When the entrepreneurial bug bit, Bernard Moabelo decided to create Koena Clothing, a clothing brand that has made waves in the local and international fashion space. He shares where it all started and his success tips.
Share your career journey before branching into the business field
I have been a Communications and Marketing Specialist for a few Government Departments in Gauteng. I worked with political offices in terms of developing and managing content, reputation and have been working on their social media platforms for campaigns.
What inspired you to start a clothing label?
I think the ability to start something and end up making it look like it was never started by a village raised boy was one of the reasons. The company was created to bring the best clothing ranges at the best prices. Its styles include differentiated smart wear that stretches to intimacy and excitement. Coupled with quality, Koena Clothing styles bring superb details and fabric for sophistication.
Don’t you think the fashion/ clothing industry is saturated? Why did you choose this field and how do you differentiate yourself?
I have the marketing skills, that’s what differentiates myself and I believe I can start anything.
How many people are on your team and what is your leadership style?
At the moment the official staff is two. It is the Stakeholder Relations Manager and myself. We also have a couple of ambassadors who clearly make sure the company runs and become known. Most of our designs are developed by students and they are sort of consultants to our company. We choose mostly designers who have a niche to express what to be an African is all about. I am a free spirited person. A democratic leader to be frank.
What goals do you have for the brand?
Koena Clothing prides itself on making sure that the world gets the best fashion with the keen edge to attract and retain the best casual fun niche. We can say we are already competing internationally.
Do you have a mentor? Why (or why not?) and what is the best business advice you have received thus far?
No mentor. But the Stakeholder Relations Manager is a person who has experience with business and she always throws her two cents worth.
How do you define success and have you reached it?
To me, success is being happy. I am happy and I can say I am successful. But from a Koena Clothing point of view, we will be happy when we are able to sponsor more than 500 orphans in one year.
Describe your busiest day
Every day. Keeping up with international brands, keeping clients happy and answering all sorts of questions from people and most importantly getting messages from people interested in being brand ambassadors.
What is your personal favourite clothing item from your brand and what is the bestselling clothing item?
I sell what I love. I love them all. If I don’t like it then I won’t sell it.
Please share your top three success tips for the aspiring business person
- When you start don’t stop
- Work hard, it is attractive.
- Get an education and improve daily.
For orders and more information Contact Koena Clothing on @koena.co.za
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