Siyasanga Tundzi is the owner and designer behind the wonderful South African Hlubi Creations, a store within a store at uShaka Marine World.
How did your business start?
It all started as a hobby, helping my mother and her friends with their beadwork. They taught me a great deal. As I became more skilled, I was really captivated by the whole fashion-craft connection. I then began to design clothing and jewellery, and sell my own work. I only registered my business, Hlubi Creations, last year.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
I didn’t really, it chose me. It was a chance meeting with Nerissa Moodley, owner of 4 Craft Sake, and now here I am, with a footprint in uShaka Marine World. It’s ideal for me because there’s a steady stream of tourists and locals. Everybody knows uShaka. I create all the merchandise at home, then bring it in to the store to sell from here. One day I’ll have my own shop, but for now this works brilliantly.
How did you find your premises?
I got to know Nerissa at uShaka Marine World, and she overheard me talking about having my own retail space here. She suggested that I rent a section of her store. It’s great because I don’t have to be in the store – I can work from home, and only come in periodically.
My work is African print fabric jewellery and clothing, and although I have a strong local market, the tourists really love it, and that’s the main clientele at uShaka. Nobody gets lost trying to find me.
Who are your neighbours?
Apart from the woodwork and crafts at 4 Craft Sake, we have Gorimas, the spice shop and a hair salon.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
It’s a great opportunity for me because I only occupy a small section of the shop – that’s affordable. I suspect that the rental in a high-traffic area like uShaka would be high.
What is your shop footprint?
On a daily basis, between 30 and 40 people just browsing or buying.
Do you have any expansion plans?
I plan on having my own space in the future, one where I have a workshop at the back and a showroom in the front. It’s in the future and I’m working towards it.
Yes, I do. I have a few platforms. People use these avenues to place orders: Facebook – Hlubi Creations, Instagram page – @hlubicreations, Tumblr – @hlubicreations.
What’s your most popular item?
The Lion Match earrings.
Words: Anne Schauffer | Images: Supplied