Cassandra Botha is the owner of Vintro Clothing, a proudly South African, sustainable second-hand clothing company. She renews and redesigns garments to give them a new lease of life.
How did your business start?
My business started one afternoon after watching the movie Larry Crowne. In the movie, a young woman owned a second-hand clothing business. Though she wasn’t very successful, it got me thinking about how one could upcycle garments to give them a new life and make them more appealing. I then visited a few thrift shops and bought some clothing pieces. I attended my first market with about 20 items of clothing and sold two. I now have close to 400 pieces of clothing and accessories in my store.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
I have a shop at home in our flat above the garage in Woodhill Estate. I chose this spot because as an entrepreneur fresh out of varsity, I wasn’t able to pay rent somewhere else. My parents were ever so gracious and I’m so grateful for this opportunity. It allowed me to work from home and I didn’t have to worry about rent, which would have hindered the growth of my business.
How did you find your premises?
My grandparents, who used to live in our flat, moved out and the space became mine.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
I can work from home and manage the stock in the store as it sells online. I can fix and work on items from home. It also allows for flexibility.
Who are your neighbours?
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Stores in shopping centres in this area are very expensive. Rent could be R100,000 per month at Woodlands Mall, for example.
How many people go through your store each day?
My clients mainly buy from our online store. We either post the items or people come and collect them from the store. Some days we have up to five customers visiting the store.
Do you have any expansion plans?
Yes, I do. I trust that this is where I’m meant to be at the moment, but I’d love to expand one day and have a more accessible store with even more traffic.
I also started The Vintage Square Thrift Fair as a platform for young entrepreneurs to sell their vintage and thrift clothing. It is held on the last Saturday of every month.
Do you operate online as well?
We mainly operate mainly online through our website (vintroclothing.co.za) and Facebook page. We have weekly uploads of new stock every Tuesday.
What’s your most popular item/service?
Our mom jeans and dresses.
083 397 1069
Words: Zena le Roux | Images: Mira Atanasova