Khaya Angel Matchegue is the owner and founder of Lechero Clothing. She chats to us about her business of making school uniforms. By Fundiswa Nkwanyana
I grew up in a family of women who made clothes. When my siblings and I needed clothes, my mother would buy fabric and sew them for us. As a child, I grew up knowing that there is no need to buy clothes from the shops. It’s beautiful that my grandmother used to make jerseys, my mother used to sew clothes and now I make clothes as well.
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My manufacturing company is focused on making school uniforms. There was a time when I struggled to buy school uniforms for my twins and I decided to put my sewing skills to good use. I saw that there was need to for affordable school uniforms for my community in Nelspruit because I saw other parents struggling. I now work closely with local schools and I make uniforms for the learners. I also work with a designer and we create a range of other clothes.
Participating in an initiative called ENGEN Pitch & Polish in 2016 helped my business.
I took a leap of faith and I registered online to be part of this venture. I’m glad I did because it was very informative especially when it comes to the reality of running a business. When I started my business, I was just doing things hand to mouth but the programme taught me how to build a sustainable business, how to make money and how to spend it.
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I’m excited about the growth of my business. I managed to buy a car for the business and five sewing machines. I’m also in the process of hiring more people because we want to expand and sell our clothes in more provinces. I’m glad that my business helps my community.