At the time most businesses accross the world suffered major losses and others closed shop, a mother-daughter duo company, known as One of Each, showed it’s possible to thrive even in dry seasons. The Cape Town based small company managed to achieve a three year high in its turnover during 2020 – the year of Covid 19 lockdown.

This emerged during the first day of a visit by the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina to the Western Cape, as part of the Siyahlola Programme. One of Each is a luxury handbag and fashion apparel company founded by mother and daughter team, Pauline and Tamburai Chirume.

The company is a beneficiary of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s (the dtic) Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA)/ Sector Specific Assistance scheme. The scheme develops export markets for South African products and services and recruits new foreign direct vestment into the country. This is done through National Pavilions; Outward-Selling Trade Missions; Outward Investment Recruitment Missions; Inward-Buying Trade Missions among other vehicles. As a result much of the company’s client and customer base is in the international market, with the United States being their primary market.

According to the Managing Director Tamburai Chirume that is partly where some of the support came from during the critical times of the Covid 19 lockdown period.

“We had adopted a strategy over the years focused mainly on building and strengthening relationships with our clients and what we saw during the hard lockdown period is that they supported us a lot to ensure that we never shut down.”

The company also runs clothing and textile skills development programmes for local women in particular as part of efforts to lift them out of poverty conditions.

Deputy Minister Gina commended the company for its resilience and overall performance.

“We are happy to see that the company’s operations are aligned with our goals as contained in the Retail, Clothing, Textile, Footwear and Leather (R-CTFL) Masterplan.   We recognise that they have a strong focus on some of the key pillars of or masterplans which include transformation, skills development, job creation.  We would like to see them workig more closely with the dtic, partnering with other big players in the clothing and textile space, but also playing a critical role in assisting and uplifting other smaller players to achieve what they have already achieved,” said Gina.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Minister Gina visited two other companies, also within the R-CTFL industry earlier. At Hemporium – a Cape Town based company specializing in hemp products in textiles and other sectors, Gina was lobbied for government support in creating a conducive environment for the growth of the Cannabis and Hemp  sector. The company’s Tony Budden, said they have to import their raw material from countries such as China, Canada, others in Europe, because of challenges with the legal status of cannabis in the country.

“We are committed to local development and so we would rather be supporting South African farmers and businesses using material from within so that we grow a truly sustainable South African economy,” said Budden.

At Cape Cobra, an exotic bags company, Managing Director, Robert Schafer told Deputy Minister Gina that they faced serious challenges during the Covid 19 lockdown of 2020 which included a 90% drop in local sales.  But he said they did their best to curtail job losses even if that meant reducing work day for their current employees.  He indicated that their aim is to rebuild the company, retain current jobs, create new ones and focus on skills development.

“The industry has been weakened substantially by the pandemic. We need support now to get us through the immediate post Covid period until the situation normalises again. There’s potential for establishing training facilities, upskilling and giving people an opportunity to take better care of their capabilities,” Schafer said.

Managing Diector at One of Each, Tamburai Chirume showing Deputy Minist Nomalungelo Gina some of the luxury bags products at her company.

Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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