SOUTH AFRICA – Mbalenhle Miyen, born in Newcastle, South Africa is set to scale her self-founded fashion business Licia Creations by partnering with one of SA’s leading online stores, Zando.
She has a National Diploma in International Travel with over 8 years of working experience as a Travel Consultant. Some of the tour operators she has worked with include Wilderness Safaris, Holiday Factory and Abercrombie & Kent Safaris in the Gauteng area.
“I was introduced to the business world by a friend in college. In 2016 I realized that I was good with my hands, so I started taking sewing lessons because already I loved the fashion industry. It was at that point that I realized that I wanted to become a fashion designer and have my own clothing brand. That’s when my label Licia Creations was born, which is named after my daughter Alicia.” says Mbalenhle
Licia Creations has an online store that caters for ladies and kids. We have an online shop which caters for Ladies and kids.
“In order for our business to grow and reach a wide audience, we have partnered with Zando, one of South Africa’s largest online stores. As from 1st of April 2019, you can shop on Zando’s Online store for our clothes. As a result we have also employed 2 young ladies from the community to come and learn about the business.” says Miyen
Q & A with Fashion Entrepreneur Mbalenhle Miyen
Why do you cater to women and kids specifically, what drove you to that market and not men instead?
“At first I started by making clothes for myself. As a woman, it’s easy to know what other women want and I can keep up with trends for women. I have a 5 years Old daughter and her name is Ndzalo Alicia Miyen. I saw that she likes beautiful dresses, always curious and wanted her own. So I came up with a matching “Mummy and Daughter collection” that caters for mummy’s and young girls. That is how the Kids’ line was created.”
What challenges have you overcome since starting this business?
“I would say the most important one is financial challenge because I did not have any finance to start the business. So everything had to come out of my own pocket and having a supportive husband really helps. Getting finance from Banks and all these government institute is very difficult when you are a start-up business.”
What advice do you have for someone who’s facing those similar challenges now in the early stages of their business?
“Start small and make do with what you have. Save up for machines and fabric or whatever material you need. I always say that if you have the passion for fashion or any other business, let that drive you. Have a vision of where you want to see yourself in 5 or 10 years.
Don’t focus too much on the present situation. Things take time and you need to be patient. Do something everyday that will get you closer to your goal. I draw my strength from God, I would not be where I am today if it was not for him. Pray each and everyday. Most of all believe in yourself.”
Most entrepreneurs don’t stop at one business. Are you involved in any other business or expected in the future?
“I’m a very health conscious person so I have been trying to find a healthy way of losing weight. I also know a lot of people who suffer from weight issues such as obesity. I’ve introduced Licia slimming Juice which consists of Natural herbs only, feedback has been amazing.
In the future will also love to be a fitness Trainer.
Any final words of your personal advice to our readers?
“Business is not easy, sometimes you start a business and many will discourage you because they don’t know what are your plans. But don’t let anyone discourage you. As long as you have the vision of what you want and working hard everyday to achieve your goals.”
Facebook/Instagram : @Liciacreations
By: Charmaine Mbatha