Groutville tailor sewing his way to the top

Simphiwe Khomo on duty at his sewing machine.

From making a school tie as a sample, Groutville resident Simphiwe Khomo has risen to supplying school uniforms to seven schools.

“I wanted the children to feel comfortable and have pride in their school uniforms. The trick is to create a design that will grab their attention and instill pride,” said Khomo.

The 30-year-old’s first contract came from Groutville High School.

They asked him to make a tie as a sample of what he wanted to do. Fortunately the school was impressed with his work.

Since then he has been swimming in a pool of stitches, producing solid work.

“I learnt to use a sewing machine from my mother (Nana Khomo) who was earning an income making curtains. That is why I named my company NA2 Clothing, to honour her,” said Khoma.

His mother died while he was in grade 7 at Aldenville Primary School. He and an older brother were left in the care of a grandmother, who also died when Khomo was in matric at Nonhlevu Secondary School.

Alice Myeni, Thabisile Khomo, Zonke Mvelase and Simphiwe Khomo at their work place in KwaDukuza.

After that, he worked in different stores as a packer and as a waiter at a restaurant in Zimbali.

“Fortunately, my older brother got married to a fashion designer and when I told her that I wanted to open a business, she was happy to work with me. In 2008 we started by making wedding gowns and dealing with different fashion trends. But our aim was to make uniforms for schools and companies,” said Khomo.

He started his business working from home in Dube Village, Groutville, and today rents premises in KwaDukuza town. A loan from an aunt, Thandazile Gumede, allowed him to buy his first industrial sewing machine.

The schools he supplies include Groutville High, Nonhlevu Secondary, Dr BW Vilakazi Primary and others in Durban.


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