Vutomi Khosa (21) and Maambele Khosa (23) are running a successful art gift business together but it did not start with fortune and success. They had met at Stellenbosch University and initiated a ‘sisterhood’.
A resident of Malamulele and law student, Vutomi said:
“We are friends who believe in sisterhood, regardless of the fact that we have similar surnames we did not know each other prior to coming to Stellenbosch University.”
Having been studying away from home, the two friends had always felt like home seemed nearer by gifting each other and being a ‘post woman’ for each other when their families and friends from home sent them gifts. This is how they started a gift company, Grandeur Giftery.
A marketing postgraduate who hails from Tiyani village, Maambele said:
“We are in a gift delivery service rather than a products-based kind of business. We don’t stock products and sell but we buy products on request and deliver. The idea came from how the two of us used to gift each other, be it one was having a test week, or a birthday. Even during non-occasion moments we would randomly surprise each other with the little things we had.”
The idea of gifting each other was meant to make each of them feel at home away from home, so they saw the need to extend this warm feeling to other people by making gifting an easy thing to do where the clients wouldn’t have to worry about time and distance.
Vutomi agrees that in the beginning time management between business and studies was a challenge.
“We were, and still are, both super excited about this business such that it became our priority. Having to balance time to study as full-time students and attend to our clients as fast as possible was very challenging, but we are doing all that we can to have a working system that doesn’t necessarily require us to be full time hands on social media platforms in order to attend to our customers.”
The business is viable in the market but the two ‘sisters’ are quick to add that, quoting author Ben Carson: “Happiness does not only result from what we get but what we give”.
“We are building on that very quote, the spirit of giving. We are spreading joy and contributing towards the culture of showing love. The need for such a service has also manifested itself since our starting of business through the response we’ve received from within the university and even outside, it is clear that love exists and people are willing to keep smiles on their loved one’s faces.”
Grandeur Giftery is going to be three months old by the end of August yet they have been receiving a great response from their clients.
“We are students and based in a students’ environment, so our target market is students, staff (both academic and support staff). Most Students in higher academic institutions tend to be far away from home and so there is a need to make each other feel at home and loved. However we do see the potential to extend our market to all South African institutions due to the number of orders we get from all universities.”
In actual essence, Maambele and Vutomi believe that everyone is capable of gifting and gifting what they can as long as there is a convenient way to do so.
The two ‘sisters’ feel in love with South Africa, because – they say – being a woman in South Africa means being a human being who is capable.
“Regardless of all the challenges that women still face in South Africa, we cannot ignore the fact that there are great women out here and are doing all they can to inspire many of us. Women should know that ‘competition’ is outdated; as women we should rather learn to complete one another.”
Tell us: What do you think about Maambele & Vutomi’s relationship?