Eve and Shaun Huiskamp have now welcomed daughter Kerry and son-in-law Wez (Wezley) Letord into Sewn Clothing, and this heralds a new chapter in the life of the business: a South African, home-grown and designed fashion range. Kerry talks to us about her business neighbourhood.
How did your business start?
My mom, Eve, has been in the industry for some time mostly focused on corporate uniforms. I returned home from a stint in the UK, and after some discussion, the four of us came to the same conclusion: the clothing industry in South Africa had a bad rap, and we wanted to change that.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
The building rather chose us – we had an agreement with a resident of the building to do ongoing manufacturing. The price was right and the amenities made sense for us.
How did you find your premises?
A customer of ours heard we were looking, knew there was space available and put us in contact with the agents.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
The location is great for us as a business as we are in the heart of a growing design neighbourhood. It is also important to us that our staff can get to and from work easily and as inexpensively as possible – this location is a transport hub, so it ticks all the boxes.
Who are your neighbours?
Our immediate neighbours comprise a variety of designers and factories, from clothing to jewellery. Having neighbours of this nature is an asset to our business, as the area attracts local design people who are focused on local product in the same way we are.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
We signed up some time ago and the prices were a lot lower than they are now. I think the popularity of the area has caused the prices to soar.
What is your shop footprint?
At this stage, a large slice of our business is internet based and we use social media tools to market our online shops. Recently, we’ve also taken the decision to sell our products in exclusive pop-up type markets.
Do you have any expansion plans?
Currently, we only offer ladies’ fashion, but the plan is to break into the men’s market. Although making a living is important to us, the product is most important. We feel that if we grow too fast or get too big, we could lose that focus. So any growth would need to be measured.
Do you operate online as well?
What’s your most popular item?
As we are still new and growing our range we don’t have a huge selection, but our current favourite is the drop waist dress.
031 303 1134 / 083 270 0817
Words: Anne Schauffer | Images: Supplied