Embroidery has business sewn up
It all started small, with doing embroidery and branding of the uniforms of the various church unions at the Methodist Church branch in Tlhabane West, Rustenburg, in the North West.
Fast-forward seven years and Nthabiseng Mosesane has grown her start-up Areye Projects and Services to become one of the leading school sportswear and uniform suppliers in the Rustenburg area.
"I was spurred on by unemployment and joblessness. Initially I worked as a sales person [waitress] at a number of restaurants and sold Tupperware as an agent visiting clients using public transport," said Mosesane as she related her entrepreneurship journey.
"I got tired of being an agent and working for other people, that's when I decided with my husband Boitumelo to purchase a truck with our savings in order to enter the logistics business, transport goods."
As a staunch member of the Methodist Church, Mosesane 34, a mother of two, found a business niche at her church and community when she was given the opportunity to design the church organisations' uniform badges.
Then the word spread to the schools for her to brand their uniforms.
"I started with a small embroidery machine, I attended embroidery training classes the machine sellers offered. That's basically how my embroidery acumen was enhanced."
Mosesane has since done away with the logistics business, sold the truck and is presently concentrating on uniform branding and manufacturing as she is also a supplier of corporate clothing and personal protective equipment.
She is also a finalist of the 2018 SAB KickStart Boost, a youth development programme aimed at creating meaningful jobs by growing sustainable youth-owned businesses.
"Two years ago I came across an advert on social media calling for applications from women's small businesses to apply for training in business management skills.
"I applied and was accepted. I made it to the top 50 and later top 21 last year. I must admit that the training in business finance and management helped me immensely. I can now balance my books while still being hands on in the day-to-day running of the business."
Mosesane and Boitumelo have grown the business from their own pockets from 2011 to 2015.
"I got assistance from the NYDA [National Youth Development Fund], when they financed me with R50,000 three years ago. Whenever I get capital I purchase a better and more efficient embroidery machine," says Mosesane.
Areye is also a job creator, as it has a staff complement of five full-time and five contract workers. The business specialises in schools sportswear such as golf shirts and tracksuits which she manufactures from scratch.
Next in the plan would be to relocate to much bigger premises at a local industrial site and become a national supplier of school, corporate uniforms and personal protective clothing and equipment.