Couple’s leather business thrives

2020-02-13 06:05
Lindo Leather co-owner Wella Uriyo standing next to her stall outside Kefu Lounge in Litha Park.PHOTO: unathi obose

Lindo Leather co-owner Wella Uriyo standing next to her stall outside Kefu Lounge in Litha Park.PHOTO: unathi obose

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Starting a business is not as easy as people think, it needs a lot of work and perseverance. These are the sentiments of upcoming businesswoman Wella Uriyo from Ilitha Park.

Uriyo, who is a co-owner of Lindo Leather Company, said they started the business in 2016 after her husband was retrenched from his work after more than a decade.

“We were both unemployed. My husband was making leather couches at his work and I was a seamstress. Then we came up with an idea of starting our own leather company,” she said.

Uriyo said they started their business working in their children’s bedroom in Kuyasa.

“We had a small space. We started by doing belts and wallets with our own hands. Early in 2017, we bought our first machine and that’s when we started doing bags, repair couches, taxi seats and other things,” she said, adding that they bought a second machine last November. She said they do everything related to leather.

The mother of three added that in mid-2017 they moved their business from Kuyasa to Ilitha Park.

“We are renting a shipping container at Ngcwalazi Road. I’m working with my husband permanently. We only need someone to assist us when we have big orders,” she stated.

Uriyo said that managing a business is accompanied by a lot of pressure. She said to be a successful businessperson needs a combination of many things. “Before becoming a business person you must first dream then you plan and take action. It’s all about taking risks,” she said.

The soft-spoken businesswoman said many black-owned businesses failed because of a lack of knowledge. “Most of us don’t attend workshops on how to manage business, just to expand our knowledge. And we tend to include family members and relatives in the business which is wrong. And we need to stop taking money for the business and use it for household needs,” she emphasised.

She cited summer season as the right time for their business because the majority of people have money and some are going on holiday.

She said the customers can make lay-byes or put a deposit and make a full payment when they’ve done it. The prices rages from R30 to R2 500 and the operating hours are different. She added that their customers are both locals and tourists.

“We are opening from 09:00 till 18:00 only on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday On Tuesday and Friday were are open from 09:00 till 17:00 because of church reasons,” she said adding that they don’t open on Sundays.

Uriyo highlighted the lack of funds and not having enough space as the main challenge in their business. Anyone wants to order can call Uriyo on 071 408 7022.


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