Whether there are little girls looking for dresses to emulate their favourite Disney princesses, become flower girls or host tea parties in, fashion house MALIMU Kids has just the solution.
Strictly focused on the production and sale of high-end occasion dresses for young girls, it is a brand like no other. With attention to detail and quality as their utmost priorities, it is clear to see why it has become the go-to for girls’ special occasion dress-up.
MALIMU Kids is the brainchild of 30-year-old business woman, Lillian Keetse. Born into a family of four in the township of Alexandra (Gauteng), Keetse has always been business savvy.
“I’ve practiced entrepreneurship since primary school, just from selling sweets and stickers to my peers,” she recalls.
It is only after her BCom Finance degree and a postgrad in Business Incubation Management however, that she took an interest in kids’ clothing. Using her business shrewdness and qualifications, Keetse decided to tap into the children’s fashion market after seeing how it was underexplored.
Never one to make misinformed decisions, the young entrepreneur did extensive research and travel before actually starting up her business. It is through this research that she was able to identify the specific designs she wanted to focus on.
It was not all smooth sailing from there, Keetse admits. Forthcoming about the hiccups she faced when she initially started, she details how much of a challenge it was to manoeuvre around the issue of funding.
“My current job is in the business of developing small and medium business enterprises. I learnt from engaging with those businesses. It took me over 5 years but I eventually funded everything myself,” she said.
Overcoming such a bump from the onset taught Keetse patience and also sharpened her practical problem solving skills. These are the same skills that she fully utilises in the running of her business today; especially in the current economic climate that has made running a business quite a difficult task.
Due to the volatile nature of our economy, it is too costly for MALIMU Kids to manufacture their garments locally. Keetse, being a trouble-shooter, resolved to have the garments imported, in order to curb costs. Even though the garments themselves are imported, Keetso and her team are still hands on in the final production before the items reach the customer.
Their designs are altered by the team themselves to meet each client’s specific needs. Depending on the dress, layers are added for volume and detail-specific applique is applied. This process affords each individual customer the opportunity to become the character they have dreamt of becoming.
Keetse believes that the aforementioned is what has created a great client base for her business. This is something she prides herself in as an entrepreneur. She also credits social media, as well as family and friends as the driving tools behind her fashion house’s success to an audience as large and vastly different as it has acquired.
Going forward, Keetse looks to develop MALIMU Kids into more than just a fashion house. Her goal is for it to grow into an events and interior design business too.
“We aim big because nothing is impossible if you are determined,” she said.
For orders and enquiries, visit their website: www.malimukids.com or follow @malimukids across all social media platforms. Their WhatsApp number is +27 66 285 6377
~ Thabisile Ngeleka