Nubian Queen on 101 is a niche, quality and exclusive online boutique store, specialising in genuine leather handbags and accessories, all designed and made from the heart of Johannesburg, Gauteng in South Africa.
The brand offers a range of contemporary genuine leather bags that bridges the gap between high street and luxury brands. The carefully selected crafted pieces are designed and created by founder and managing director Susan Granger.
What is the story behind the name Nubian Queen on 101?
Nubian Queen on 101 has been inspired by my lavish taste for art and style and the compelling desire to bring quality bags to everyone despite their social or economic status.
Our brand designs are stylish, affordable, versatile and timeless and are not dictated by trends.
Besides your frustration at not finding an affordable leather bag, what else informed your decision to create Nubian Queen on 101?
I always wanted to make a difference in the community I live in and running a successful business has become my doorway to achieving this.
One day, I would like to provide help and tangible assistance that will inspire other start-ups. I know how it feels to look for help, especially when it seems like no one is interested.
What were the biggest teething problems you experienced starting out and what are some of the pressing issues you encounter presently?
The truth is I am so grateful that I did not struggle at all when I started because I had done my research and planning before I launched the company. I recall on launch day a friend of mine asked me, “Is there anything you didn’t think about before today?” My answer was simply nope, because I had planned everything leading to the day.
My pressing issues at the moment is securing funds for expansion. I have self-funded up to this point, but for me to get to the next stage of growth I need to buy my own factory equipment.Susan Granger: Running a successful business has become my doorway to make a difference Click To Tweet
80% of your workforce who make the bags are women. Was this an intentional decision on your part or a purely coincidental one?
Before I started NQ, I always wanted to empower other women through jobs. So during one of my several visits to the factories I met a woman who fully understood my vision. When she mentioned 80% of the work staff were women —many of whom were breadwinners— I knew I found the place to call home until I could afford to own my own equipment.
In an interview, you mentioned you didn’t have a team save for the outsourced factory staff. How have you been able to manage Nubian Queen on 101 without one?
My family members have been my support centre. Most evenings are set aside to do admin work and then during the day I make sure orders were processed.
My daughter, Nicola has been my greatest source of support. She is studying law, and during her free time, she covers for me. I’m very grateful to her and the help she’s given me.Susan Granger didn't struggle when she started @nubianon101 because she had done her research Click To Tweet
How have you been able to ensure the craftsmanship remains consistent since quality control is a major struggle facing many entrepreneurs on the continent?
This is the amazing thing about an exclusive brand that is locally made. Everything is very contained.
Our quality control and craftsmanship are consistent because we do not make hundreds of bags at a time. That is our niche.
Aside from setting up retail outlets across Africa, what else does the future hold for Nubian on 101?
The long-term goal for Nubian Queen on 101 is to collaborate and extend into other branches of fashion, like shoes and clothing while establishing our boutique stores globally.
My biggest passion and purpose is to empower African women through job creation.
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