Finding great children’s clothing that appeals to both the young ones and the parents, and which at the same time celebrates the vibrancy of African textiles, has now been made so much easier. South African entrepreneur and designer, Shingai Nyagweta, founder of KuNa Kids, has built a niche children’s clothing company that embraces the uniquely local shweshwe fabrics, but incorporated into funky and practical designs.
LoA had the opportunity of finding out more about this wonderful children’s clothing company this month and the passionate and creative founder behind it.
What does your company do?
We make children’s clothing that is bright and bold with an African twist.
"I have always wanted to make children's clothing, and love the vibrancy and energy that our local shweshwe fabrics give."
What inspired you to start your company?
I have always wanted to make children's clothing, and love the vibrancy and energy that our local shweshwe fabrics give. I am passionate about locally made, and wanted to design a range that was hard wearing, yet colourful and fun for our little South Africans.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Because the items are brilliant quality. Because its locally made, and we only make a small quantity of each range, so your children are wearing beautifully made clothes that support our local women, while not all looking the same!
"I am passionate about locally made, and wanted to design a range that was hard wearing, yet colourful and fun for our little South Africans."
Tell us a little about your team
I have a team of two women working full time for me, and I hire other SA CMTs on a contract basis during busy times.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I come from a diplomatic background. My parents were Diplomats and I was lucky enough to live in Paris during my younger years. I started my little company five years ago. I cut my teeth working for both Foschini and Marianne Fassler, and decided that I wanted to go into business for myself. In 2014 I was invited to join the Branson Centre for their Entrepreneurial Course. I have been lucky enough to meet Sir Richard Branson twice, and twice he has bought some of my range for his grandchildren.
"What gives me the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur is seeing the smiles on the children's faces when they walk into my store and see the clothes. That. Everytime!"
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I have just opened up my second store this year, and next year we are looking into possibly a bigger location, with a view to doing an 'overseas' range.
"Keep at it. Stay on your toes. If it isn't working in one direction, look into doing it slightly differently."
- Shingai Nyagweta @KuNa_SA
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Seeing the smiles on the children's faces when they walk into my store and see the clothes. That. Everytime!
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Keep at it. Stay on your toes, and if it isn't working in one direction, then look into doing it slightly differently.
Contact or follow KuNa
Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love those women entrepreneurs and designers who have a real passion for not just producing their products locally, but who also celebrate local, traditional fabrics by incorporating them into their contemporary designs. In the case of Shingai Nyagweta, founder of children’s wear company, KuNa Kids, she is finding inspiration from the beautiful and highly distinctive, shweshwe fabrics that are so unique to South Africa, and putting a new twist on tradition. What’s more, she is winning scores of new, young, design conscious fans who love to wear, run around in, and play in her clothes, whilst still looking trendy. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa