This local business used to have just one sewing machine, now it supplies Clicks with baby shoes


Founder of Oratile Kids Tshepiso Monamodi (Supplied)

  • Tshepiso Monamodi founded Oratile Kids, a South African children’s shoe brand that makes soft leather shoes for toddlers.
  • Monamodi started the business in 2017 when she was looking for the same shoes for her son and could only find very expensive ones.
  • With just one sewing machine – which she didn’t know how to operate – Monamodi learned how to make shoes and sell them in markets.
  • Today, she supplies three Clicks Baby stores and has seen her sales increase by 34% since working with the retailer.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInisder.co.za.

Local entrepreneur and founder of Oratile ChildrenTshepiso Monamodi, started her soft leather shoes business with a single sewing machine – which she didn’t know how to operate – today she provides soft leather shoes for toddlers at Clicks.

It all started in 2017 when Monamodi was looking for a pair of leather shoes for her toddler, the type Monamodi had worn as a baby, as her aunt had told her.

Founder of Oratile Kids Tshepiso Monamodi (Supplier

Founder of Oratile Kids Tshepiso Monamodi (Supplied)

“I was looking for a specific type of shoe for my son. My aunt wanted a specific shoe and we were going in circles.

“She described them as soft leather and very comfortable for babies, and they don’t really interfere with babies’ development as they learn to walk,” Monamodi said.

Monamodi eventually found someone to sell the shoes, but they were quite expensive.

“When I finally found the shoes she was talking about, they were expensive and I thought I couldn’t spend more than R300 on just one pair of shoes,” she said.

It was then that the entrepreneur had the idea of ​​maybe making a pair for his son, but the problem was that she didn’t know how to sew at all.

“I thought I’d give it a try, but I couldn’t sew, so I started researching and realized it was doable, but I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing, I wanted to be genuine,” Monamodi told Business Insider. South Africa.

Tshepiso Monamodi (Provided)

Tshepiso Monamodi (Provided)

After making a pair for her son, other people noticed and wanted the same for their children as well, and Monamodi, who was not employed at the time, fulfilled the request.

She took her shoes to a few local markets and malls and gained more customers, especially fathers who wanted soft leather shoes for their children.

Custom shoes made for a client (Instagram)

Custom soft leather shoes made for a client (Instagram)

“The more I got into it, the more I fell in love, and I thought it had the potential to become more important than just shoes for my son. A few years later, it’s really picking up again,” Monamodi said emotionally.

Selling in markets and other small establishments for three years, Monamodi says she learned a lot about her customers and the real needs of their babies.

This allowed her to easily customize each pair of shoes according to her customers’ needs, which is almost impossible when she simply buys from a major retailer.

End product Oratile Kids (Instagram)

End product Oratile Kids (Instagram)

Like many other businesses, the lockdown has affected Monamodi’s business, and it has had no choice but to operate on social media.

Although it seemed like a stumbling block for his business, Monamodi didn’t realize that this was where one of South Africa’s biggest retailers would spot his work.

“I think Clicks saw me on social media. They messaged me, I checked it was them and then we started talking.

“They had started opening standalone Clicks baby stores and wanted my brand to be a part of it,” she told Business Insider.

After supplying three Clicks baby stores since 2021, Oratile Kids has seen sales increase by 34%, while working in a garage.

“They really held my hand,” Monamodi said. “Remember, I didn’t know anything about retail. They helped us be more consistent in terms of the products we deliver. They also want to help us improve our offering.”

Oratile Kids merchandise (provided)

Oratile Kids Products (Instagram)

According to Monamodi, the business partners have started discussions on a business development plan, where Clicks will help the small business to get factory space, more machines and also increase the number of stores in which it is located. currently Oratile Kids. “It’s really exciting – good things are happening,” Monamodi said.

The Oratile Kids range is available from Clicks Baby stores from R190, and can also be found nationwide at clicks.co.za.

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