- What is the name of your business and how long has it been around
- The business started in November 2019, although formally our first launch was in January 2020
- How did the idea for your business come about?
We have always been lovers of accessories but having in baby girl in 2018 ignited the love for children’s accessories. We started off making accessories for my daughter and the idea came from there.
- Can you provide us with a description of your business?
Oh!P makes and sell children’s accessories. We are currently focused on hair accessories with the view of adding other products – our planning has been significantly been impacted by Covid.
- Who is the person(s) behind your business and what is your background (ie education, work experience, life experience)?
Oh!P is sister owned by two Durbanites currently based in JHB:
- Philisiwe Hlongwa
My family of 4 is based in the North of Johannesburg. I am a 35 year old mom of two; my son is 4,5 and my daughter is 2. With Covid, the kids are home full time and we have made the decision for them not to return to school this year.
I am an Admitted Attorney, having completed my LLB at UKZN. Post articles I chose not to practice law and I’ve spent the last 12 years in Professional Services working in the Legal and Finance Sectors. I formally left professional services last year September and have since worked as an Independent Consultant whilst building my own businesses.
- Phumelele Mbatha
Phume is young, dynamic 27 year old based in JHB. She is also a UKZN alumni, having completed her Bachelors in Public Administration majoring in Economics. She’s spent her career in retail and is passionate about the whole retail value chain.
- Do you have a team behind the scenes or are you a one woman show?
We are currently a team of two.
- How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? How do you balance work and family?
When I worked full time I used to complain about the crazy hours; leaving home early in the morning and coming back in the evenings with a pile of work to do at home. Being an entrepreneur, the hours are still the same, the only upside is that I can plan my hours around my family needs and I’m missing out on much less (even though it means pushing all the work to after bedtime).
- What motivates you?
Providing for my family and creating a lasting legacy for my children.
- How do you define success?
I think the concept of success has been evolving for me. In my season of motherhood, success means raising well-adjusted kids whilst finding fulfilment for myself in my individual capacity. It means letting go of my own preconceived notions on how life should be and embracing what makes me and my family happy even if that comes with an element of uncertainty.
- What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Being agile and adaptable during the lockdown to ensure that our business survives during this unprecedented period.
- What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Hands down meeting and building relationships with some phenomenal women who have been instrumental to our growth.
- What are your future aspirations for this business?
- Creating a strong brand that has mass appeal
- Extending our product range
- Becoming a corporate citizen that actively embraces social responsibility
- If you had a magic wand, which are the three things you would change in the world?
I would ensure Equality and social justice