By: Sizakele Nduli
A young woman living in Cradock in the Eastern Cape is making the most of her small business by crocheting a variety of beautiful items. Nangamso Bana started her own creative venture in 2021, but it was not until 2022 that she officially registered NASO Creations. Bana, 33, said that she was exposed to the art of needlework in primary school in Libode in the Eastern Cape. “I was introduced to needlework (in) my classes at the age of 10 to 12 years by Sister Perpertua who was from Switzerland. I enjoyed my classes, it felt right. For me it was more than a skill, it was a talent,” Bana said.
She said that when she went to high school, they did not offer needlework as a subject, so she reluctantly put her passion on hold, devoting her focus to other areas of study. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit and brought chaos and uncertainty into Bana’s life after being unemployed for a long time, she rediscovered a long-lost passion for needlework. “I saw a huge market for creative wear. As much as we have machine knitted wear in our shops, it made a lot of sense to have clothing made by hand because handmade items are more special and patterns are more beautiful,” said Bana.
Bana operates her business from home and utilises social media to promote her wide range of stylish clothing products. “For now, I don’t have any employees, but it’s something I have been thinking about a lot. I’m getting more orders now and I would love to get someone to help out,” she said. Her products include unique and trendy cardigans, mini-skirts, long skirts, crop tops, round-neck jerseys, polo neck jerseys, suits, bikinis, and more.
Her collection of small wallets, bags, and purses starts at a price of R150, while her cardigans and jerseys are priced at R750 and above. “I sell my work to people who love wool wear. Eastern Cape and Western Cape are the most provinces that I get customers from because these places are very cold, especially in winter,” Bana added. Depending on the length, Bana said it typically takes her about two days to complete a skirt, while cardigans can take about 3 to 4 days to finish, depending on the size or length. One of Bana’s dreams for her business is to give back to young children from the age of 10 years by teaching them the art of crocheting and knitting. She also wishes to open her own stores and boutiques nationwide.