help where you can – we need to stick together and help each other during this time x