So as you all know I love to support local and started a segment where we could share, learn and inspire!
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 when I came across oli+frank I got so excited because there wasn’t a single product that they make that I didn’t want! From doodle books to cushion covers, pencil bags and greeting cards, wall art and stickers – you are totally spoiled for choice!
Let’s find out more about oli+frank from founder and creative, Cape Town illustrator Sandy Mitchell!
You opened your own business – How does it feel to be a successful business owner that inspires others and loves what they do?
Thats a tricky one! I think that the truth is that most small businesses put on a brave face which is perceived as success, but the reality is that it is hard and many small businesses struggle, work over time and have to do things things they are not very good at, until they are able to pay someone to do this. It’s important that people know this so that if they feel inspired to start their own business, then they will be prepared and not expect instant success.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
Perseverance is the big one. Fortunately I have another source of income, as its very hard to make money from a small business.
Another one has been learning the pitfalls of digital fabric printing.
Getting colours right, as well as consistent, has been hugely frustrating.
Fortunately the technology has developed a lot and the printing process is much smoother now.
Another hard thing is just trying to do everything! I don’t have a mathematical brain so all the numbers and accounts pain me!
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.
I’d like to be selling overseas in 5 years time. Anybody out there….?
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
Have another source of income. I have started a lot of ventures, which have failed, simply because I haven’t had the finances to see it through. You also need to learn some technical skills, editing your images, creating a website, social media posts etc. This is vital. There are lots of tutorials on the internet. You can save a lot of money doing this yourself.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
It gives me an outlet for my creativity. I much prefer creating my own designs than for a client. Owning your own business is really about being in control of more things and making decisions which are right for you. It’s also such a thrill when you see someone in a shop and they’ve got one of your bags. (Lots of adults buy my products too!)
How has lock down affected you and your team?
I was set to do Kamers and then lockdown came. That was a disappointment, even though they (Kamers) worked really had to create an online platform it has not generated as many sales for me.
My team is really me. I outsource the printing, which was all done and then I have a seamstress who had already made up my bags.
I was able to give her more work though, when we started making children’s masks.
Please follow Oli+Frank on Facebook and Instagram– they would appreciate the love! You can also buy their items here! I can honestly say these are the coolest stationery bags I HAVE EVER SEEN! I mean really? just so divine. x