So as you all know I love to support local and want to highlight local businesses for us to learn from and create brand awareness during this crazy time. I discovered Mevrou and Co a few years ago and I love following them on social media. They make me smile, laugh out loud and I wish I owned every single one of their t-shirts as they are just so flipping cool!
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.
So I would like to introduce to you the raddest brand ever, and if you haven’t seen them around, maybe you have been living under a rock? 😉
Welcome to you all, please meet Mevrou and co! Let’s see what Catherine had to say.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Mevrou & Co. is a small tee shirt company based in Cape Town. We print uniquely South African expressions on tees – the prints are usually sardonic and have a touch of dark humour. The original aim of the company was to provide some “toenadering” (Cross-over) between the different cultural groups and to celebrate each other’s otherness. We started with Afrikaans expressions and then introduced Jewish, IsiXhosa and IsiZulu prints as well. We have also developed other products such as babygros, bumper stickers, caps, hoodies and crewnecks.
We have amazing and lovely customers and as the company is all about humour, the tees provide a visual caption for the customer’s state of mind and often feature on social media. It’s a big energy boost and mood elevator when we see our products being enjoyed. All the people who work for Mevrou & Co. are proudly South African and this an important element in the product – so there is a kind of patriotic bonding effect between us and our customers which is very special.
We had no experience with regard to manufacturing or the clothing industry which would have been very helpful… So, we have learnt from our mistakes.
We have struggled with our constant quest for quality – due to the fact that many clothes are imported to South Africa from China and India, many factories here have closed and the industry is not that competitive.
The factories and printers hate us as we are so picky. One of the biggest manufacturers said we are even worse than Woolworths!! Ha ha … what can we do? When our customers comment on the quality, we feel it is worth irritating these people!!!
I am also involved in several other businesses so haven’t wanted or, been able, to open our own factory which would have allowed us more quality control of the quality and margin.
What is your advice to people out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
These are very scary times but, there is always an opportunity in any situation if one has the awareness to spot it! Hopefully, there will now be less imports and this will stimulate the manufacture of local products offering more options and therefore more competition and better pricing.
A sky high exchange rate is not lekker but, will level the playing field in terms of local manufacturing having to compete with imports. People will have less money but, may become more aware of quality and so buy less but better! All of this is very good!
I would say that if possible, it’s always better to get some experience working for someone who has excelled in the field that you are interested in. If that is not possible, get some business education in terms of how to structure, administer and finance your business before you start.
Do not be scared to admit that you do not know how to do this – get these important foundations in place at the outset. You need to know how to cost and price stuff as well as manage cash flow, use the proper systems etc.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
The best thing about operating your own business is being able to make your own decisions and also doing things the way that you want. In a creative business, this is nice as the way things look is subjective.
and what’s next?
One of my other businesses is starting to take off and I am looking for a suitable candidate to take Mevrou & Co. forward. It would be great to pass it on to someone cool who can give it the energy and time it deserves.
——–> SOUNDS LIKE AN AWESOME OPPORTUNITY TO ME!
Please send some love their way on their Instagram page! Any orders placed on their online store will be sent after lockdown. Love, like and share. Support local <3