Thandi makes her dream come true

Andrew Hlongwane

She grew up dreaming about being her own boss. She also grew up dreaming of creating jobs for young people in her area.

Thandi Mathye, 28, from Rhulani village outside Tzaneen in Limpopo, didn't stop at dreaming. She decided to make her dream of designing beautiful, comfortable garments a reality.

After she completed her matric in 1998 at Bankuna High School near Nkowankowa, outside Tzaneen, Mathye set about making plans to achieve her goals.

She wasted no time and enrolled for a course in fashion design at the Bloemfontein Fashion Academy.

Mathye says she did not want to be like some young people who, after completing their matric, sit around at home waiting for a job to come along - or like some girls who became pregnant and then depended on child support grants.

After completing the course Mathye worked for several businesses in Tzaneen, designing and sewing garments.

But she was not really happy so she left and began her own business from her home. In September 2007 she registered her own business and called it Islyn Trading Enterprises.

Mathye says her business took off in no time and many customers flocked to her for their matric dance dresses. She also sews beautiful wedding gowns.

But Mathye says she sometimes finds it difficult to cope.

"I get headaches when people place their orders at the last minute and expect me to complete their outfits quickly," she says.

"Sometimes I don't sleep because I have to finish a customer's outfit."

She says she has realised her dream of being a fashion designer but she still wants to achieve another goal - creating employment for young people in her community.

But for that dream to materialise Mathye says she needs a sponsor to help her with sewing and designing equipment and bigger premises.

Looking at her garments it is obvious that this young woman is bound to make it in the world of fashion.

She is determined to succeed and works very hard.

"I don't mind not sleeping, as long as I complete my customers' garments," Mathye says.

" I buy the material, beads and other accessories from wholesalers, but the designs are my own.

"Both mature and young women love my clothes. They say they love the designs, comfort and quality,"

She says she gets orders from as far as Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and, of course, Limpopo.

Mathye only designs and sews for women.

She invites women who want to place orders or view her clothes to contact her on 078-576-8648.