“We managed to increase our sales during the pandemic”
We out how Jabu Gwala CEO and Founder of a women powerhouse In Good Company and a Nguni-print led athleisure wear Siko Republik has managed to increase her sales during the pandemic while balancing family demands.
ON THE BUSINESS
Jabu heads a young, diverse, dynamic, and collaborative team that caters to the multi-cultural African market. They have been rooted in their culture and they bring that to life in everything they do since 2017. “I’m grateful that both my brands are born from my core of my being, this makes it easier to remain grounded even when business is going well”
Growing up as an active child who loved sports & playing in the streets, this Mama played umgusha, namathini with kids her my neighborhood, so when she started going to the gym often, she realized there was a gap in the market for a locally made activewear line with African tribal print. That’s what gave birth to “Siko Republik.
In Good Company was started while Jabu was in corporate to create a safe space for women to connect & share ideas about progressive feminity in the workplace, after she left corporate the platform evolved to support women from all walks of life. “
Jabu focuses on creating harmony in her life. “I understand that I only have 100% to give at any given point” she has structures in place that allow her to maximize productivity on a daily basis. “I love routine especially because I have children”
We learned that both Jabu’s kids (daughter is 12, and her son is 6) are involved in the business. They have roles and titles. They also earn a monthly salary for their contribution. This allows her to have business conversations with them, she gets to explain why she is in business and the role she would love to see them play in the business world in future.
The kids are also given responsibilities and get introduced them to time management, financial planning, etc. “It allows us to spend more time together & exposes them to the business world in a tangible way” Wow! Mama, we see you redefining family time in your own terms! loveee…
ON THE PANDEMIC
Like most industries, the global pandemic hit Jabu’s businesses in many ways, good and bad. To reinvent the wheel for both the brands they made a decision to re-launch, allowing Siko Republik to be social media-heavy while In Good Company focused on solutions for senior learners in school & resource support for small business owners. Now that’s momprenurship on steroids Mama!
Zooming into Siko Republik during the pandemic they have seen more online training which has made people more open to training thus engaging with Siko Republik brand. Their Brand Awareness scores have increased as well as sales, however customer experiences has been compromised more now than before. Suppliers shut down and some will never open again. Production is super slow as factories operate on skeleton staff and many more.
“Digital became king which was great for us as we have always been a mobile-first brand but now we have to continue to innovate on the online store” Jabu sums up their innovation strategy as:
- Improved digital marketing
- Targeted and focused influencer strategy & execution
- Collaborations with brands that share the same values
Thank you very much Mama, for letting us into your life, we thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you, you inspire many of us.
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