I love supporting local business. I don’t think someone realises how tough it is to start a business until they’re in the trenches getting it off the ground. Your competitors include fellow entrepreneurs but they also include big corporates with large marketing budgets and teams of people to run every facet of your business. When you’re starting out you tend to be the business owner, the sales woman, the accountant and the tea lady. Sometimes you’re doing this while still doing your “day job” to ensure there is some income coming in.
That’s why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to share 3 online stores run by South African women that I LOVE. They have incredible product, easy to use sites and I’ve purchased some gorgeous goodies from them. While this might read like a punt and you’re probably thinking “Pssht Sam, how much did you make from this post“, the truth is I wasn’t paid to write this. This is one of those posts I wanted to write because I can personally endorse these sites and am hoping it will help these fantastic female entrepreneurs further their dreams and grow their businesses. Tech Girl is a community that is meant to inspire and support. That’s what this one is about. So here is a little bit about each:
1. Hello Pretty
Hello Pretty was a site started by 3 ladies who came from a background of design, business, advertising and software development. The site is actually a central spot to showcase South African designers, creatives and their offerings. You’re able to search through more than 19 000 items from a host of small local businesses. I love this site because it allows small businesses or individuals to showcase their products without having to spend a fortune on setting up their own websites or maintaining their own social media presence. Hello Pretty does that for them.
The site has also recently undergone a new make over which I’m obsessed with. Their mobile site is so easy to use and has now become a small problem for me because I’ll be able to buy stuff anywhere. I have to consciously not browse while I’m in the Home Affairs queue. There is also a fab search functionality that helped me find the perfect snood in minutes. Goodbye extra money.
Zellco doesn’t have an online site… yet. The entire store currently operates off Facebook and rather successfully. I was introduced to it only a week or so ago on my hunt for the perfect Snood (yes, I’m seeing the pattern here as well). Zellyco was set up by Zelda Arnott who is 55 years old! Proof that social networks aren’t just for millenials. Zelda has an impressive background. She was the lady who was able to rebuild a hair salon called Colour by Numbers, her success with this venture was recognised when she was awarded New South Wales Businesswoman of the Year. She was also the events manager at a prominent advertising agency. Now, she runs this great Facebook store that takes all the hassle out of shopping. I have zero fashion sense and no clue how to match items. Zellyco does that for you by posting images of accessories and clothes that work well together. So think the perfect handbag with a great scarf and set of earrings or a pretty dress. You simply comment on the image and are then able to purchase the look. So easy and so stylish – all in one go!
Zana Products was started in 2012 by a mom and daughter. Both come from creative backgrounds in print, production and graphic design. The two still run their little business from their studio in Cape Town with mom Sue handing the “admin” and production while Robyn focuses on design and the online store. Zana produces the most beautiful bags, pillows, printed fabrics, linen and homeware. I recently purchased the most delightful pillows from them as a friend’s wedding gift and I was so impressed with their service. They sent my gift wrapped with a handwritten card. The pillow set was so quirky and well suited to by original and funky friends. Zana is always creating something fun and I’m consciously stopping myself from redoing my entire bedroom in their designs and prints.
These are 3 online stores run by South African women that I love, but I’m sure there are so many more. If you have a favourite please share them in the comments below so we can support more local businesses!