DURBAN - Nthabiseng Lephoko is an entrepreneur from Cape Town that is looking to make her mark in the leather industry.
Lephoko's business dubbed Leratolethato manufactures leather products such as bags, accessories and even furniture.
Her handbags range includes wild skins, bovine bags and ostrich bags while her range of accessories, include, wallets for men and women. key holders and even belts.
Leratolethato offers corporate gifts in the form of tablet holders and diary binders and her furniture range includes two types of sofas and leather cushions that match the sofas.
So how did Lephoko start her business? According to the businesswoman, it was through one of her business ventures that she got the idea for Leratothato.
Before Leratothato, Lephoko had two other businesses. The first one is called DLLO events which is an event management company and the second business Silimela Development Services is an economic development consulting firm.
Her company Silimela was awarded a contract to conduct a feasibility study on Skins and Hides manufacturers in South Africa. It was through the study that she realised that there was an opportunity in the leather manufacturing sector and she started Leratothato.
Lephoko said, "I saw Leratolethato as a vehicle to showcase my talent and inspire young creative people who are still in different industries, aspiring to express their creativity".
To start her business, Lephoko used her savings and got a loan from the bank. In the beginning stages of the business, she worked out of a garage with two employees. Now she has a formal business space in Observatory, Cape Town and has six people working for her.
The leather used to make her products is from African Gameskin. According to their website, they have a reputation for being very conservation minded and all hides and skins are sourced from tanners that have a good reputation.
Leratolethato leather products have also been exported to overseas countries. "We have been fortunate to export our leather products to Norway, USA and Japan," said Lephoko.
On her future plans, she said that she is looking forward to becoming the preferred manufacturing supplier in the Southern African region. She added that she wants to have financial growth of more than 300% and increase employment capacity to 24.
She counts Dr Judy Dlamini as her a role model. Dlamini is a qualified doctor and a businesswoman. On Dlamini. Lephoko said, "We share the same passion to make a difference in our communities".
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE