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Passion for fashion pays off

Fashion
Zinhle Mqadi, the daughter of well-known businessman Max of Max’s Lifestyle, runs her own boutique at Musgrave Shopping Centre. Picture: Zanele Zulu

THE apple never falls far from the tree, and this has proven true for young businesswoman Zinhle Mqadi, who, like her famous father, is venturing into the world of entrepreneurship with vigour.

Just 24, Zinhle, the daughter of Max Mqadi - the owner of the popular spot Max’s Lifestyle in uMlazi - runs her own boutique at Musgrave Centre.

Zinhle, who did need a helping hand from her father, says she prepared herself for a life of being her own boss while she was still a management and communications student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Zinhle Mqadi, the daughter of well-known businessman  Max of Max’s Lifestyle, runs her own boutique at Musgrave Shopping Centre. Picture: Zanele ZuluZinhle Mqadi, the daughter of well-known businessman  Max of Max’s Lifestyle, runs her own boutique at Musgrave Shopping Centre. Picture: Zanele Zulu

Already on her second business, Zinhle first sold swimwear online through the Wild Rose Boutique, a venture she started with her friend and business partner Thando Tsekiso.

The business rapidly moved on from just website clicks and advertising on Instagram and eventually they opened a boutique in Glenwood.

Her new venture, the Musgrave boutique - which sells high-end dresses, shoes, bags and accessories - is called Seventy Two, named in honour of her late mother, Linda Diya, in a reference to the year she was born.

Zinhle worked with her father soon after completing her degree.

This enabled her to gain skills in financial management, accounts and bookkeeping.

“We all (siblings) have plans to run our own businesses. Even while I was at university, I knew I would not look for a job because my plan was to get experience from the family business, then branch out to start my own business.

“I’ve always wanted to be my own boss,” said Zinhle.

Zinhle imports much of her goods from Asia, often travelling there to stock up her shelves with the latest fashions.

“I travel a lot, mainly to Asia to buy goods.

"Travelling there has helped me because I have established relationships with suppliers. They know they can trust me.

“When I started out, I just wanted to sell bags. I love bags and I have a whole cupboard full of them.

“My father advised me to add clothing so that customers would have a variety.

“It was good advice because a person who doesn’t take a bag may well buy shoes or a dress,” she said.

Working for her father prepared her for her own business, which was now doing well and marginally profitable.

“I learnt a lot from my dad. He gave me a lot of good advice and is the only person I trust fully.

“I did the accounts, handling bookkeeping for his business, and still do.

"It prepared me and taught me financial management. I can now manage my own finances.

“When I opened the boutique, my father paid for my trips overseas for the first two months.

“After that, I became independent because I was making a profit and could afford my own trips.

“The business is doing well - there has never been a month where I could not pay the rent, which is something I worried about when I started,” she said.

She said that being the daughter of a well-known businessman had its benefits.

“There’s good foot traffic at the Musgrave Centre. I also use social media to market and sell stock online,” she said.

Zinhle has nearly 40000 Instagram followers and often uses the platform to showcase the new bags, shoes and dresses available at her store.

“Some people come in to buy because they know my father. They say they want to see what the daughter of Max has to offer, so his name does work to my advantage,” said Zinhle.

But she says the profits that she makes are spent carefully - paying for her trips abroad to restock and paying the two staffers she employs at Seventy Two.

“I am very careful about spending money on useless things. I am very professional with the profit I have been making. I invest it in the business.

“Like in any other business, there’s competition but I am always on top of my plan, I make sure I provide my customers with the best shopping experience,” she said.

She dreams of expanding her business portfolio throughout South Africa, making Seventy Two a household South African brand.

www.72online.co.za

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