Thuleka’s handbags cut the grade

2018-01-25 06:00
Thuleka Duze.

Thuleka Duze.

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Former model and flight attendant Thuleka Duze, from Gugulethu, is a woman on a mission.

For many people, living the high life first, so to speak, and then descending to the ground, to do person to person business, is not an easily accomplished feat, literally speaking.

Duze,43, and a daughter of former exile and later a navy commander but now businessman Lucky Duze, seems to have discovered her passion for the nicer things in life.

The former flight attendant, who who was based at the OR Tambo Airport in Jo’burg, is now a fashion designer and a bagmaker of note.

So much that her company, ATG Ekasi Handbags and Clothing- which she runs with her partner Abass Maazo- and based in Long Street, has managed to secure an international client for her handstitched products, including a clothes and shoes line.

Her international travels might be responsible for her verve and flair to negotiate such contracts.

She has been in this kind of trade since 2016 and in 2016 she received Distel’s Business with the Most Potential Award.

Having travelled extensivelly, it exposed her to different forms of fashion and trends.

That she is also a fitness fanatic has helped her a lot and she has included gym wear in her repertoire.

Duze uses African print for her line of gym wear and sneakers, as she is personally involved in swimming, boxing, running, cycling and mountain climbing.

In the business, they employ about staff members and are housed at the Pan African building in Long Street.

Like any fledgling venture, her business is not without its challeneges, she said.

“Its not an easy industry to work in in and very difficult for designers to get noticed.”

She is determined to soldier on, though; she was part of a group of small business people that took part in the Small Business Academy of the University of Stellenbosch Business School and is was on course for a nine-month intensive development programme.

She said her ultimate wish is to head a leading-edge company that will continue to strive to be the best in the sector and continues to provide efficient and cost-effective services.

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