After realising that most clothing shops do not cater for plus-sized women, Ntombikhona Khumeni decided to do something about it.
Khumeni now has her own plus-sized range called Khona K, which is all about making women feel beautiful.
“When a plus-sized woman walks into a store and finds a dress they really like, they are disheartened when they discover that there is no dress for their size. This makes them feel ugly, like they do not deserve to feel beautiful and stylish, which is not true,” she told Vutivi News.
“I ensure that when they wear my garments, they feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin, instead of having to conform to society’s oppressive definitions of beauty.”
Khumeni, who is based in Stanger in Mpumalanga, started her clothing range during the lockdown.
“I started this business from the savings I gathered from doing alterations for people in my area,” she said.
“I am a self-taught fashion designer and I attended a basic course on how to sew. I ended up buying my first domestic sewing machine and that is when I started making different styles of clothing.”
Khumeni said she currently employed three people and her clothes were affordable because she did not have to pay rent as everyone worked from home.
“We do not only supply clothing in Stanger, but our customer base is national, and they order their clothes online which are then delivered by courier services,” she said.
But like many startups, there have been challenges including people trusting her brand.
“Some would think that we are scammers and our business is not legit. What makes it challenging is that we do not deliver our products on the same day, and for some reason this makes people feel like we are not trustworthy,” she said.
“However, we make sure to ease our customers by assuring them that our products are of a quality they can trust.”
Khumeni said it was now more important than ever for those who wanted to start a business to understand the how the world of work had changed.
“We live in an age where the conventional means of employment are fast becoming redundant, and we have to move with the times,” she said.