We recently introduced you to the exciting concept of Stellenbosch’s new CoCreate Hub located on Victoria Street. The Hub is dedicated to empowering and supporting local entrepreneurs by showcasing their works, helping them to develop critical business skills, and assisting them in building their own unique brands.
If you’ll be in Stellenbosch in the coming months, you’re probably thrilled at the prospect of shopping local and exploring what the Hub has to offer – but it’s not just the array of products and services that should put a smile on your face. It’s the opportunity to get to know the inspirational entrepreneurs, too! Here’s a bit about the businesses and the brains behind them…
BEADS BY MICH – KLAPMUTS
Michelle Maluqua is the self-taught artisan who created Beads by Mich. She’s a dynamic and motivated entrepreneur who crafts and manufactures beaded and personalised laser cut earrings and necklaces with that special personal touch. She also creates customised key rings for her corporate clients.
DEE’S ACCESSORIES – KAYAMANDI
Inspired by her grandmother’s beading and weaving work, Dieketseng Moepane spent hours honing these skills too. Today, Dieketseng is the proud owner of Dee’s Accessories and the artist behind its many magical creations. Dee pours her creativity into crafting intricate pieces of jewellery and other accessories using wire and beads in honour of her grandmother. Every piece she creates comes from the heart of Kayamandi township with love!
ELATE BEAUTY – KAYAMANDI
Elate Beauty isn’t just about making clients feel beautiful – it’s about bringing them joy and helping them feel positive about themselves. Sanelisiwe Kanqu is the professionally trained somatologist behind the brand, always prioritising her clients’ wishes and wellbeing, and providing the same level of service that she would love to receive.
IKHETHIWE CURATED – PNIEL
Lindsay Petersen, art curator and photographer behind Ikhethiwe Curated, ensures that a thoughtfully selected and curated collection in various media is displayed in the heart of the Hub. When the Stellenbosch Co-Create Hub made the decision to showcase the work of local artists, Lindsay with her gallery experience, creative eye, love of art, and desire to raise the visibility of up-and-coming local artists made her the perfect candidate to curate the exhibition space.
KASILAM WEAR – KAYAMANDI
Samkela “Teddy” Mhlakaza brings custom fashion and screen-printing to the Hub. A man of many talents, Samkela began his career as a performing artist but eventually found himself stepping into the role of Managing Director of his self-made clothing company at just 22 years of age. This young entrepreneur is passionate about producing custom-printed apparel in Kayamandi and now in Stellenbosch within the Hub.
LADY TALK MATTERS
Their mission: To live in a ‘period poverty free world.’ Where everyone has access to affordable period products and regardless of gender, age, race or socio-economic status feel that they can talk openly and freely about periods.
Wendy Ncapa is a vivacious lady who was born and bred in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch.
She did her early education in Ikaya Primary School. She flourished and proceeded to high school where she matriculated in Makupula Secondary School in 2017.
Knowing the importance of education, she spread her wings and went to study Business Administration at Cape Peninsula University of Technology and graduated in 2021.
In April 2021 Wendy met Andrea Mason founder of Lady Talks Matters through a mutual friend. Andrea shared with her the vision of expanding and introducing Lady Talks Matters to the Kayamandi community and that was the beginning of fulfilling and inspiring journey. Wendy describes her relationship with Andrea as not only mentor and mentee relationship “She treats me like a little sister, and we are all like one family at LTM.”
LC STYLE – KAYAMANDI
Ambitious fashion designer, Luxolo Cakata, exudes stylish confidence when he enters a room. This twice pageant winner noted a gap in the market for unique and trendsetting streetwear and evening garments. Embracing his own creativity, Luxolo launched his career as a self-taught designer and fashionista and highlights South Africa’s Rainbow Nation as his primary influence.
LETZ – STELLENBOSCH
Throughout his life, Thabo Dube has had to learn to overcome immense setbacks – personally, physically and emotionally, and particularly following his near-death motorbike accident in 2013, which resulted in the amputation of his leg. During his recovery period, Thabo made the decision to redefine himself and his future. He created his own second chance when he brought his new mantra to life in the form of a clothing and accessories brand, LetZ, specialising in handcrafted leather goods. Thabo explains that the name of his business is an acronym formed by the first letters of the words in his mantra – “Live Every Day to The End” – wrapping it up with the last letter of the alphabet.
Designer, upcycling queen, pioneer, and self-confessed homebody, Lizl Naude has over 20 years of combined experience in design, entrepreneurship and upcycling. She is a social entrepreneur from Cape Town, South Africa. She heads up her design businessLilly Loompa, a company that creates beautiful homeware made by upcycling waste material. All materials are carefully sourced from waste and sustainably reimagined as beautiful, yet purposeful products
MR WHITE’S BARBER SHOP – STELLENBOSCH
Reazah White started his business in 2020 and has been working hard at putting smiles on his clients’ faces ever since. While Reazah offers services including hair styling, shaves, and brow threading, he says that it’s his fades for which he is most well-known. A man who enjoys braaiing and being outdoors, Reazah’s vision is to grow a business that will serves as his legacy for his family in the future.
PHEL’S HAIR & BEAUTY – KAYAMANDI
Phelisa Bekwa from Phel’s Hair and Beauty knows how to make her clients feel at home in her salon space at the Hub. She believes that being a hairdresser means that you interact with many different people and Phelisa not only discovered more about hair, but also a lot about running a business that is in the business of keeping people satisfied.
POSH CURIO COLLECTIVE – KAYAMANDI
Portia Nzanzana began creating her beaded jewellery in 2007 when display space became available and she identified a gap in the market. She started making simple necklaces, but soon found her own unique style and branched out into making earrings, bracelets, anklets, necklaces, and handmade sisal and reed bags that appeal to many different styles. Portia describes herself as someone who enjoys challenges. She believes in the value of being willing to try new things to be able to keep her products fresh and exciting.
THE CRAFTERS CORNER – LYNEDOCH
The Crafter’s Corner is a project of the Stellenbosch-based Living Arts Foundation, a non-profit initiative which fosters education, arts, crafts and social events within the community. The Crafter’s Corner facilitates free ceramics classes for women from local farm communities, encouraging and inspiring these women to hone their creative skills and to use these skills to generate an additional income stream.
UNBELIEVABLE INTERIORS – JAMESTOWN
Elsabe Farao grew up in a home where the whirring sound of her mother’s sewing machine was a familiar one. Today, Elsabe and her husband, Norman, run their own business. Unbelievable Interiors specialises in upholstery, beautiful bed throws, duvet covers, scatter cushion covers, romantic blinds, and, most recently, face masks. Elsabe simply loves the variety of their work and dreams of having her own business premises one day where they can create even more unbelievable products.
YEYETHU DESIGNER STUDIO – KAYAMANDI
The distinctive smell of freshly starched Shweshe fabric greets visitors to Yeyethu Design studio in Kayamandi and at the Hub. So do broad smiles and an air of optimism and excitement… because the dynamic duo behind Yeyethu, Bulelwa Tito and Lerato Mtiya, are going places. Yeyethu Design Studio is one of five Stellenbosch-based community businesses that is working with 23 students from the university to determine the viability of their ventures and plan for the future.
ZENOBIA THYS COUTURE – IDAS VALLEY
Zenobia Thomas is the fashion designer responsible for the creation of Zenobia Thys Couture. Zenobia’s love for fashion started at a young age when she discovered a passion for dressing up – whether she was dressing up herself or others… Barbie dolls included! Zenobia is a highly skilled designer and a creative spirit. Her wish is that whenever a customer steps out of her studio, they feel better than they did when they first entered it.
Aren’t these entrepreneurs incredible? Get down to the Hub ASAP to meet them all in person and spoil yourself and your loved ones with their products and services. Don’t forget to browse through the newly released online gift catalogue to start planning your Christmas shopping too.