This month I had a chat with my dear friend, a fabulous woman of many talents, whom you might have seen pon de stylish streets of Joburg, and wondered “who is she”. Well, Vuyiswa Mutshekwane, aka Vie has quite a few titles under her belt, blogger, co-founder of our favourite fashionable brunch The WKND Social, but today’s Q&A is about this lovely lady being the fashion marketing machine behind African online platform Kisua.
Q: What did you study?
I did a BCOM PPE – Politics, Philosophy and Economics at UCT and a marketing post grad with UNISA which I never actually completed because distance learning just really isn’t my thing.
Q: How did you get into this line of work?
I always loved retail and design. I got my first retail job at age 14 and soon after, as the wave of African fashion swept over South Africa, I worked at Sun Goddess where I managed the store in Rosebank, got involved behind the scenes with the fashion shows and did some of the design. It was such an exciting time in the local design industry and a very natural fit for me aesthetically and ideologically. I loved being a part of a start-up, working in a creative environment and playing a part in shifting perceptions around African fashion. After varsity I got accepted into Edcon’s Merchant Development Program and trained intensively in buying and planning before eventually opening up my own boutique.
What does your job entail? And what does your typical day entail?
I am currently head of Marketing and Sales for KISUA. Being a start-up, it is a very diverse role that includes: retail strategy (pricing, product mix, visual merchandising etc), marketing, sales, social media and content creation, PR, event coordination and a whole lot of hustling. I am always on the look-out for new ideas and opportunities that can add value to the company or improve the existing systems so it is an ever-changing role.
Q: Your favourite thing about your job and what you hate most about it?
I love the new people I meet all the time who are not necessarily from the same industry. I also love that the company is still young so every day presents an opportunity to learn and problem solve. Hate is a strong word and I don’t think there is anything I hate about it but I often wish I could duplicate myself 3 or 4 times over, it would make life a lot easier.
Q: Was this what you always imagined or wanted to do? If not, what did you think you would be doing?
I didn’t spend a lot of time imagining what I would do in detail. I knew that I wanted to make an impact on the world and the continent, be a successful entrepreneur and travel as much as possible. Everything else in between was a means to an end.
Q: Any wise words for anyone looking to get into what you’re doing?
There are many nuggets of wisdom I could share based on my personal journey, but you’ll have to buy the book for that 😉
One key thing is that in this industry (and in most I suppose) your network is key – nurture and grow your network and never compromise on integrity, because your reputation is all you have.
To keep up with Vuyiswa and all her fashion fabness, follow her on her various social media platforms here:
twitter – @VieArem
insta – @VieArem