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Words: Zena le Roux | Images: Supplied

Shwezu is all about celebrating South Africa through the creation of trendy products. The business caters for a wide range of tastes and desires, with everything from shoes and accessories to products that will add a splash of colour to your everyday life. Owner Daleen Meara tells us more.

How did your business start?

It all started when I did something I had never done before, order shoes online – a daunting and scary experience. What if they didn’t fit? What if they weren’t comfortable? But having no other option, as the object of my fancy could not be found in any nearby stores, I wiped my brow, whipped out my credit card and before I knew it my shoes had arrived. Not only were they the perfect fit but the whole experience left me inspired to open my own online shoe store. I just needed one more element that would give that extra special touch. The answer presented itself in the form of a unique fabric – shweshwe.

With shoes as the initial product idea, I soon realised Shwezu could expand its range, with endless possibilities for traditional weddings, everyday trendy fashion and accessories, stationery and even homeware.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?

We’re situated in Centurion. It’s very centrally located, between Pretoria, Midrand and Joburg. We’re based in Jean Avenue, Doringkloof, which has turned into a business hub and is easily accessible from the N14 or N1.

How did you find your premises?

We moved to Centurion in 2008, when I relocated from Pretoria to Midrand, and rented for a while. We outgrew the first premises and had to get a bigger place. Luckily for us, the building next door became available and we moved up one house. We again outgrew the building and this time I decided to buy a property. I bought the house next door in 2014 and we’ve been here ever since.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?

As I live in Midrand and my staff­ lives in Pretoria and Centurion, this made sense as a central point. We also get clients from all over because we’re conveniently located between the N14 and the N1.

Who are your neighbours?

Our neighbour is Body Therapy.

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

More a­ffordable than Joburg prices.

How many people visit your business each day?

We have an average of five to 10 people come to our shop every day.

Do you have any expansion plans?

Not at this stage. We’re happy with where the business is currently.

Do you operate online as well?

Yes, most of our sales happen online through our website. We also have an active Facebook page and we’re on Instagram.

What’s your most popular item?

I’m running two businesses from the premises. Fantastick Wall Decor manufactures and sells wall stickers, wallpaper and 3-D wall decor. Our most popular Fantastick products are the Fly Away Birds and most of our frosted vinyl stickers. Our vinyl wall tiles are also popular – especially the Moroccan designs.

Our most popular Shwezu items are our ladies’ wedges – especially the African Queen wedges. Our shweshwe handbags also sell well.

For more information on Shwezu, phone 02 667 3109 or visit their website.

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