So as you all know I love to support local and started a segment where we could share, learn and inspire! It is so important to support local and share your findings with others.
During lock down, we are going to do a whole lot of these to highlight these businesses – many of which are taking HUGE strain during this time – and shed some awareness and love to all.
I am so pleased to share the awesome Akima Active brand with you! They are a local South African brand of sportswear, started in 2019. They make the most divine leggings that are bright and beautiful, to fit real women. You can even buying matching crop tops and scrunchies to match your leggings! Wearing these brightly coloured leggings will definitely put you in a good mood. Sizes from XS-5XL.
Shop this local business online – here is their website! Each item is custom made for you as they want you to feel special in your Akima Active wear. And give them some love on their Instagram and Facebook pages. They would appreciate all the love and support please.
The #girlboss behind Akima Active, Michelle von Petersdorff, had this to say to us!
Tell us a little bit about your business.
I founded my business in the beginning of 2019 after my little girl Amika was born (this is where the name came from). I wanted to be there for her more and she inspired me. I designed and produced the products myself. Later in 2019 I found someone wonderful to produce them locally in Cape Town. Each item is custom made with each individual in mind. Each month I launch new prints for my customers to choose from and custom make each item. I designed the leggings initially for myself in order for them not to fall down while I exercise and to hide all my lumps and bumps. I therefore have full confidence in how comfortable they are and how good they make you feel. I want each women to feel their best when exercising and inspiring them to become the best version of themselves. I also cater for all sizes XS-5XL and girls 0-13 years old. We will soon be launching a swim wear range for real figures, helping women to feel comfortable, especially chasing after kids while at the pool or beach.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
I trust people too easily and had my products and business copied when they said they were going to become resellers. I learned how to protect my products and business when working with other people.
I had to learn how to use Instagram and other social media for my business.
I had to learn how to believe in my brand and myself when things go wrong, especially in the developmental phase.
I am still learning how to run a business but it is so much fun and I love everything about it. I’m a Food Scientist and know nothing about business and finances but learning fast.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.
I would like to launch quite a few more products and also sell other local South African brands which aligns with my brand. I would like to double my business in order to be able to help provide properly for my family. I would like to be taken seriously as a business woman and not be seen as a house wife (yes I get told how lucky I am to sit at home all day and play with my children and my business is not taken seriously at all because I don’t work for a boss even though it is doing really well)
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
You have to take the plunge and it is so worth it! Make sure you know what your product and brand is and also who your target market is. Try and have a clear picture. This will help you to keep faith when things get hard and to believe in yourself and your brand. Don’t let your fear stop you. Try and do it organically and grow slowly. One step at a time.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
Having the flexibility with my hours. I get to be a full time mother which I love so much and work when my children sleep during the afternoons and the middle of the night. It is really hard work but worth not missing out on anything.
I looooove being my own boss. I work really hard but it is so rewarding. Not answering to anyone else and doing things on my own terms.
How has lock down affected you and your team?
Luckily it was only for the one month I could not generate an income. The rest of the lock down I’ve been fully operational.