Two South African sisters look to build a proudly South African fashion and jewellery brand in Limpopo
Baroka Fashions, a Limpopo-based clothing and textile manufacturing company in South Africa producing mainly ladies clothing, bags, accessories and printed fabrics, was founded by Jeanette Phasha in 2008. She started with a vision to design and create fashion products, from initial concept through to high quality finished garments and accessories, all with a uniquely South African design flair. The company has built a reputation for producing ready-to-wear clothing collections, fashion accessories, bridal wear, beautiful printed textiles, children’s clothing ranges, matric dance special occasion outfits, menswear, and workplace uniforms. In 2014, Jeanette was joined in the company by her younger sister, designer and recent graduate Charlotte, who is now creating a wonderful new range of African inspired jewellery for the Baroka Fashions collections.
Although the company started small, it is building its client base rapidly, supplying well-known boutiques and fashion wholesalers in the Gauteng province of South Africa with a wide range of fashion and jewellery products. Future plans include expanding the current operating space in Limpopo to include a new printing and weaving factory, together with a dedicated clothing factory. The company is also intending to hire and train more people in the fashion and textile divisions of the company to meet the growing demand for specific products and services. Although Baroka Fashions is currently exhibiting at markets such as the popular Irene Village Market in Midrand, there are plans for the company to exhibit its fashion products at all the big consumer markets in South Africa, both in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The company has also applied to participate in a series of overseas trade shows in New York and Canada over the coming year.
Although the company started small, it is building its client base rapidly, supplying well-known boutiques and fashion wholesalers in the Gauteng province of South Africa with a wide range of fashion and jewellery products.
Believing in the power of taking the product and brand experience directly to the consumer, the team at Baroka Fashions has recently been experimenting with a mobile retail outlet, using the ‘pop up store’ concept. This approach allows the company to expose new retail venues and their customers to the Baroka Fashion experience and products, and to expand the customer base. Lionesses of Africa recently met sisters Jennifer and Charlotte at the Sanlam Contemporary Handmade Fair in Johannesburg where they were exhibiting their fashion and jewellery ranges to customers at the event.
Online retail marketing also plays an important role in the company and Baroka Fashions has an online store where clients can view the latest collections, place orders for new products, and check out the forthcoming retail locations at exhibitions and trade shows. The company also believes in the power of social media to build its brand and to communicate with its customers, and its facebook page is used to promote the latest collections, special offers and new products.
As entrepreneurs, Jennifer and Charlotte have a goal to build the Baroka Fashion brand into a household name in South Africa. They also believe in being part of the country’s economic success story, playing their own unique role in stimulating economic development in the Limpopo province, and creating new much-needed jobs, training and development in the fashion and textile sector.
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Why LoA loves it....
Having met Jennifer and Charlotte at the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair, and seeing their great designs for jewellery and clothing, their company is well worth a look and a visit. They are also making a real difference in their local communities. --- Melanie