Melenial is all about celebrating our fellow Black sistas doing it for themselves. Nothing more powerful and inspiring than a womxn making waves in her own right. Simbongile recently introduced me to a fellow sista paving her fashion path. After seeing her business Own It Intimate Wear on the gram, I was sold. I had to get to know the mastermind behind the intimates brand, Tlhogi Letsholonyane.
When did Own It Intimate Wear start?
OWN IT INTIMATE WEAR started trading in August 2015. The business was registered in November 2013.
Why the name OwnItIntimateWear?
I’ve always wanted to start an intimate wear brand, the name is inspired by what I was going through at the time. I felt like I needed to own my future, own my career, own my body and love it a bit more.
Take us through the production/manufacturing process (if you have one)?
Trends research – Design phase – sample evaluation – financial viability – production/manufacturing – then deliveries a pretty simple process that just requires patience and attention to detail.
Where do you see Own It Intimate Wear in the next 5-10years?
I see OWN IT as a brand that’s known all over the world, with stores in all the capital cities up against Victoria’s Secret in terms of product category and competitors.
What sets Own It Intimate Wear apart?
What’s sets the brand apart for me is fabric,fit and authenticity. All our images are our own, we create content to post on social media, it’s not as easy as a screen grab and post. Product is made by South Africans, it’s not as easy as a Chinese import if you know what I mean. I studied fashion and have got extensive experience in retail and fashion so as the business owner, my experience puts the business at an advantage. A lot of time and research has gone into starting the brand.
Thoughts on SA’s current fashion industry status, particularly for Black women?
Right now I think the industry is having a tough time, some designers are struggling to keep an open shop, prices to manufacture and the price of producing quality product has gone up. It’s a tough economic time for everyone. The industry has great potential and will definitely grow to be bigger and better.
Beauty and fashion secret?
I am such a minimalist, I have so many other things to stress about. I honestly don’t stress about what I wear or what colour lipstick to buy next. I stick to mostly black jeans/heels/top. My beauty secret is maybe having a healthy diet, lots of water, concealer for my dark rings around my eyes and a great mascara oh and DCT for my lips. I also don’t like stressing about my hair so most of the time I’m in braids.
Tell us more about the woman (Tlhogi) behind Own It Intimate.
Tlhogi is just a little girl at heart, trying to make her dreams come true. I believe in magic and handwork and my ultimate goal is just to live the life of my dreams, to teach and educate people about financial freedom and the importance of creating OUR OWN!
What’s your definition or description of Girl Boss and Black Girl Magic?
Girl boss/black girl magic to me is a girl who has realized her talents and self inside out and works hard at creating what her heart wants fearlessly! That’s magic…its magic when you follow your heart, work hard and produce excellent work. Independence and success is magic, giving back to family/community is magic/loving people and loving what you do is magic. Fear is the enemy, so actually girl boss/black girl magic is the opposite of fear.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received and from whom?
“Sell your customer value, listen and talk less. Help the customer buy.” From an incredible sales man I was training under recently.
How do you juggle your business and the other things that you do?
I take them on as they come. I have sleepless nights at times but a job is a job and my business has to stay afloat so I usually neglect everything else that comes in-between my work and my business. I don’t have many friends and I see my family every other day so there’s no neglect there which keeps me happy and motivates me to work hard. Their support is everything.
What’s your greatest fear and dream/passion?
My greatest fear is anything mediocre/ an okay life. I want to live the life of my dreams. My biggest dream is living in a world where every little girl and boy is given the assistance/support needed to make their dreams come true and to help make the world a better place.
Thoughts on feminism?
I’m a feminist in love with the alpha male and whatever he has to bring to the table. I appreciate it and will acknowledge it.❤️
Thoughts on social media and business?
Integrated social media + Business = Magic(love) ❤️?
What are you looking forward to this year with Own It Intimate Wear?
I’m looking forward to a grand collection, inspiring women to create and start their own and empowering women by means of employment.
Greatest achievement thus far?
Recently resigned from a job that was limiting and I couldn’t run OWN IT the way I needed too. I feel hella liberated but I’m as woke as ever! I’m not resting until my dream comes true.