A love of traditional beadwork, combined with a passion for creating unique colourful and eye-catching pieces, led South African entrepreneur Yvonne Manyiki to startup her company Dimzique Enterprise, and tap into the market for affordable yet elegant costume jewellery. The country’s markets and festivals provide a wealth of customers who appreciate her fine beadwork and her wonderful creative eye for design.
LoA learned more about the creative Yvonne Manyiki and her company Dimzique Enterprise this month, and her dreams for the future of her business.
What does your company do?
My company Dimzique Enterprise, creates unique designs of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, barefoot sandals, hand jewellery, and other fine bead work combined with leather.
"My company Dimzique Enterprise, creates unique designs of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, barefoot sandals, hand jewellery, and other fine bead work combined with leather."
What inspired you to start your company?
Firstly, it was a way to demonstrate my creativity. Secondly, the rising cost of gold has opened up a gap in the market for more affordable costume jewellery. I wanted to take advantage of this gap and provide customers with jewellery pieces that are stylish and elegant without being excessively expensive.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Because our products have the following attributes - they are high quality, fashionable, affordable, durable, colourful and eye-catching, unique, and ultimately modern but with anAfrican flair.
"The rising cost of gold has opened up a gap in the market for more affordable costume jewellery. I wanted to take advantage of this gap and provide customers with jewellery pieces that are stylish and elegant without being excessively expensive."
Tell us a little about your team
It’s myself as founder and 2 part time employees at the moment.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I was born in Ficksburg and I grew up in Lesotho, and when I was young I used to watch my mother sew beautiful curtains. She was very creative and that inspired me. I came to Cape Town in 2002, my first job was working on one of the market stalls in Cape Town, and I saved money and worked hard because I wanted to start my own business. It took a long time but eventually I started. In 2006, I registered a sole proprietor company called Yvone Designs - the company was buying and selling ladies accessories such as jewellery, watches, bags and hats, and my first stall was at Top Deck in Cape Town Train Station. From 2007, I started to make my own wire and beaded jewellery, and I found a good spot to set up my market stall at Riverside Mall in Rondebosch, this lasted until 2011. My business had to stop at that location due to mall renovation and the change of management, so I took a break in that year. In 2012 I attended many workshops at CCDI (Cape Craft & Design Institute), and later I learned how to do weaving and beading with seed beads through a combination of a great beading book and YouTube videos. I also did a few beading classes and in 2013 I registered a new company called Dimzique Enterprise. The name Dimzique is the combination of the first two letters of our names, mine (Di from Dimpho) a Sotho name, and my husband's nickname (Mzi from Mzandile), and then we added (QUE) to make it sound complete. We now specialize in creating unique jewellery pieces of high quality. The company is run from our home in Strand, Cape Town. My beautiful daughter Rose has been inspired by my work too because she now also makes her own beautiful designs and is able to teach other kids. Today, Dimzique showcases its jewellery at various Craft Food Markets in Western Cape, such as the Country Market, Lourensford, Kirstenbosch, together with CTICC events and other established markets like Kamers, Decorex, Cape Town Jazz Festival, etc. Our products are available online at www.dimzique.com and all our products are handmade.
"When I was young, I used to watch my mother sew beautiful curtains. She was very creative and that inspired me."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
We intend to participate in international exhibitions and to extend our participation in well established events and festivals. We also want to start exporting and to supply well known boutiques nationally and internationally. We wish to continue to make other fine bead work combined with leather.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Seeing my clients happy. Doing what I like and doing it the best way. Being able to create jobs and opportunities for those that are willing to learn.
"We want to start exporting and to supply well known boutiques nationally and internationally."
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
We all have dreams and talents, but fear always stands in the way of many people. My advice is to take the first move by starting small, face your fears, believe in God and in yourself and you will succeed.
Contact or follow Dimzique
Why LoA loves it….
Often the secret to entrepreneurial success is a combination of finding the right gap in the market, sheer hard work and determination, and a high quality approach that means customers are keen to buy products and connect with the brand. In the case of Yvonne Manyiki and her company Dimzique Enterprise, she is getting all three right, and successfully leveraging her creative talents and finding the right marketplaces to connect with clients face to face. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa