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Aug 20, 2015 2:55 PM ET

Archived: BlackPhumelele Designs: we design unique dresses for women who want to wear something different that makes them feel like a million bucks

iCrowdNewswire - Aug 20, 2015
Personal Story

I grew up in a small country named Swaziland, landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique. My parents moved in the early 70’s to raise my siblings and I. Not only was my mother strict, she was also very conservative and would alter any and all clothes that I made if she felt they were either too tight or too short during my primary years.

My passion in designing clothes was yet to be realized then, as I never got to wear any of the re-modified dresses or skirts, so I began making doll clothes for my little sister’s dolls. When she turned 9 years old, she declared she was too old to play dolls and that also meant I couldn’t continue satisfying my designing talent.

I later returned to South Africa at age 18, and I studied to receive my diploma in Marketing Management at Varsity College in Durban. During that time, I would add different finishes to any store bought dresses to try and make them unique. I always dreamed of owning a sewing machine, and in 2007 for my birthday, I finally received one as a gift. I made my first official dress and wore it to my friend’s wedding that year. My friends began requesting me to make them dresses, and I haven’t stopped since. In 2013, I was laid off from JPMorgan Chase and took the opportunity to launch BlackPhumelele Designs. Aimed at presenting a lifestyle, I partnered up with two non-profits in creating awareness for the brand.

Today I am looking to develop a strong brand through working with a web developer to update our website to increase visibility and marketing activities. I have created an easy to wear Kimono for all occasions that I plan to use as my signature piece and my goal is to be recognized and hopefully sell my designs in big department stores here in New York City.

Business Description

BlackPhumelele Designs has been in business since 2013, and we design unique dresses for women who want to wear something different for weddings, summer events and more. The feedback I was getting from people was they wanted to wear dresses that made feel like a million bucks, and I saw an opportunity to satisfy that need. Currently, the biggest challenge to date is that I am a one-person operation, and I am the only designer. I cannot meet the demands of a large clientele. With more resources including funding to retain at least two staff members, I would have the help that I need to design and also focus on marketing my business.

My goal this summer have been to sell my Kimono dresses at boutiques in the greater New York City area, and my efforts have paid off. My dresses can now be found at Courtney Washington Boutique in Fulton. The customers love them, and there is a high demand for them. My entire inventory sold out within four days on display at the boutique.

There is a demand to supply my fall line. I have three dress retailers in Brooklyn and Harlem who are eager and already lined up to stock my fall line of dresses. This demand validates that the customers love my work.

What is the purpose of this loan?

This loan will go towards paying for the following:

Registration fees $ 120
Updating Website $ 600
2 X size mannequins $ 700
Serger sewing machine $ 900
Marketing Activities $ 4080
Professional fabric Sample with photoshoot $ 500
Fabric $ 2500
Tags $ 600

Total $10, 000

I expect to increase revenue by 75%, and the loan will help towards production. At the moment, our wholesale price per unit is $60, and we hope to increase this to $90. This will be achieved as we will be using the serger machine to acquire a clean and professional finish. By adding two employees this will increase our production and thereby help us reach a bigger audience and market with faster delivery.

I will be able to focus on the marketing and branding of the business, and make a consistent and stable income

Contact Information:


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