34-year-old Bonolo Moloi shares where her love for interior design began and how she started her business, Noli Interior Design
Tell us briefly what, in your childhood, sparked your interest in the interior design industry?
I was born and raised in the eastern Free State, in a small town called Qwa Qwa where I would frequently visit heritage sites, nature resorts which encompassed surroundings such as the Drakensberg mountains and the beauty of Golden gate. That is where I drew my love for African flavoured art and design. From a young age, I had a creative side and excelled in art projects and knitting. When I played ‘house’, growing up, I was always fascinated with space planning and coordinating colours, that is where the love and passion for design was ignited.
Why did you decide to start your own company?
I decided to start my business because I desired freedom of time and after 5 years of working in the industry I knew it was time for me to venture on my own. I started my business almost 2 years ago and I identified the need for an interior design company, that challenged the norms by focusing on designing spaces that represented more of our client’s style and taste as opposed to showing houses that cannot meet the client’s needs and interests. I am passionate about embracing our African heritage and beauty, inspired by the textures, vibrant colours, artworks, and cultural diversities
What have been some of the challenges and highlights of your business since you started?
The biggest challenge for me has been access to markets and lack of entrepreneurial skills. I’m a designer by profession and running a business is a different ball game. The highlights have been getting good projects and growing the business that I absolutely love from the ground up.
What is the story behind your company name?
The name comes from my name Bonolo; my grandfather used to call me Noli as a nickname. He played a pivotal role in my life growing up and he was very close to my heart.
Who have been your clients?
Middle class to high earning clients, predominantly in their forties.
Who is your target market?
They are middle to high earning customers. They are interested in aesthetically pleasing and comfortable living areas, which make them feel good, happy and inspired. They want to change their unpleasant, outdated living and working spaces, which are uncomfortable, old and visually unpleasing spaces.
From your experience is SA a favourable environment for young entrepreneurs to start successful companies?
I believe we are a working progress towards becoming a favourable environment for young entrepreneurs. We need to be intentional with access to markets, entrepreneurial skills, training, funding, and mentorship programs.
What are your short term and long term goals of your company?
They are to grow the business organically to a point of stability and be a recognised brand. I want to be a well-respected design firm in the country and be able to compete with the big players in the industry.
What is your advice to young hustlers who want to start successful businesses?
Never give up on your dreams and work extremely hard. Forgive yourself for all the mistakes you have made and keep going. Mostly, have the strength to bounce back from previous failures.
For Noli’s services contact her on:
Tel: 010 225 2015
Find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/noliinteriordesign/