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 discovered Native Decor recently and then was the super lucky recipient of a desk that I won in their social media giveaway! This local brand designs and makes the most beautiful and unique home accessories. From desks and mirrors, to lighting and home decor – there is definitely something for everyone.
This business started off as a passion project and then fast forward a few years, Vusani Revele (founder of Native Decor) appeared on the popular Shark Tank SA, on their very first episode and attracted much investor attention. And as they say, the rest is history now! Native Decor has gone from strength to strength and their products can be found on a wide array of sites.
We chatted to Vusani and he had this to say to us!
Tell us a little bit about your business.
Native Decor started as a passion project after my then girlfriend bought me a cordless drill in 2015. I couldn’t resist but to drill holes in everything and started taking an interest in wood working while still carrying out my 9-5 duties as a Sales Manager for an FMCG supplier. In 2016 I was fortunate enough to land an investment deal with accomplished entrepreneur, Gil Oved, on Mnet’s Shark Tank SA. Today my passion project employs 15 people and produces over 150 unique products which are sold online through platfoms such as nativedecor.co.za, Yuppiechef, Superbalist, Takealot, Zando, Esque and many others.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
Things tend to take 3 times longer, cost about 3 times as much, and are about 3 times as difficult as what you plan.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
The process of designing and manufacturing quality products efficiently on a large scale is something that we are trying to become better and better at and our 5 year goal is to master this for all things home decor and furniture using tech and smart manufacturing techniques.
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
You are right to be scared; otherwise it isn’t worthwhile. Best way to move past your fears without risking too much is the MVP method. Google it.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
1.The sense of accomplishment when you set out to create a new system/goal/product and you achieve it. Nothing is better than committing to yourself that you will achieve this big thing by this date and then actually seeing it through.
2. Giving previously unemployed (and some even unskilled) people hope where there wasn’t any before. More than 80% of my staff were unemployed when we took them on and now they are able to provide for their families every month. This gives meaning to what we do every working day!
How has lock down affected you and your team?
We have enjoyed a healthy amount of growth as a result of the lockdown creating more demand for our new home office range as well as our existing products. We are admittedly working longer hours now to meet the demand but overall our team is better off for the expansion of e-commerce.