How Blaque Pearl Lifestyle Capitalised On Their Big TV Break

Posted on November 1st, 2017

How Blaque Pearl Lifestyle Capitalised On Their Big TV Break

Entrepreneurs flock to reality television series’ like Dragons Den South Africa or Shark Tank to gain investment and exposure for their startups – with the hope of making it into the big time.

Those who succeed, however, can find it challenging to maintain the momentum after the cameras have turned off.

Blaque Pearl Lifestyle founders, Siyabesho Thutha and Zimkita Sidumo, are among the fortunate. The duo was able to extend their 15 minutes of fame after a successful stint on a local decor reality show.

The Johannesburg-based interior design and decor company was founded in 2014.

A few months after launching their business, Sidumo was chosen for SABC 3’s ‘Win A Home Design Edition’, a design and decor show which challenges some of the country’s best young interior designers to put their design skills to the test.

Thutha says being chosen for the show was a welcome surprise.

“Honestly, that was an unexpected ‘break’ into the interior design and décor industry. Zimkita literally received the call three days before the show was due to start shooting! We expected that it would be that one ticket that our company needed to be catapulted into the industry and from then on all opportunities would be open to Blaque Pearl Lifestyle,” says Thutha.

Ups And Downs
Sidumo went on to make the finals of the show. Following her success, Sidumo says she feared that Blaque Pearl wouldn’t be able to keep the momentum going.

“Initially it was a worry because my expectation after being on the show and making it to the top three of the competition, was [there would be] opportunities for Blaque Pearl.”

This fear was, however, short-lived. They have since gone on to showcase their work in home and decor publications like ‘SA Home Owner’ and were featured on Top Billing during while on Win A Home, and KayaFM. They were also invited to participate in a Man Cave design competition at the 2016 DecorEx exhibition.

Blaque Pearl Lifestyle boasts an extensive client list including radio personality, Anele Mdoda. They have also done work in various working spaces, including education institutions like the African Leadership Academy, and corporate and doctors’ offices.

Recently the founders were chosen for Vusi Thembekwayo’s inaugural My Growth Fund programme’s Top 40, a programme which aims to nurture high-growth entrepreneurs through funding, incubation and enterprise development.x

Speaking of her television experience, Sidumo says apart from the much-needed exposure, she also gained invaluable skills.

“I actually gained so much more than I had anticipated in terms of skills, project management and interpersonally as an aspiring interior designer and decorator. Working on a live major construction site and the project management experience is also definitely invaluable.”

Thutha says this exposure gave their business the confidence and credibility to compete with the best in the design industry.

“That definitely gives some competitive edge with other young interior design and décor companies. It has also given Blaque Pearl Lifestyle more respect from our peers and potential clients. We have managed to capitalise on the opportunities from that exposure and it’s an experience that we continue to leverage off until today, so we’re still riding the momentum long after the show.”