June Omondi is a force to be reckoned with. As a business owner focused on the local community, June’s story teaches us the importance of hard work, perseverance and community.
We caught up with June to learn more about Kamango, her booming business in the heart of Maboneng.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is June Omondi, and I am currently in Maboneng. My business name is Kamango . I started my business making curios and jewellery. I now do bespoke tailoring, wedding dresses, kimonos and much more. You can come in and we customise any of your clothes according to size.
I have always been drawn to making things. As I was growing up, my grandmother taught us a lot of handiwork. Since there aren’t many tourists here anymore, we thought: let’s go local. We had to build this business slowly, and it took time.
Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
I’ve been a business owner for as long as I can remember. I used to run a bottle store and then a fruit market, but my heart is actually in art. Even if I try something else, I always return to art, so I guess this is it for me.
What is the vision that keeps you going every day?
Growing up, I saw the importance of having to do something for yourself. I always trained my children to be a part of the business, so even during school holidays, they come in and are able to watch what I’m doing and see how the business is run. This will help them to be self-sufficient in future.
How does it feel to know you’re adding so much value to the South African economy?
It’s a really good feeling to employ people. I see them come to work in the morning with expectations and joy on their faces because they know that this will help them earn money to support their families at the end of the day. It feels good to give people a job knowing they will provide for others.
My mantra is always, “Share what you have”. I’m a community person. Sharing doesn’t only mean material things. You can also share knowledge. Give other people knowledge so they can spread it, too. You’re giving them something to live on forever and ever. Sharing is very important.
How has iKhokha helped you in building your business?
I like iK Pay Link so much. Many of our customers are tourists and they stay in Airbnb’s around here. When they travel, they prefer to have their products delivered so we send them a Pay Link to make payment. That saves them from making a trip to the shop. So, they pay and go on their way.
iKhokha also helped me with cash injections in the form of iK Cash Advance. Sometimes, you lose hope in business when you don’t have capital, and iKhokha supported me so much during that time. The fabric business takes a lot of money because you need so much material. I work hard because I know they will help me in the end. iKhokha supported and believed in me, so I’m sticking with them. I can call iKhokha support, and they send me tips and don’t keep me on the line for long.
What would you say to other South Africans who want to run their own business one day?
You have to persevere. You have to be consistent and wake up even when you don’t feel like it. Because that business is your responsibility. That’s why you also need to look after yourself as an entrepreneur. Look after your health because your business needs you.
Commitment. Perseverance. Consistency. Those three things are the most important.
Threads of Hope
Kamango has become more than a tailoring business; it symbolises local pride and resilience. June's dedication to her art and her community is a source of inspiration for anyone looking to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
So, whether you're crafting dreams or stitching together a future, remember June's story as a shining example of what you can achieve with a little bravery, a lot of courage, and an unwavering belief in the power of one's dreams.