He couldn’t afford formal clothing to work so he made his

Nkululeko Lehapa is a clothes and textiles entrepreneur who is passionate about creating neighborhood employment through the mass production of textile goods and solutions. His passion for the manner sector led him to identified Busanimen Studios in 2013. The startup would make large-stop men’s tuxedos and now has about 12 workers.

Before commencing Busanimen Studios, Lehapa worked at Investec Personal Bank in Sandton, Johannesburg, as a client assist banker, so he could pay back his personal tuition fees and guide his mother even though at the university finding out BSc in Utilized Maths and Economics.

“I labored afternoon and evening shifts even though finding out comprehensive time all through the day,” Lehapa told Forbes Africa. His economic standing intended that he could not afford to pay for formal fits and so made a decision to make his own formal get the job done apparel. He claimed he gained considerably interest for the good quality and craftsmanship of his clothes, major to the founding of Busanimen Studios in 2013 at age 19.

He moved from cellular company to owning a studio in bustling Braamfontein, Johannesburg’s metropolis middle. “Our business design was to give a mobile assistance wherever we sold good quality suits, at the finest match, at the most effective selling price and this was superefficient,” Lehapa explained.

In 2019, the South African entrepreneur stated he built his very first 1 million Rand in sales, which interprets to $62,875.

“[In 2019], we made our very first R1 million ($62,875) in gross sales in a studio with a production capacity of only a few equipment,” Lehapa mentioned. “This milestone validated our existence as it intended we experienced a very well-defined company model, however, as a outcome of this achievement, we found ourselves starving for growth and expansion.” 

Irrespective of Busanimen’s advancement, the organization took a hit when COVID-19 strike and the South African authorities instituted lockdown measures to incorporate the distribute of the virus. This led to a drop in profits as persons did not have to have satisfies.

“Our small business experienced since several men and women worked from house and did not want satisfies, as there were no occasions to go to,” he told Vukuzenzele. “COVID-19 pressured me to search at how I could maintain the business beyond what I was offering at the time, and I made a decision to launch Busanitextiles.”

With Busanitextiles, he and his staff started manufacturing large-high quality, superior-quantity healthcare facility linen and medical center have on, as nicely as faculty uniforms, he reported.

Busanimen is also now functioning with the style college at the College of Johannesburg to support learners with do the job and occupation assistance.

Lehapa was lately highlighted in Forbes Africa’s 30 Below 30 of 2022. The list highlighted some of the greatest and brightest entrepreneurs working in Africa and showing resilience even with the pandemic.

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