Meet Samkelisiwe Mhlongo, the 31-year old founder of leather goods start-up St Reign. Samkelisiwe is the creative talent behind St Reign and handcrafts all the leather accessories the company produces. She does the designing, pattern-making, cutting, dyeing, and sewing of all her pieces.
Her distaste for mass production drives her love for handmade goods. “If a product will be unique it must be one of a kind, hours and hours put in to create a custom piece… St Reign represents minimal, timeless design,” Samkelisiwe says.
The Durban-based company has only been operating since September last year and it’s products include small purses and wallets for men and women. She says guys, in particular, are drawn to durable, quality leather products and she gets a lot of ladies buying them for their partners.
Start. Just start. No matter what is it you want to do.Start small and don’t be discouraged when no customer/client shows up. So many dreams die because people keep waiting for a perfect opportunity that never comes.
The self-taught designer, who used to own a clothing label, says her hopes for this year are to raise enough funds to go on an intensive leather craft course in Cape Town.
She also wants to launch a line of ladies handbags this year. Samkelisiwe we admire your dedication to your craft. Your work is pure art and we can’t wait to see what next you’ll bring out.
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