Tenacity Magazine caught up with Kgaugelo Molope who is the founder of KG Jewellers to share with us his journey into entrepreneurship. We learn about his career, business and challenges along the way.
Kindly tell us who is Kgaugelo Molope, where were you born and bred and how was life?
Kgaugelo Molope is a 24-year-old entrepreneur, born and bred in Lebowakgomo. I was raised by a single unemployed parent and we lived in my grandmother’s house, a house I still live in today. I am the youngest of the four (4) children and the only male of the family.
Tell us about your educational journey from school to University?
I completed my matric at Derek Kobe Senior Secondary in 2011 with average marks. my passion was in art, but we did not have art programmes at our school. I enrolled at Tshwane University of Technology (T.U.T) to study jewellery design and manufacturing in 2012, however I had to dropped out the following year due to financial problems.
How was your transition from school/work and into to business?
My life became difficult after I dropped out of university. I got a job as stylist at a salon to make an income. 2015 was a better year for me when I got a learnership at Seda Limpopo Jewellery Incubator and a scholarship to study in Italy for two (2) years. The scholarship was called “Return to Craftsmanship’’ sponsored by the Mining Qualifications Authority. In 2017, I was in a continuation programme for young artisan sponsored by the State Diamond Trader. The aim of the programme was to mentor young people to acquire trade test certificates. I was certified as one of, if not the youngest goldsmith in South Africa after completing the programme. I started KG Jewellers in 2017 and has been operational since 2018.
What inspired you to start your own jewellery brand ?
My passion for creative arts drove me to start my own brand. I used to do graffiti sketches back in high school. The education, skills and knowledge acquired from the scholarship gave me confidence to start my own business.
What are the challenges you encountered when you started your business?
As a young black entrepreneur lack of access to funding is my main challenge. One of the challenges is to educate most of my clients about the value of jewellery products. There are barriers to entry into the distribution and marketing channels where growth is.
How did you overcome the challenges thus far?
I told myself that I am still young to give up as yet. My craft kept me going. The State Diamond Trader (S.D.T) sponsored me with tools valued at R29048,80 and the tools gave me the boost to start my company.
What are the aims and objectives for KG Jewellers?
We at KG Jewellers aspire to be a leading brand in Limpopo in the first 5 years of business and expand our presence into the rest of South African and international market. We look to run a high-tech institution that will produce skilled goldsmiths.
Who is your role model?
I really admire Jacob Arabo the jeweller owner of Jacob & co, his story is simple and he showed that no challenge is great for a man with ambition.
What makes KG Jewellers unique from other jewellery brands?
KG Jewellers as a brand is unique because it brings new perspective on jewellery, an international feel and most of the products are new in the South African market.
What advice would you give to someone who want to follow into your footsteps?
My jewellery tip would be one, practice your craft everyday.
What would you do if you are the Minister of Small Business in South Africa?
If I was the minister of small business I would invest in creating a market first for consumers, train skilled industrialists, invest in teaching entrepreneurs the fundamentals of managing a successful business and overall just invest in isolating the market for the right individuals.
Instagram – @kgaulopez