Ur­ban Mosadi

The un­der­ground style guru Africa needs to know about, TIISETSO MOLOBI, 37, talks about build­ing her brand, Ur­ban Mosadi.

True Love - - Contents - By KHATHU THUSI

WHY DID YOU BE­COME A CRE­ATIVE EN­TRE­PRE­NEUR?

I think we're all born cre­ative, it's re­ally whether we em­brace and ex­press this part of us or not. I re­cently com­pleted a short course in gar­ment con­struc­tion, so I'm slowly ex­press­ing the fashion de­signer in me.

DE­SCRIBE THE ROADMAP THAT LED YOU TO UR­BAN MOSADI?

Would you be­lieve that it was all quite ac­ci­den­tal? Ur­ban Mosadi started off as a per­sonal blog 10 years ago, and about six years ago, I be­gan cus­tomis­ing my own cam­era straps us­ing Batik fab­ric. Some friends took an in­ter­est and wanted me to make them their own. It all started as a pas­sion project, a hobby that forced it­self into an en­tre­pre­neur­ial en­deav­our.

YOU HAVE AN ON­LINE STORE AND DO POP-UP EVENTS, DO YOU HAVE PLANS FOR A PHYS­I­CAL STORE?

At the mo­ment, all things Ur­ban Mosadi are on standby. I'm tak­ing a cre­ative sab­bat­i­cal and am fo­cus­ing on mak­ing gar­ments.

The goal is to re-as­sess the busi­ness struc­ture and seek out a part­ner to as­sist me in get­ting that as­pect in or­der. Once this is sorted, a show­room is some­thing I'd love to have, a space that can house all my tan­gled cre­ative ex­pres­sions.

WHAT VA­RI­ETY OF PROD­UCTS CAN WE TO LOOK FOR­WARD TO IN THE NEAR FU­TURE?

Ur­ban Mosadi gar­ments, tex­tiles, home­ware and more col­lab­o­ra­tions with my six-year-old daugh­ter on a kid­dies range.

WHAT IS YOUR UL­TI­MATE GOAL WITH THE UR­BAN MOSADI BRAND?

I'd love for the name to be canon­ised in the street cul­ture ar­chives of JoHo (Joburg) and the rest of the con­ti­nent as a life­style brand.

WHERE DO YOU FIND DE­SIGN IN­SPI­RA­TION?

The African con­ti­nent, West Africa to be ex­act. Also from trav­el­ling and hav­ing to make prod­ucts that suit my needs and style.

HOW DO YOU MAIN­TAIN YOUR NET­WORK?

Word-of-mouth has been a great way of do­ing busi­ness, and good old emails.

WHAT SETS YOUR BRAND APART?

We pride our­selves on us­ing authen­tic tex­tiles and gen­uine leather. Also, de­sign­inggg our own tex­tiles has been key in main­tain­ing the brand. bran

WHICH BOOKS OR PEO­PLE HAVE IN­FLU­ENCED YOUR GROWTH AND SUC­CESS?

I'm heav­ily in­flu­enced by any­thing Rei Kawakubo (Ja­panese de­signer) and the book Sis­ter Out­sider by Au­drey Lorde has helped me un­der­stand how the per­sonal is po­lit­i­cal.

WHAT'S MOST CHAL­LENG­ING ABOUT THE CRE­ATIVE BUSI­NESS IN SOUTH AFRICA?

Find­ing suit­able ar­ti­sans in JoHo. Pro­duc­tion has been based in the Cape, mak­ing op­er­a­tional costs high. Stay­ing in­spired and pas­sion­ate are my big­gest chal­lenges.

WHERE IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU LIVE IF NOT HERE?

Morocco.

WHAT'S BEEN MOST MEM­O­RABLE TO YOU?

Be­com­ing a par­ent and par­tic­i­pat­ing in the San­lam Hand­made Contemporary Fair in 2017.

DE­SCRIBE YOUR PER­SONAL STYLE?

“High-street” is a term I can use to de­scribe my style.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE STYLE QUOTE?

“Com­fort over ev­ery­thing”.

WHAT DID YOU WEAR TO YOUR FIRST IN­TER­VIEW WHEN YOU WERE STILL FIND­ING YOUR­SELF?

A pair of jeans and my high school 8-eye Doc Martens.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO STUDY?

I had no idea. I wanted a gap year, but ended up do­ing a graphic de­sign de­gree.

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