Prime Obsession Chats Interior Design & Instagram Commerce

 If you’re a South African millennial and you have not heard of this duo, I’d like to know where you’ve been? Shelley and Keneilwe have dualy gone by Prime Obsession for a few years now. Their love and appreciation for art and fashion needed to be expressed and they found that outlet online. From humble Tumblr beginnings to now the most chic thrift store you will find on Instagram, they have built an impressive digital fashion resume for themselves. They answer our questions and reveal tit-bits about E-Commerce turned IG-commerce and their undercover nine-to-five lives.
Melenial: Where does the name Prime Obsession come from? What’s the story behind it? 

 PO: The name prime obsession comes from the fetish we have with fashion. It was basically through a brainstorm and we quickly realized that people actually liked our style and some friends and lecturers encouraged us to start something. The word Prime is associated with words like top-quality, the best, key, supreme and Obsession is basically a fixation, passion, a craze.


We know that you have been working together for a few years now on Prime Obsession, how did the relationship begin? 

Our relationship started in varsity; we met there while doing our first year in interior design and we clicked and started something and here we are now.

How did you know that Instagram would be the best platform to open your thrift store on?

We had no idea that we would actually make such an impact on Instagram, we were really trying it out like all the other social media platforms but it worked out to be the better fit.

The clothing on offer is so well curated, how do you research the market and diagnose what people may buy into? 

We are the market ourselves, so doing research about young people is relatively close to home because we are young ourselves, and we tap into local and international trends now and again and switch them up to create our own look.

Cedric Nzaka

Many people may not know that Prime Obsession is a “side-hustle” for you ladies, what do you do from 9-5 during weekdays? 

Most people really don’t know lol, we are Interior designers.

What is the interior design market and industry like in South Africa?

The interior design industry in South Africa is growing rapidly, more young black people are exploring the industry. In Johannesburg specifically, there are great companies but I think more young people need to be employed.

Are there particular traits that one has to have to really make it in the field? 

Firstly, you need to study for the field, you don’t just wake up and become an interior designer. So, varsity will get you equipped. and any technical knowledge from high school would be great lastly, you need to have a creative flair.

Cedric Nzaka2

Any advice for young women who may not have the avenues in which to get into and explore information about interior designing as a full time job?

 That is the challenge in the country, is that people cannot acquire information prior to doing the actual thing but I guess, get yourself educated about the history of art, familiarize yourself with famous architects, interior designers, industrial designers and follow their work.

What other cool projects and/or collaborations can we expect from Prime Obsession? 

We cant really say much but we are working hard to make our dream a possibility for us and other people as well. Definitely more collaborations and more fashion.