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Words: Denise Mhlanga

Passionate about design and entrepreneurship, two brothers, chartered accountant Lèan and civil engineer Roal Boezaart, founded a lifestyle leather brand Freedom of Movement in 2013 from a room in varsity, and recently opened their eighth store at The Zone @ Rosebank on 1 October. Co-founder Lèan tells us more.

How did your business start?

We established the business while studying at the University of Stellenbosch, out of a small room at varsity, with one leather craftsman and one very old traditional leather-stitching machine. After a few months of prototyping, we developed two products that we could take to the market, The Benjamin, a traditional leather briefcase, and The Bobby, a full leather adventure backpack. We launched an online store and initially sold mainly to varsity friends and family. We opened our first store in Stellenbosch – The Woodmill – on 1 December 2013 and we now have eight stores in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, Joburg, Pretoria and Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?

Rosebank is a growing commercial and residential node and it was a perfect location to expand our brand in Gauteng making this the fifth store in the region.

How did you find your premises?

We used a retail property consulting company to find a suitable location for our brand.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?

The store is exposed to a lot of foot traffic, with a large segment of that being our target market.

Who are your neighbours?

The Space.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?

Rent is quite expensive per square metre, but you get value for money.

How many people visit your store each day?


Do you operate online as well?

Yes, our online store is our biggest retail channel. We also have social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@fombrand).

Do you have any expansion plans?

This is our 8th store in South Africa and we plan on opening more stores in the next two years.

What’s your most popular product?

Leather bags, shoes and timepieces.

Freedom of Movement
011 268 6586

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