Zank Creations: Taking Zulu Traditional Fashion To The World
Zandile Kunene, Founder of Zank Creations
We sat down this month with Zandile Khunene, founder of Zank Creations and one of our Unearthed Community Leader Programme entrepreneurs. Zank creations is a 100% woman-owned business specialising in Zulu fashion which infuses Zulu and western design.
Q: What inspired you to start your business?
A: We live in an area with very high unemployment and I had to find something to help my family with extra cash flow and also help others in my community. Zank creations is about uplifting the women in my community to be more self-sufficient and proud of what we do.
Q: Where did the idea of Zank Creations come from?
A: I've been thinking about business ideas for ages and really wanted something that would create opportunities and empower woman, I love fashion and being creative and noticed so many women doing traditional craft, clothing and wanted to find a way we could work together by sharing our skills for craft and design. But to be honest I wasn't sure how, I just knew it was something I needed to do.
Zank Creations create a range of fashion and bespoke items infusing Zulu and western cultures
Q: So what is your big vision
A: At the moment, my goal is to get an online shop and increase my orders and continue growing. Everything we make on current orders goes back into my business, so a small increase in sales will free us up to focus on growth. I believe having an online presence and having my own shop one day is the way to go. If I can achieve that, then all the other woman I am working with, who are relying on me will also be successful, then I have done what I hoped to do, empower the woman of my community.
Q: How has the Unearthed Course changed your business?
A: Unearthed has had such a big impact, it's put a whole lot of new energy into my idea and given me the belief that I can do this. I'm now working with crafters from far and wide to source materials and goods. I've also learned that this is a long journey and Unearthed has helped me stay motivated. I learn from nature, nature is always there, it always bounces back, so like nature, I need to persevere, having a business and growing a business is hard work. One of the biggest things I learned on the program though is to have a vision, a goal, I believe in myself now, I know I can do this!
Zandile and her network of skilled crafters create a range of handmade, unique and quality beaded products
Q: So how has business been going for you?
A: It's still very early days for Zank Creations. We still have a long way to go but since the Unearthed Course I have been getting orders from all over KwaZulu-Natal, it's nice to see my products selling and my marketing starting to work. But still lots of room for growth.
Q: How can people order from you?
A) We have a portfolio of what we are creating on our social media page (see this link https://www.facebook.com/ZanK-Creations-100325748722110) or people can simply WhatsApp me on +27 72 290 8494 and place an order. We currently deliver via PEP Stores and are planning to expand our courier options soon.
Zandile also does a range of traditional attire and jewellery for hire as well as a range of bespoke / custom made options, from T-shirts to jewellery to shoes to homeware ....they can do it. If you're interested in working with Zandile, would like to see her full portfolio or order any of her stock, you can get in touch with Zandile on +27 72 290 8494. All Zank Creations products are hand made by women from the communities around the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve and can arrange to ship anywhere in the world.