How the business came about: “I wanted to give back to my community by sharing my experience and knowledge. In 2012 I started putting money aside and looked for a business to invest in. I moved into a new place and was looking for new furniture. A friend recommended a company she knew. The co-owner created beautiful pieces for me; they fit my needs perfectly. When they delivered my furniture, I noticed how small the team was. So I approached them about my investment interests and then we began formal negotiations in 2013. I roped in a friend with great business acumen to help me during the business talks.
“To prove to the business owners how serious we were, I started a Facebook page to sell some of the furniture online. All the money we made from those sales was deposited in a separate bank account. I hired staff to sell Setters furniture in exchange for 5% commission. I’d update the Facebook account everyday with pictures of finished products so clients could see how it looked before delivery.”
Getting the business started: “We registered Setters Furniture in 2013. We liked the name because it’s taken from trendsetters, which is what we do in the furniture space. There are four of us in the company; the founding business couple still makes the furniture from the factory and are full-time, I’m responsible for the day-to-day management and sales, while my friend is a silent partner.”
The inspiration: “It made sense for me to invest in Setters Furniture because that’s what I wanted to do. I wasn’t passionate about décor or furniture – I just had a passion for business and seeing its potential for growth. A Setters client is a person who wants quality, tailor-made furniture at an affordable price.”
Business growth: “We dedicated the whole of 2014 to promote the business. In April 2015, we found space in Randburg. I knew people wanted to see the furniture before buying it so getting a store was important. I resigned from my job in 2016 so I could focus full time on growing the business.”
Highlights: “In October 2017 we launched our second store in Menlyn Mall, Pretoria. We now have our own factory and 20 employees.”
Challenges: “Meeting the demand is a huge challenge. We’re looking at getting a second factory.”