PhindiK, established five years ago by couple Phindi and Tshepo Kgaudi, is an international brand of SA leather shoes with a distinctive trademark of a red sole. PhindiK caters for a niche market. It boasts high profile clients, SA celebrities and many other international personalities with a flair for high street fashion.
Please tell us more about your business (PhindiK), when was it started and what inspired it?
The brand PhindiK was started during April 2008. This came at the right time as we will be five years old next month. The brand is the brainchild of myself hence the name PhindiK and the K is Tshepo Kgaudi who is my husband and my partner in the business. It all started with the love I had for shoes. I did my research and there were no quality shoes in the industry.
All the shoes were from China and they were killing us when it comes to quality. The only shoes that you can find in the industry are made of upper leather or plastic and they are not good for the foot so I bounced the idea of starting our own brand with Tshepo and he fully supported it. We are both interior designers by profession so it was a no brainer that we decided to take our designs to Brazil.
We found a factory that was prepared to manufacture our own designs of quality shoes made of leather. We opened one store in Northcliff followed by three more the following year. We have one store in Centurion and two others in Pretoria and Durban. Due to recession and the demand for more stores we’ve decided to strictly sell our brand online to satisfy all customers all over SA and abroad.
Who are your clients at the moment?
Our clients are professionals all over SA. We have from matriculants, musicians, celebrities, doctors, business people and the working class of Mzansi (South Africa).
What is the biggest mistake that people make in business and how do you avoid that?
The biggest mistake people make is not to plan ahead. In every business you need to put aside 6 months staff salary and rent for rainy days because you’ll never know what’s coming ahead like the recession caught us by surprise. We’ve learnt from that and by going online at least there are no overheads and we can sell all over the world now. You go to our website and you choose the shoes, you pay and we courier. The following day your shoes will be at your doorstep. There is no delivery charge if you are based in Gauteng (Johannesburg).
What do you look for in a business partner?
I look for someone with good business acumen, someone who knows how to communicate with people and someone with chutzpah.