An Interview with Farieda Salie
The Genesis of the business was because of my daughters, they were 3 & 6 years young, this is what prompted me to work from home. I wanted to have the better of both worlds, becoming an entrepreneur was by choice. I took the first step by purchasing 2 sewing machines for R500.
I started out in the mid 1980's and coming from a background where my mum was a quality controller, my dad an accountant, my aunt a designer and my uncle, a work study officer. This all assisted with the start-up process.
Interestingly, a fashion icon came and requested my dad’s permission for us to
come work for him, and my first assignment was to make ties. From thereon it
grew to sample ranges, then production on a small scale, which later led to
employing 2 seamstresses.
As a small business, we are heavily dependent on design houses for work supply, we face competition not only locally, but globally as well (China) .
In this lies our next challenges; Bargaining council levies etc. which pose great difficulties in us being competitive within the Clothing industry. We are governed by wage determinations, high rentals, electricity hikes, and load shedding which impede our survival. Most times one feels suffocated by all the above.
Without overcoming our fears, we cannot be competitive or grow or expand. I find it difficult to focus on strategic planning, one is left feeling vulnerable because of these factors.
I have earned the respect of my male counterparts, it has strongly shaped my personality. Being a female entrepreneur, we have this natural, caring ,dispensation which helps in the long run.
Keep moving forward, constantly re-evaluating the status quo.
What worked today, might not work tomorrow, be your unique self.