From humble township beginnings to making a splash in the world of jewellery
JOHANNESBURG - From humble beginnings and a life in the township, to travelling the world and making an impact in the jewellery industry through creative, authentic and homegrown designs.
This is the story of Nqobile Nkosi, an entrepreneur who opened his NQ Jewellery factory at the Rand Refinery Estate in Germiston on Thursday.
The opening signifies his successful business growth from a humble start in his first "‘factory" - a three metre sqaure structure built of tin in Soweto in 2007.
“I initially studied engineering and could not complete my studies because there were financial restrictions and so, in 2007, I was introduced to a FET college where I studied jewellery design.”
Nkosi said it was soon after he had enrolled into the institution that he realised he was skilled at both designing and making the jewellery. He added that he became successful and mastered the craft and was soon able to secure facilities.
“In 2009, NQ Jewellery won a community award that enabled us to build a four-room facility in Soweto, which has been the company’s home until this move to Rand Refinery,” he said.
NQ Jewellery moved to the new facilities in Germiston two years ago and the business has since flourished even more by attracting well known brands as clients. He has also travelled the world selling his product.
“The company designs and produces custom-made, high-end jewellery that retails at various outlets around the country, including Bryanston Organic Market, Tourvest retail outlets at airports, and at Shishangeni Lodge on Kruger National Park’s border.”
At the opening, Nkosi said opportunities opened for his business when he was crowned Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016.
He said through Tsogo Sun, he has since launched his first corporate division, designing, manufacturing and supplying high quality items such as key rings, cufflinks, jacket pins and trophies.
Nkosi also trains upcoming jewellery makers and has now employed eight people in his lucrative business.
He has also given credit to his business success to his partner, Jerry Nkeli, the first black paraplegic person to qualify as an attorney and the founder of Jerry Nkeli & Associates law firm, who invested in NQ Jewellery and is chairman of the company.
“This is significant because as up to 80 percent of jewellery sold in South Africa is imported. This is certainly only the beginning, there is more. The government needs to realise that there are opportunities for jewellery in the country that can be capitalised on,” he concluded.
- African News Agency