Talk about your brand to everyone, because you never know which conversation will be the one to open a new door or market for your product, and keep top of mind why you started your business in the first place, as this will influence the markets you seek out.

– Jenny, Owner of JenniDezigns

Tatenda: Jenny, thank you for sharing the story behind JenniDezigns. Shall we start with how JenniDezigns came to be?

Jenny: As a mom, and now granny, I have always loved dressing little girls in beautiful clothing that makes them feel like princesses. Over the years, it became increasingly difficult to find age-appropriate and comfortable clothing for my girls, inevitably sending me to the material shop to find the right print and pattern to make up what I wanted. Sharing my frustration and ideas with my daughter, Samantha, sparked the birth of the JenniDezigns brand.

JenniDezigns

JenniDezigns

At first our plan was to run a small online business where moms and grannies could purchase classic, bright, African-print clothing that little girls would love to play in. Very soon, however, it changed gear and Sam (my daughter) and I found ourselves playing in the tourist retail space, which was a huge learning curve for both of us with many sleepless nights, but so much excitement and fun to go along with it!

I recently received a photo from a very proud South African Granny with her grand daughter in Australia wearing one of our designs (https://www.facebook.com/photo)!

– Jenny

It’s only right that I acknowledge the people who have helped get JenniDezigns to where it is today. Our manufacturing partner, Ahead Gear (http://www.aheadgear.co.za) and principle wholesale buyer Tourvest (http://www.tourvest.co.za) have provided so much support and have been incredibly patient, providing guidance and advice.

JenniDezigns Collection

JenniDezigns Collection

Tatenda: I strongly agree with you there. Having good support and help is crucial for any business to thrive, especially when faced with challenges. What have some of your challenges been as a business?

Jenny: Our biggest challenge – which I think will be ongoing as we grow and introduce new styles – is to ensure that we deliver a consistently high-quality product every time, which involves partnering with suppliers. Choosing to partner with others to deliver on your brand promise is a risky but necessary strategy, and establishing good partnerships that collaborate well is vital. In the early stages, ironing out even the tiniest issues is hard work, and even though it has been challenging to outsource certain processes, the pay-off is that the quality of JenniDezigns products are trustworthy and consistent.

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Tatenda: And if you were to pick a few of your biggest achievements?

Jenny: The biggest achievement for me would definitely have to be acquiring a contract to sell to tourists and finding that our clothing was being worn by little girls all over the world. I recently received a photo from a very proud South African Granny with her grand daughter in Australia wearing one of our designs (https://www.facebook.com/photo)!

Being part of the African Fashion Week London, 2016 was also a great achievement and such an incredible experience for us! And we are looking forward to joining in African Fashion Week London 2017 this coming August (http://www.africafashionweeklondon.com).

Sam: Seeing the great response to the JenniDezigns collection, and the feeling of being able to support my mom in achieving her dream of starting this business, have been some of the biggest highlights for me. Along with this, having people come up to me at exhibitions in the UK to tell me how much they love the collection, or that they’ve purchased a dress for a little girl in their life is a real win for me!

Tatenda: Your collection has reached the UK and Australia, I am sure this hasn’t all been by luck! What words of advice would you give to people who are looking to run their own business within your field? 

Jennny: As a small team, we have to constantly check in with each other on what we are going to focus our energy on – otherwise it would be overwhelming (which it has been at times). Setting out upfront what we believe in, and who we are as a brand has been key to making the right decisions about production partners to work with. And keep regular contact with your production partners.

Along with this, having people come up to me at exhibitions in the UK to tell me how much they love the collection, or that they’ve purchased a dress for a little girl in their life is a real win for me!

– Sam

Talk about your brand to everyone, because you never know which conversation will be the one to open a new door or market for your product, and keep top of mind why you started your business in the first place, as this will influence the markets you seek out.


Be sure to get in contact with Jenny and Sam to find out more about JenniDezigns:

Website: jennidezigns.clothing


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