Placing her refreshing stamp on nostalgic design, actress and motivational speaker, Leandie du Bosch’s love of vintage wear inspired her to start her own fashion line. A year later and Skoonma clothing has grown from a ten-item collection to a flourishing brand, taking Leandie’s business from the heart of Potchefstroom to the hub of the online retail world. ‘Skoonma’, when translated from Afrikaans, means ‘mother-in-law’ – a name that perfectly fits Leandie’s label as the anchoring stitches of her company were tacked together by her very own skoonma.
What inspired you to start your company?
I love being different, unique and true to myself. I also love thrift shopping, since what I buy from a thrift store, only I will have. I got so many compliments about my style and everyone wanted to know where I buy my unique jerseys, dresses and skirts. I then realised the need for reinvented vintage and thrift clothing, however, I didn’t do anything about it. In that same year (2016), my wedding gown designer, Kobus Rautenbach, prompted me to start my own clothing line, as I always lent my own ideas to his designs. I was very keen but then immediately thought that it would be too much work. I’m not a designer. How on earth would I do it and who would even buy my clothes? Later that year, my friend Walton Kruger finally convinced me to do it, offering the support of his company, Amiici that runs online stores. My only focus would be to find someone to bring my ideas to life. And as God provides, my then very recent mother-in-law, Marie Bosch, who is excellent at sewing, came to mind. The fact that she was retiring also made her available and willing to create a collection for me. We used some of my late mum’s old patterns as well as some new ones, with the guidance of Kobus Rautenbach. We delivered our first collection on 30 May 2017.
How did it all begin?
I spent three weeks at my skoonma’s house in Potchefstroom during January last year. Together we planned, sewed and did fittings. When the first ten items were complete, I had a photoshoot with our friends and wedding photographers, Picture Me and U at 012central in Pretoria. And there we were, ready to launch our website and our first collection! I wanted to test the waters first, so I only advertised on my social media platforms. As we grew and more people showed interest, I realised that I had to expand because my mother-in-law couldn’t construct clothes on such a large scale. I found Leading Edge – a company in George – and started working with them from July 2017.
What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge initially, was finding a great CMT (garment manufacturer) like Leading Edge and then figuring out ways to keep production going. Since I don’t live in George and this isn’t my full-time job, it also posed a challenge. I had to fly down for planning and fittings twice a month and also transport the material that I buy from Johannesburg to George. Luckily, I began using Aramex for this, which I find to be the best and most trustable courier service.
I think challenges arise as you go and grow, and just taking baby steps and staying calm is the best thing you can do. Also, don’t view criticism as negative and the end of the world. Use it instead to grow bigger and better.
How many hours do you work in a week, on average?
I don’t have a set schedule or work life for that matter – I am an actress, motivational speaker, presenter and owner of Skoonma, so I work all the time but I also never really ‘work’ because I love what I do so much. My work lifestyle and schedule depends on the phase that I’m in and the project I’m working on at that time and what it demands of me – not one day in my life is ever the same. I also do not have an office or anyone to report to. I am my own business and boss.
What drives and motivates you each day?
To be the best I can be and bring joy to myself and other people’s lives.
How do you channel your inner creativity?
I get myself on a frequency of receiving by focusing on what I can be grateful for every day.
What has been the most effective way of marketing your business?
Social media – Instagram and Facebook.
What is the most courageous thing you’ve done as a FEMtrepreneur?
Showing my vulnerability in everything I do – it is also the most rewarding.
How do you achieve a work/personal life balance?
I just do – I make sure to schedule times in my calendar ahead of time where I AM NOT AVAILABLE and then I plan trips away during that time with my husband, family and friends. These dates include my loved ones’ birthdays, public holidays, long weekends and my mother’s death anniversary.
Describe yourself in three words
Passionate, positive and hard working.
What do you love most about your job?
That I am my own boss and that I have flexible hours.
What have you learnt about entrepreneurship on the road to success?
Never take your customer’s feedback on products personally – it’s there to help your business so use it – it’s not a representation of who you are as a person. ALWAYS have people on your team who you can learn from and who are on your side to help you – be grateful for them.
What has been your greatest career achievement thus far?
Being able to have more than one job and to love all of them.
Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you would love to achieve?
To act in international films and television series.
Who do you look up to most and why?
I don’t have one individual as a role model, as we are all unique and what worked for them will never work for me. I have to find my own journey and path. There are many people who are sources of inspiration and they change as I grow and move into different phases of my life.
What advice would you give to other young female entrepreneurs?
Just start! And allow people to help and guide you.
Fun facts about Leandie
|Favourite business tool:||iPhone X|
|My personal style is…||Retro vintage|
|Heels or flats?||Flats|
|Favourite item of clothing you’ve designed?||NOOOO there are too many – depends what day of the week it is.|
|I de-stress by:||Drinking red wine and eating good food with my loved ones|
|Favourite shade of lipstick:||Red|
|Book recommendation:||Good to Great by Jim Collins|
|The print and fabric I love working with most…||Velvet and floral chiffon|
|I love accessorising with…||Lipstick, colourful shoes and tassel earrings|
|Favourite coffee haunt or restaurant:||Seattle’s Café Mocha and Restaurant Sevruga in Cape Town.
Augusta Grill and Vorsters Coffee in George.
|If you had an unlimited budget, where would you shop?||Zara|
|Dream destination:||New York|
|The one thing required for success is…||Gratitude and God|
Leandie proves that you can live out all your dreams if you just set your mind to it. Gifted actress, presenter, model, fashion designer and business owner, this multi-talented FEMtrepreneur cultivates her artistic abilities from seeds of enthusiasm, faith and determination. It’s said that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. In Leandie du Randt Bosch’s case, this is especially true, for she has poured passion into her career and managed to take the ‘irk’ out of work.
Want to shop for your retro-vintage fashion fix?
Visit the Skoonma online store
For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow for Skoonma Clothing on Facebook and Instagram.