Think Twice is a business initiative that aims to change the landscape of fashion for events in South Africa. Counting Coins found out more…
1. Please tell us about the current Think Twice team. Who are you and how did you all meet?
The Think Twice team is made up of three good friends who met during school at different points in their lives. We have known each other for the past 11 years, but only really managed to form a bond collectively over the past few years. People always preach that one should never get into business with friends, but this partnership has proved to be fruitful, and the risk worthwhile.
The team is made up of Marang Matlala who comes from a publishing and digital background, Tumi Khobane whose career started out in Business Development & Strategy, and Nqobile Makhanya works in the construction industry as a quantity surveyor. We are all still very much employed, and when we work on Think Twice we each get stuck in all areas of the business.
This is our first venture into entrepreneurship, and even though at times it may feel as though we do not know what we are doing, we do know that our unified urge to do great things manifested itself into this online platform and has birthed a space for endless possibilities.
2. How and when did you come up with the concept for Think Twice? How did it all start?
A couple of years ago we decided to commit ourselves to conceptualising business ideas on a regular basis. This was a result of feeling uninspired and stifled in our day jobs. As ambitious millennials, we felt the need to think out of the box and start thinking about avenues in entrepreneurship. This was also after we we had each realised that we couldn’t rely on one income.
It started with a colleague of Marang’s who was planning her move to Australia. She’d often mention the horse race culture there and its popularity, and the pitfalls of having to find something new to wear for each event – which are quite frequent. She spoke of American businesses that follow modern rental models and how she wished these were present in South Africa and Australia.
We immediately saw an opportunity and did the research to try and define what a South African version of this would look like. While online shopping is still in it’s growth phase in South Africa, we were convinced that we could apply something similar here.
And that’s how our idea of an ‘endless closet, 1 rental at a time’ was born.
3. Why would someone rent a dress instead of buying one?
We are living in fascinating times where people are starting to think differently about their finances and retail shopping habits. We want to have access to fashionable options, but also not feel forced to commit to purchasing one single item. This wave of wanting more access to more things does not quite align to the increase of our cost of living and the decrease in the value of our budgets.
Whether we accept it or not, social media constructs have forced us to define our own visual languages and how, what and where we consume fashion is strongly affected by this. We have definitely noticed a movement in how we choose to experience things and life. We still want to look amazing and trendy, but we are more conscious of what it means to own an item that’s lifespan is not infinite.
People won’t stop going to matric dances. People won’t stop attending weddings. People won’t stop graduating. And with that we know that people won’t want to sacrifice or compromise the feeling one gets when wearing something new #fresh2def.
We’re not saying people shouldn’t buy anymore, we just believe that consumers should start considering different ways of consuming retail, and we are saying that we are here to guide them. Think of it as having access to your friend’s closet, with no need to accumulate any more pieces that will only be worn once.
4. Where do you see your business going? What is the big dream?
A first choice for women who are ready to experience retail in a new way. That sounds obvious, but there’s no reason why we can’t be the portal that empowers women and the choices they make in fashion. We want to change the South African retail landscape and have people trust us enough to be able to provide them with an item that’s suitable for any occasion here.
South African culture is so different to what it is overseas. Our social calendars work very differently and we often find ourselves stuck between following Western trends and carving out new trends in traditional wear.
Our goal as Think Twice is to offer a range of clothes that will cater to any and every occasion. We want our consumers to feel like we’re the go-to, know-how fashion experts in terms of making the best style choices – something for everyone, for every occasion.
5. What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own business?
As we mentioned earlier, this is our first jab at running a business, but we have managed to learn more than a few things along the way.
The most important step we would recommend is building up the courage to seize the opportunities available to women in South Africa. This is not to say that there aren’t any barriers, as one key issue that we each faced was staying focused and not letting our day jobs distract us from achieving our milestones (pre-launch).
Be and stay super-passionate about bringing your idea to market. If you’ve decided that you’re going to start a business, just do it. Don’t torture yourself by thinking about the end goal and trying to achieve the perfect final product. You have to be creative and flexible. Don’t let your ideal image of your business stifle you from just starting and improving as and when the the time comes.
You can visit Think Twice here.