Tenacity Magazine caught up with Kate Lukz who is the founder of Tsonga Sauce Collection in Giyani, a company that provides Xitsonga Clothing. Her brand has attracted many customers including Sho Madjozi amongst others. We learn about her business, challenges along the way, and future prospects as a fashion designer.
Please kindly tell us who is Kate Lukz?
Kate Lukz is a 35-year-old entrepreneur, wife and a mother born and raised in Giyani, Limpopo. Growing up my siblings and I were raised by our grandmother who upheld traditional and cultural values that I abide by even today.
Tell us about your educational journey?
I started my schooling journey at Sukani Primary School and matriculated at Giyani High School, both schools located in Giyani. I then went to further my studies at Central Johannesburg College where I enrolled for Diploma in Business Management. Due to various personal circumstances, I couldn’t complete my studies.
Please kindly tell us about your transitions from school/work to business.
After things didn’t go well with my Business Management course, I worked as a Marketing & Salesperson for 8 years until I decided to start a business aligned to my passion. Therefore, I started my own clothing brand called Tsonga Sauce Collection which provides Xitsonga Clothing.
Why did you choose to be a fashion designer, mainly using your culture?
First and foremost, I was driven by passion to start my own traditional clothing collection. The other thing that motivated me to become a fashion designer was the beauty of the colours of my our traditional attires and the vibrance of the VaTsonga. This encouraged me to start a business that can take my culture to the world and preserve it at the same time.
What makes Tsonga Sauce Collection unique?
As Tsonga Sauce Collection, we offer a unique and ground-breaking approach to the VaTsonga culture. It is modern, multigenerational and can definitely work for people who love the Vatsonga culture. You can experience the culture through our clothing because culture should be shared and experienced. As we speak, I am in the middle of arrangements and final planning of my store opening in October. The store will be in Giyani, opposite Shell Garage at Tiveka Bukuta Complex, shop number B09.
What led you to consider opening a store and can you provide details of the opening?
I decided to open the store due to the high demand for the clothing and working from home was a problematic location. Therefore, in town I get to be accessible to all sorts of customers.
What were the challenges of establishing your business and how did you overcome them?
My main challenge was lack of access to funding. But I had to make a means to source an income buy selling more products and establishing other means of raising capital. The other challenge that I had was the problem of being short staffed which we overcame by adding more work time for increased production and managing orders.
What have you achieved ever since the inception of your brand?
Established just under a year ago, the brand Tsonga Sauce Collection has made quiet the impression attracting customers far and wide including the likes of South African rapper, singer, songwriter, actress and poet, Sho Madjozi. My brand’s growth has surpassed my expectations, and have I managed to hire six (6) women from my rural town of Giyani.
Your designs have attracted the likes of Sho Madjozi – tell us about how that came about?
Sho Madjozi is someone I actually approached long time ago and expressed my interest working with her brand. She follows my work on social media and is a fan of the work. When she then called and wanted my clothing to feature in the shoot of the “Kona” music video, I was more than glad to accept it.
How can our readers find you & your business?
We are Tsonga Sauce Collection across all social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.