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Words: Tivania Moodley | Images: Supplied

What began as an experimentation to prolong the wear of sneakers, has evolved into a full-on sneaker culture. The customisation of sneakers has become a way of reflecting an individual’s taste and personality. Dhiantha Achary discovered this unique shoe concept to create a personal flair for sneaker lovers. She started her business, Laced, in August 2015, offering clients the opportunity to personalize their trusted sneaker brands to fit their unique personality.

How did your business start?

I am also an architect and have always been creative. The shoes were a way for me to earn a little extra cash while doing my architectural internship. The concept really Resonated with a lot of people and soon established itself as something more than purely a hobby.

Markets and public events were real stepping stones for the growth of my business, but due to the nature of the product being bespoke and purpose made, I’ve never felt the need to set up formal premises, which is why working from home has always suited my business model.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?

I chose to work from home due to the nature of my product. Each piece is completely purpose made, so I don’t have a whole lot of stock at any given time to fill up a shop. I live in Westville, which is pretty central and makes deliveries and pickups fairly easy.

How did you find your premises?

Setting up shop for me was as simple as finding a space to work in. I have a small studio where I do my creative work which is time consuming. I can pretty much work from anywhere in the house considering how small the products are. I mostly just need decent lighting and prefer to work during the day or with a daylight bulb.

Why are they ideally suited to your business?

I’ve ended up working odd hours, often well into the night and on weekends. Working from home gives me full control of my time.

Who are your neighbours?

I live in a residential area, so my neighbours are homeowners.

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

One of the biggest benefits of working from home is not having to pay rent. It maximises my profits. To rent a room within someone’s property for business purposes would probably cost about R4,000 per month.

How many people go through your store each day?

I have approximately 10 to 15 enquiries per day and my turnover is three sneakers per week.

Do you have any expansion plans?

It’s not feasible for my current business model to find a permanent location right now. I do plan on expanding my online presence as well as frequenting more events and markets, like I Heart Market, Westville Night Market, the Wonder Market as well as First Thursdays.

Do you operate online as well?

I have a Facebook page (@LACEDSA), Instagram account (@laceddsgn) and a website and online store in the pipeline.

What’s your most popular item?

While I do customise a variety of items, the original customised sneakers have remained a firm favourite of my clients.

072 607 1801

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