Born in rural Mpumalanga in a small town called Bushbuckridge, Trecia Makhubele, co-founder of Bohochic, is a graduate from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls. In 2016, she went on to achieve her undergraduate degree in Politics and international studies.
Trecia is currently a Penultimate year law student at Rhodes University where she tutors law first-yearear students and works as a law library assistant. Trecia is passionate about entrepreneurship and believes that it is ordinary South Africans that will be able to create jobs in SA.
SLA contributor Jeanette Nkwana interviewed this young South African entrepreneur, this is how it went.
How did Bohochic and your partnership with the co-founder come about?
Bohochic, like most black owned businesses in SA, was born from a desperate need for financial stability. Rue, my friend and co-founder, and I found it difficult to go to residence trips to buy appropriate clothing for court visits and textbooks because our parents were just not able to provide us with everything that we needed.
Instead of accepting our financial situation, we each started our own businesses, mine being Spiritus Mundi designs and Rue’s being Rude-soul chains, making jewellery. However,separately we were not making enough money to sustain ourselves. We then looked at trends and realised there was a growing fascination for crochet clothing. Having had basic crochet skills, we read blog posts and watched YouTube videos and soon we had a couple of designs. Once we were confident enough with the idea, we abandoned our businesses and used their respective profits to start Bohochic.
What are some of the challenges of working with a partner and how do you personally deal with them?
For some reason, we both work really well together and have never had any major fights to date. I think it’s all about finding someone you have a good chemistry with. Both Rue and I luckily found that in each other.'Good chemistry is important in a partnership - Trecia Makhubele' Click To Tweet
Another reason we hardly face any challenges in this partnership is the consistent brutal honesty between us. If for example, someone makes something ugly, the other is not afraid to speak up. The receiving party does not take it personally either. It simply becomes a laughing matter! This is perhaps due to the fact that we are also friends and thus know each other well.
You value your academic career, how do you deal with the pressures coming from school and entrepreneurship?
We made a pact that no matter how big Bohochic gets, we would not let it take up more space in our lives than our academics. At the beginning our timetables allowed us to split our times to ensure our academic lives did not suffer. Of late, the business has become too big as we are now doing post-graduate studies which requires more of our time.
This has. undoubtedly, put a lot of pressure on both of us. We have decided to start a skills development programme in Grahamstown which allows us to teach a number of people how to crochet so that they can eventually come on board as our employees and do the actual crocheting. This will lessen our burden of making each order and help families like our own by way of job creation.Bohochic is more than a brand dedicated to making money, we want to uplift our communities Click To Tweet
You are also a YouTuber, how has this helped with the success of Bohochic?
Bohochic is more than just a brand dedicated to making money. It is about showing young people like ourselves that social media can be used to uplift ourselves and communities.
Through our tutorials and videos, we hope to get people thinking. We want to show them that there are awesome business ideas that do not require large sums of money to execute. We have been able to fulfill this mandate through our YouTube channel as most of our viewers are students like ourselves.
What is the most fulfilling thing about what you do?
The financial independence.
Nothing is more fulfilling than being able to buy a bus ticket to school or that ridiculously expensive textbook without having to put pressure on our families.
What do you think your customers value most about Bohochic?
The creativity that goes into the products we make. We do not just make crochet tops, we take the time to research and see what people are into and translate that into each crochet item.Bohochic looking to expand from crochet tops and chokers to Bohochic Kids and Home. Click To Tweet
What can we look forward to from Bohochic this year?
Growth, lots of it. We have dedicated so much time to improving our craft. This year we will see the finalization and launch of Bohochic Kids and Bohochic Home.
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