The story

Every business has a story about the journey of how the idea first germinated and the challenges it went through along the road until it finally flowered to the most beautiful bloom that is success.

Success the golden word in any entrepreneur’s book.

My idea germinated 8 years before I actually took any action on it.  I was on holiday in Kenya and walking along the beach experiencing yet another spectacular sunset, I came upon a trader who was incredibly keen to show me his wares.  I was rewarded for my time by being shown the most gorgeous brightly coloured range of kikoys.  However, this was not just another kikoy, these kikoys had a very thin layer of cotton toweling on the reverse side which provided a lot more functionality than a normal kikoy does. Right there and then I decided that this product would be a winner in SA.

However, being in the corporate world it was not till years later when, having left the crazy roundabout of formal business and finding myself with time on my hands, I knew it was time to act on this stunning product I had identified and recreate and mould it to something I could see being a very successful product to sell in SA.  I then took my idea further and created a pastel range which could be used for several other purposes besides the obvious beach towel and sarong.  The additional usages added a lifestyle angle to the product. From using it as a lay on your table, throw on your couch through to a wrap and a scarf in winter, it was a product that redefined versatility and therein lay the Unique Selling Point and the success of the product.

And the rest is history.  I did a lot of research on the internet to find the right fabric which was paramount to the success of the product.  My challenge was to find the best quality fabric and toweling to ensure that my product was unique in every way.  After flying in samples of fabric from all over the world I eventually found a supplier in Mumbai who could supply me.  We formed a sound working relationship and 3 years later I am on my fifth consignment and it has been absolutely plain sailing. I have spoken to my supplier once on the telephone but other than that the entire process from placing the order, the manufacturing and lead-times, through to the shipping and delivery have been seamless and all done via email.

I am now a successful entrepreneur with a booming business. I retail through the amazing hub of the Hout Bay Harbour market in Cape Town and do quite a bit of wholesaling as well.  The highlight of my year is participating in the amazing KAMERS Gift Fairs that take place around the country.  They are the most amazing markets that show case the most creative range of talent and innovative products produced by South African entrepreneurrs. . .   

Ana Drabbe