‘Loving what you do will keep you going in the tough times’ – Adhiambo Mula
Can you tell us a little bit about your company and what you do?
We create an innovative “design your own” concept sandal that allows one to instantly build and customise their unique shoe. The creation process, is fun, clients get to pick and choose from our variety of luxurious leathers and vibrant fabrics to instantly, build their own sandal.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background – personal, educational and professional?
I am a multilingual creative who brings with her a wealth of knowledge garnered over 12 years in the fashion industry gained as a former model and show producer. As a show producer I had the privilege of running many successful productions at SA Fashion Week and Africa Fashion Week, as well as numerous other fashion events in South Africa, Swaziland and Nigeria. I hold a Bachelor of Business administration degree and maintain ongoing networks in the local fashion industry.
“Change is a constant, prepare and adapt to it”
What were some of the obstacles you faced starting out, and how did you overcome them?
Cost of production and consistency in making a quality product. To overcome this I work on always upskilling my staff, and maintaining ongoing communication with my suppliers to get the right quality.
Galagos customised sandals.
How many people does your company employ?
What is your overall vision for your business?
To be the leading African footwear collaborative.
What do you think it takes to establish and run a successful business in South Africa?
Perseverance, patience, faith.
How did you finance your business, how difficult or easy was the process?
Personal investment and funding from family. Borrowing from family is tricky, with personal relationships at stake, but it is slowly paying off.
When did you know that you were an entrepreneur?
My mum was an entrepreneur and I admired the freedom it offered her, in doing a job she loved. That’s what I always wanted for my life.
“Put in that hard work, to be ready to take advantage of the luck, that may come your way”
How would you describe your leadership style?
I am participative and engaging with my staff. I value the input from my team and I see this necessary in the organic growth of the brand.
What three pieces of advice would you offer young entrepreneurs starting out today?
– Not everything works out exactly according to your business plan, change is a constant, prepare and adapt to it.
– Keep educating yourself, through peers, mentors, courses, knowledge is invaluable.
– Love what you do, it will keep you going in the tough times.
What do you wish you had known starting out?
How much time I would spend on admin versus the fun work of being a creative! I have slowly learnt to delegate, but it is necessary for a new business to be on top of everything from accounting to logistics and everything in-between.
And finally, do you believe in luck, hard work or both?
I believe in preparing for opportunity! Put in that hard work, to be ready to take advantage of the luck, that may come your way.
By Lebohang thulo|SME South Africa