Throwing Shaka’s With Jess – Founder Of VOCAP

Hailing from the deep south, Jess, a Cape Town local, opted to create a company centred around the South African slang language and customs – enter VOCAP.

VOCAP is a range of caps and beanies with funky slang words and gestures printed on them. Check out what Jess had to say about running her own business below

Who is VOCAP and how did you get started?

Vocap was born from a love of words and headwear – Hence Vo (Vocabulary) and Cap. I saw that there was room for South African slang to be the focus on headwear and things developed from there. The fact that brands put their logos as the focus of their headwear products was something that I wanted to change.

Vocap was just a thought at the end of 2019 and life got busy after I got a batch of samples done in early 2020. During Level 2 of lockdown, after I had done all the spring cleaning and baked all the banana bread, I began planning Vocap again in earnest. It was either that or TikTok

It kind of all happened within a few weeks and was a breeze, to be honest. I suppose with very little distractions, given the pandemic, I was able to focus most of my attention on getting Vocap up and running.

Starting a new business is always daunting and non-stop, how do you manage a work/life balance?

I have tried my hand at a few ventures in the past, so I always know what I am getting myself into. I wouldn’t say I fall into the trap of procrastination or paralysis by analysis so that helps a ton in the beginning stages of anything, especially a start up! I also have a healthy relationship with any new venture I dabble in. I understand that to make something a success, you need to be pumped to work on it, it can’t be a half-hearted attempt and at times, we may need to step away from the project and reassess or let things simmer.

I am not afraid to take a few hours off to go for a nice long surf or a sneaky Wednesday evening beer because I understand that is part of the creative process, and at the end of the day, those breaks are more beneficial than initially realized. So I suppose it comes down to being aware of the expectations we put upon ourselves and managing those in a healthy way.

What are your 3 fav products from your range and where can we browse them?

I love the shaka peaks because it’s such a universal greeting and I always throw shakas! I really like the Elbow Bump greeting peaks too – They’re so iconic for the times we’re living in. Beanie wise, I am a big fan of anything in the Burgundy!

All the Vocap products are available on the online store –www.vocap.co.za

What’s in store for the future of VOCAP?

Ooooh, so much. I really have to try not do too much too quickly! It’s baby steps in a fledgling start up. I have some kiddies peaks and beanies, and an exercise/running style peak coming soon, some rad chunky beanies in the pipeline and even something for the surfers in production

Any advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs? Or what was the best advice you were given?

I think the key is to simply start. No excuses.

Start with whatever you have – It doesn’t have to be perfect right from the start. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, advice or input when you need it – It takes a village. Celebrate the small victories – they add up to the larger milestones.

Thanks Jess! Check out their Instagram below

Images by Leah Kay

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