By Anelisa Centani
In a world where fashion is often categorised as “for boys” or “for girls” from an early age, Sacha Store Kids creates a space where children can explore their identities freely. Founded by Sacha Knox, a queer, non-binary, and disabled Johannesburg-based single parent, Sacha Store Kids sells second-hand, vintage, gender-neutral items that start at just R100.
Knox, 38, told Vutivi News they started the business to challenge the gender norms surrounding children’s clothing and toys. “I raise my child in a gender-curious way, so for us, fashion has no gender. My child is allowed to wear whatever they want and explore how they want to present themselves. The first thing that inspired me to start was to create a space where kids could just come in and enjoy everything they saw and there are no restrictions based on gender,” said Knox.
The business currently operates online, primarily on Instagram. To make a success of the online store, Knox aims for a strong visual presentation of all products and has invested in a backdrop to create high-quality photographs. Knox said it was their journey as a single parent that drove them to seek additional income streams. “Economically times are really tough. I’ve had a few retrenchments,” said Knox, who decided to diversify their income through entrepreneurship.
They said being disabled and having difficulties conforming to a 9-5 job also spurred them into starting their own business. Knox added that they chose to start a second-hand clothing and toys business to promote sustainability. “When we have children, we tend to go through products very quickly which has environmental impacts with the disposal of fast fashion,” they said.
The emphasis on quality vintage and nostalgia adds a distinctive touch to the store. “I make sure all of the vintage clothing has absolutely no faults. Very carefully curated to make sure everything is very high quality. Everything’s a one-off piece – you are not going to see it on someone else,” they said. “Prices are accessible, ranging from R100 to R250… The diverse selection includes collectible figurines, board games, bicycles, tricycles, and other nostalgic items.”
Knox’s journey was not smooth, including initial challenges in accessing funding. “You have to wait a year from having my business bank account activated and operating to be able to apply for business funding. That was quite difficult for me. I didn’t know that those resources weren’t accessible at the start, and that was a challenge for me,” Knox said.
Knox advises aspiring entrepreneurs to “just start, even if it is small”. “Just start with what you can and build it from there. There is never really an appropriate time. Even if you have R200 in your pocket, start with something because you can build from there.” For the future, Knox is planning partnerships with artists and crafters to produce their own gender-neutral, gender-free, and gender-curious children’s clothing line, expanding the business’ creative horizons.