‘The main objective is to build sustainable wealth and to leave a legacy ‘- Zano Sithetho

Updated on 27 January 2016

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'The main objective is to build sustainable wealth and to leave a legacy '-

Company Profile
Name of company: Skorzch
Years in existence: 5 years
Position: Creative Director
Location: Kempton Park, Gauteng

Can you tell us a little bit about your company and what you do?
Skorzch is a menswear brand launched in May 2011. The initial idea was to create clothes for young professionals but, over time, we found our identity and have since been doing tailoring for men. Our main focus is to create the perfect suit for an individual based on their physique and interest using our expertise.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background – personal, educational and professional?
I’m from the Eastern Cape from a small town called Stutterheim. I pretty much spent most of my childhood there. I’m from a family of five children, I was the middle child and the only son.

I matriculated in 2004 and moved to Johannesburg in 2005 to look for a job. I got into an internship programme with Liberty Life and landed a job thereafter, however, I only lasted for about a year there. I resigned and decided to pursue business. After years of trial and error, I launched a clothing company making custom suits.

“There are more important things in life than money”

What were some of the obstacles you faced starting out, and how did you overcome them?
Lack of funding and support were some of the challenges we faced but my biggest obstacle was the lack of knowledge and experience – firstly with running a business and secondly with making suits.

I had to get a mentor to advise and guide me with the business aspect. I did a lot of reading of business-related books and magazines and watched documentaries on how fashion brands are built. I also learnt the trade by downloading and watching videos on tailoring and somehow taught myself the trade. Finding the right calibre of people to work with and keeping them was also valuable.

How many people does your company employ?
Skorzch currently has 4 employees.

What is your overall vision for your business?
One of our goals is to master the suit. We also want to operate as a full bespoke brand and open a number of outlets in South Africa. One of the plans in the near future is to branch out into Africa. We are building Skorzch to be a lifestyle brand so there are other products we planning to launch soon.

What do you think it takes to establish and run a successful business in South Africa?
It takes a lot of ambition and drive, focus and self-motivation. It’s also pivotal to have a lot of industry-related knowledge. If you’re in an industry that requires you to interact with people then you have to make sure your people skills are above par. What’s also worked for me is to dress like the business I want to build. This helps to portray a futuristic and forward-driven idea to your clients and those watching from afar.

How did you finance your business, how difficult or easy was the process?
I built the brand from the ground up with no financial assistance. It was very difficult, draining and demotivating at times. But the experience shapes one and helps you to develop a backbone as an individual. I learnt from an early-stages the importance of making a profit and religiously reinvesting it into the business.

When did you know that you were an entrepreneur?
From a young age I’ve always wanted to be independent. I’ve always wanted to run a business but I guess it fully settled in when I was alone in Johannesburg and running a business was the only option I had.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I am a hard worker and lead by example. I try my best to bring out the best in my team. There’s obviously deadline times where I can become quite aggressive with my team, but overall I try to inspire greatness in them.

What three pieces of advice would you offer young entrepreneurs starting out today?

– Go into business with a plan in mind.

– The main objective is to build sustainable wealth and to leave a legacy. Making a quick buck doesn’t often at times work out well.

– Focus on your goals and don’t lose yourself in the rat race.

– There are more important things in life than money, always have those in check at all times, whether business is good or not:  your family, your health, your spirituality.

What do you wish you had known starting out?
Self-discipline – it’s what makes a business grow.

And finally, do you believe in luck, hard work or both?
The harder you work, the luckier you get.

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