Time to spare? Start a business! Anneke du Toit did … and it’s flying!
What happens when your boyfriend’s working long hours and you find you’ve got loads of spare time on your hands? Well … you start a business. Obviously. Well, if you’re Anneke du Toit, you do.
Ten years ago, with said-boyfriend-now-husband working overtime, Anneke thought she’d try her hand at starting a kids’ clothing side hustle, hoping to generate some extra income to supplement what she was making from her day job in the décor industry.
Fast forward a couple of months, and the magazine for whom she freelanced – writing sewing tutorials – featured her business. And … snowball!
Passionate and creative, Anneke’s designs were bound to stand out. Her brand, she says, “is built on my love for anything quirky, pretty and local, my signature look being locally designed and printed floral fabrics” which she uses to make leggings, vests and accessories.
These were initially sold on The Annapatat Kids online store, which went live at the end of 2015 and was my main platform, until she felt the time was right for the next stage of her business.
Last year, “looking for the next big step for my brand,” she decided to open a store. At the same time as she was expecting her firstborn. Brave much? “I realised that I could not continue to have all my eggs in one basket in terms of my business. With a new baby I couldn’t spend the time on my website and social media as I normally would. The store was a great way for me to shift my focus onto something new that would be able to operate without me being present all the time.”
Of course, a lot still has to happen behind the scenes to have a successful store! And that is where Annapatat’s studio comes in. All the clothing is made in Cape Town, while the prep and finishing touches are applied in her studio in Bryanston. All the accessories are also handmade in the studio and form a big part of the Annapatat Kids collection. The aim – with the help of her team – is to fill the shop every two weeks with new designs.
Anneke proudly explains how her memorable pieces are of such exceptional quality that they stand the test of time and are frequently passed on to siblings: “I am so fortunate to have loyal clients who have supported me with every collection I have launched – I think they see how unique my locally designed and printed fabrics are, which means they know they are getting pieces that can’t be found anywhere else. They also appreciate the impeccable quality. I am so in awe of the support and recognition; it really makes all the hard work so worth it!”
Anneke looks forward to creating pieces that will continue to bring clients back and showcasing like-minded small businesses in her SOKO District store. Annapatat Kids has already formed collaborations with three other businesses that supply accessories that fit her brand and vision. The choice of her shop location was in line with her brand too … the SOKO District in Rosebank Mall provides completely customisable spaces available for small, local brands that want to connect with customers.
Details: shopannapatatkids.co.za, Instagram @annapatat_kids and Facebook @AnnapatatKids
Photographer: Nicole Moore. www.nicolemoorephotography.co.za