Words: Zena le Roux | Images: Supplied
Maaiki makes use of the best quality locally-sourced fabrics in a variety of colours and styles for their locally-made baby clothes. Owner and marketing communications consultant, Marlé Prinsloo, tells us more:
How did your business start?
After the birth of my second daughter, I found it difficult to find stylish, comfortable baby basics that could be mixed and matched to create new looks. I set out to create a range for my daughter and launched Maaiki in August 2017. I spent 14 years creating and implementing communications strategies at PR and advertising agency Idea Engineers where I was responsible for successful local and international brands. While Maaiki is a complete career shift, experience from my previous career gave me the insight to create an online store. I decided to put my marketing, PR and online knowledge to good use and start up an e-commerce business.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
I work from home and when we started to look for a new home about two years ago, we knew we wanted to stay in the Olympus/Faerie Glen area. Our suburb is close to good schools, shops, and main roads. In addition, the area has really started to boom in recent years with lots of new shops, restaurants and offices opening in the area.
How did you find your premises?
We had a very helpful sales agent from Remax who helped us to find the right place for our needs.
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
We stay in Boardwalk Meander, Olympus, which is a secure area. We found a lovely house with enough space for me to set up my home office. We also have fibre in the area, which is a huge plus, especially when you need to be online all day.
Who are your neighbours?
While there are many shops, restaurants and small businesses in the area, being an online shop, my “neighbours” are mainly online and include a variety of online shops, marketplaces, bloggers and mompreneurs.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
What is your shop footprint?
I have a 100 or so ‘online visitors’ that visit every week and a few thousand people I engage with via social media.
Do you have any expansion plans?
My plan has always been to start small, leverage the power of the internet and to see where this journey takes me. For now, I’m happy to have a boutique offering, that I can balance with my career as a marketing comms consultant and being a wife and mom of two busy little girls.
Do you operate online as well?
Yes, while you might see Maaiki at a market occasionally, it is mainly an online shop. We have website, Facebook (@MaaikiSA) and Instagram pages (@maaikisa).
What’s your most popular item/service?
To date, our Ha Hadeda collection has been the most popular. In South Africa, our children grow up with the familiar sounds of Hadedas, and I think parents find this range, which is inspired by all the little children who love to mimic these birds, rather comical and fun.