Meet Phophi Mudau, the winner of Beautiful News accolade and founder of PDesignsSA from Makhado in Limpopo. She started her business from the bedroom and it has grown to attract international clients and local stars such as Florence Masebe. She shares her experiences about founding a fashion design business that sells Xitsonga and TshiVenda apparel.
Please kindly tell us who is Phophi Mudau?
My name is Phophi Mudau, I was born in Vosloorus and grew up in Matanda Village, Limpopo. Growing up I lived a very typical village lifestyle throughout my childhood.
Tell us about your educational journey?
My schooling journey started at Matanda Primary School and I matriculated at Patrick High School. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Venda. I am currently at an art school to improve my knowledge and skills about the anatomy of drawing and design.
Please kindly tell us about your transitions from school/work into business.
After 2 years of completing my studies I struggled to find a job and I decided to start an Image Consultation business. The Image Consultation business is now put on hold because of the work load that PDesignsSA came with. It was difficult to start a business because I had no prior knowledge.
What inspired the name PDesignsSA?
The name PDesignsSA was inspired by my social media followers after they saw my profile picture with a PD. When we initially started the business we just had a logo with no actual brand name on our social media platforms.
What makes your business unique?
We strive to produce superior quality products with that PDesignsSA touch. My designs are inspired by my hunger to conserve Xitsonga and Tshivenda culture through fashion. I am also inspired by the African women’s body structures when creating my designs.
What are your business aspirations?
Our Aspirations are to be a large brand that owns a clothing production internationally. When the business start to expand I would like to give the youth opportunities to create their own brands. We are working on securing machines and a factory building as part of the expansion plan.
What were the challenges of establishing your business and how did you overcome them?
The main challenges I had was lack of access to capital, space and machinery to manufacture products. I also struggled with the retail aspect of the business and access to market in this sector. I overcame the challenges by learning everything along the way since I did not have any business background experience. My waitressing experience has been helping me to deal with customer service.
What does a typical day look like for you in the business?
My day starts with a lot of admin, sketching, fabric, order checks and consultations. I am always in the presence of people, either staff or clients. And it is a relatively busy everyday.
You are opening a store in Makhado – tell us about that?
This was the best business move ever. I wanted to tell the clients what I felt fashion was and the best way to do that was to open a store. It worked out beautifully because I was able to attract more customers.
Tell us about your achievements thus far?
PdesignsSA was a winner of the Beautiful News accolade. This gave our brand explore to attract international clients and local stars such as Florence Masebe, Basetsana Khumalo, Limpopo health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba, Actress Rami Chuene and more influential women in various sectors. We are supplying our goods to individuals who selling African products in London. This was one marketing strategy that actually worked in our favour.
What is Beautiful News accolade all about?
Beautiful News is a platform that releases positive stories about South Africa. It sources and shares stories of comfort, hope, inspiration and success to celebrate the diverse, authentic and unique people of South Africa. Winning this accolade gave us an opportunity to advertise our brand at OR Tambo, Cape Town International Airports and South African Airwayss planes.
How can our readers find you & your business on social media?