Purses and belts by Sinzika Creations.
Nombali Ntuli, 37, founder of Sinzika Creations, a brand which specialises in crocheted purses and belts, takes us through her business journey, from being born in Soweto to studying something she didn’t like to how she spent 15 years working in the corporate world before eventually finding her niche.

Please tell us about your upbringing:

After matric, I unfortunately did not have funds to pursue the studies of my choice, but my parents managed to fund my studies towards a business computing diploma, which is an equivalent to a secretarial course. After that, I worked as a volunteer for three months at the Orlando Children’s Home doing some art work for them besides looking after the kids during the day.

I was fortunate enough to have been accepted to work on contract as a secretary for a major corporate company. I did a lot of the in-house courses and managed to be made permanent and eventually worked myself up to management positions.

Due to unforeseen health reasons, I was unfortunately forced to leave my lucrative corporate career last year.

Sinzika Creations accessories. Picture: Supplied. 

Your endeavours in fashion and as an entrepreneur, how did that come about? 

After leaving my job, I did a lot of active soul-searching, mainly because I had put in a lot of effort and energy into my 15-year corporate career and it was all I had known. During this time, I remembered that I had a passion for art and making things during my short stint at Orlando Children’s Home.

Who taught you to knit?

My mom knits as a hobby and my grandmother, who was a full-time educator, knitted and crocheted professionally on the side. I had always wanted to ask her to teach me but never got to for some reason, and then she passed away. I guess she sowed the seed.

One day when I was taking my mother to buy some wool for her work, she suggested that I take some of it as well I fell head over heels in love with crocheting.

Colourful Sinzika Creations purses. Picture: Supplied. 

You specialise in crocheted accessories such as purses and belts. Why?

I have a very close relationship with my sisters and one day one of them needed a red bag to go with the traditional outfit she was going to wear. So being the wonderful big sister I am, I made the purse for her as a surprise! Her friends liked what they saw and the rest is history.

Now that the business is fully fledged, what are some of the challenges you have faced in the industry?

The business is doing better than I had ever imagined, just from word of mouth. My youngest sister, Nothemba, is a social media butterfly and put my creations on Twitter, telling her friends about the stuff I make and word spreads like wildfire.

I also have an amazing husband and parents who have a natural knack for business and they have been amazing advisers at this early phase of my business.

Belt with matching purse. Picture: Supplied. 

With every brand, there is a goal. What are some of the goals you have for Sizinka Creations and plans to achieve them?

My first love is interior design. That was my focus before making the “surprise purse”, which took on a life of its own. I will eventually bring the interior decor side back. I am also looking at collaborative works with not only local creatives but beyond our borders with fellow African brothers and sisters.

* Connect with Sizinka Creations via Instagram @sizinka_creations