Tenacity Magazine’s Karabo Maila spent some time with Kgahlego Rasebotsa to discuss her Interior Design business, future prospects and making it into the Forbes Africa Magazine 30 Under 30 list. Kgahlego Rasebotsa is a 29-year-old Founder & Director of Interior Bubble based in Polokwane.
Please kindly tell us who is Kgahlego Rasebota, where were you born and bred and how would you describe the life you lived?
My name is Naume Pascaline Kgahlego Rasebotsa, born and bred in Westernburg Polokwane. I was very shy growing up but vocal when I had to be and always enjoyed art. I come from a supportive family with both my parents and 3 siblings. My parents supported my art from an early age. They bought me paints, oil pastels, glitters or anything that had to do with colouring or colours. I was privileged enough to come from a home that supported me in every aspect of my life.
Tell us about your educational journey from school to university?
My journey started at Pietersburg Comprehensive School where I did primary schooling and completed matric at Capricorn High School. I graduated with a BA Degree in Business Administration from the Pearson Institute, formerly Graduate Institute.
How was your transition from school/work and into business?
I got an internship at provincial office of ANC in Polokwane after completing my studies and my first job was at Contact Media Communication in Johannesburg. I was a Media Sales Rep for their magazine and I got fired for poor sales. This was a painful experience in my life and I had to came back home. I was unemployed for more than a year until I started selling scatter cushions just to make some income for myself.
How did you get into interior design?
My passion for the creative arts drove me towards interior design and I was also inspired by a home make-over TV show called Home Makers. It was pleasing to see families return to a fully furnished and re-decorated home. I started Interior Bubble in order to give people the same experience with my business. My company is not limited to interior design, but also does manufacturing of furniture, candles and diffusers.
What are the challenges you encountered in your business?
Entrepreneurship has opened doors for me as a young person even though the journey came with challenges. It is not easy to start and sustain a business in South Africa due to structural barriers and I’m glad Interior Bubble is turning 3 in October 2019. Lack of access to capital and machinery to manufacture products meant we had to outsource services. The business had to generate enough cash to pay suppliers, run operation and be profitable. I also struggle with the retail aspect of the business and access to markets in this sector.
How did you overcome the challenges thus far?
You believe in yourself, your craft and you keep going. It took pure grit and determination to pick myself up after every failed attempt of getting a client. My education and marketing skills came in handy when I had to negotiate deals. I am a confident sales person first and foremost, a qualified business administrator and this kept me going during tough times.
What are your aspirations for Interior Bubble?
The future for Interior Bubble is in manufacturing and supply of furniture, decor and related products. We want to provide our service in South Africa and expand into other African countries in the future.
You made the list of Forbes Africa 30 under 30 special edition under business category. How was the process?
I was nominated after a long process that involved a lot of paper works and a lot of questions that I had to answer to make sure I was included in the list. Forbes screen your business, the finances and how it has performance since inception.
What does making it into the Forbes Africa 30 list mean to you and your business?
This says to me I am on the right track, I am doing a great job and I shouldn’t underestimate how far I have come. It feels good to be recognized amongst young people who are leading a positive change in Africa. We are the pioneers, a generation of entrepreneurs who are fearless and changing the game for good. Forbes is a global brand and Interior Bubble is going to benefit greatly from associating with Forbes Africa.
Who is your role model?
I have always admired Donald Nxumalo, he is a great inspiration for me. He started his entrepreneurial journey at a young age with amazing tenacity to carry on despite setbacks.
What would you do if you are the Minister of Small Business in South Africa?
I would make entrepreneurship part of the curriculum manufacturing and textile as a subjects from primary school. My department will allocate warehouses and machinery in townships / rural areas where people can be taught technical skills to help alleviate unemployment.
What are your plans to honour Madiba Month?
I have partnered with Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Polokwane to spend a day with a charity of their choice. We will be painting and creating scatter cushions from the artwork done by the kids. Children are the future and I hope to inspire them to follow their dreams.
Facebook – InteriorBubble / Instagram – @interiorbubble / Twiiter – @interior_bubble / Website – www.interiorbubble.com / Contact Details – 0764730778
Click here to read more about Forbes Africa 30 under 30 List.