Ooh, but we do love ourselves a sustainable yet fashionable brand, especially a local one!
We spoke with Angeliz Venter, of KiCoco and KiCoco Kids, to find out more about her brands, as well as what it is like being a badass entrepreneur, shuffling a day job and her passion!
Hi Angeliz! Welcome to the boss babe blog on HEYBOO! Please can you tell us more about yourself and how you came to start the brands KiCoco and KiCoco Kids?
I am a 24-year-old South African and the owner and CEO of Kicoco Pty Ltd in South Africa. I started the brand in 2016 as part of my studies for a B.Consumer Science: Clothing Retail Management degree at the University of Pretoria. We had to do 200 production hours and I started making baby clothes as a part of that. I named my business “Little Gentlemen” focusing mainly on clothing for baby boys as I identified a gap in the market for cute boy clothes in-store. People started showing interest outside of the university and I decided to do small markets and baby expos for extra money to travel and save to invest in the business further. I soon realized that this venture could be more than just a hobby and I used my savings to expand and stock small boutiques all over South Africa.
In 2019 I decided to rebrand and change our name to KiCoco, which is inspired by kids and coconuts around the world, because who doesn’t love that Island vibe? We expanded to baby, toddler, kids and in 2020 even adult ranges.
We aim to empower all local communities, by using a small CMT (cut, make and trim) factory in Thembisa (a township in Gauteng, South Africa) and also making use of at-home seamstresses that gets paid a fair wage per unit. Especially now with the economic environment and Covid-19, it’s been so beneficial for us and our employees that can sew from the comfort of their homes. KiCoco aims to keep production in South Africa and source most of our fabric in SA.
We see you are a very sustainable and responsible brand. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
We aim to keep all our production in South Africa and source all our raw materials in SA. We also want to reduce our wastage, therefore we repurpose all our offcuts into new designs and smaller pieces are used as pillow stuffing, our new babysitting ring stuffing and stuffing for local Gauteng orders for bean bags.
Ok, so, what are the top 3 items are must-haves from your stores?
My top 3 items that I live in 24/7 is my black set of KiCoco Comfies, a black cropped KiCoco tracksuit and then any colour of KiCoco sweat shorts. I work from home and love the comfortable, yet stylish feel of our loungewear.
What is a typical day in the life like for an entrepreneur such as yourself?
I think the thing that intrigues me the most is the fact that every day can look different when you are an entrepreneur. I also have a full-time “day job” so most of my efforts into KiCoco happens after work in the evenings, the weekends and sometimes even before work in the mornings. The one constant factor of being an entrepreneur is the fact that it never stops. There is always something to do or sort out.
Where can one find KiCoco and KiCoco Kids to purchase your lovely creations?
KiCoco for adults is mostly available online at www.kicocoshop.com and our kids wear are available online as well and Oh my Baby Boutique in Menlyn Mall. We stock smaller shops around South Africa, for example, the tourist shops in Kruger National Park, but it is always encouraged to also shop online as we can guarantee what is in stock.
Any advice for up-and-coming female entrepreneurs in a similar industry to yours?
There are so many small tips and advice I can give, but the most important is to keep going! It gets really difficult and in the beginning, your good times, will be less than your “bad” or slow times, but just keep pushing through, innovating and creating.
Get to know Angeliz:
Who is your SHEro?
I have SO many as I take away different aspects from each. But ultimately I have to say Chiara Ferrangi. She is such a go-getter, works hard and balances her family life as well. She is on my vision board! 😉
Pizza or pasta?
Pizza! My favourite is a breakfast pizza!
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I am honestly happy in South Africa! Me and my partner recently had the opportunity to decide if we want to stay in SA or leave and we decided to stay. Things can get a bit tough here, but the freedom we have in SA and the different natures scenes, you can’t find anywhere else in the world!
What would you sing at karaoke night?
I have never partaken in a karaoke night! I am so shy when it comes to things like that! But I do like to karaoke in the car to Britney or Shakira!
Quote you live by?
This quote has been my WhatsApp status since 2016. “you just have to trust your own madness” by Clive Barker. A lot of times people told me I am “mad” for doing certain things when I knew it would work. Therefore I believe you should listen to advise, but also trust your own gut instinct and act on it!
Check out KiCoco’s Instagram below ↯
For more on inspiring women, check out our HEYBOO Chats blog here.