Growing up with creative inspiration all around her, Adelaide Mavu always knew that jewellery-making would become a big part of her adult life. And so, it did.
Despite the odds against her, Adelaide’s thirst for success and determination to fuel her entrepreneurial growth (come what may) steered her to where she is now: a thriving business owner.
We caught up with Adelaide to find out more about how she turned her passion into Tali & Damy’s Jewellery.
Tell Us About Yourself
My name is Adelaide, and I was born in Zimbabwe in 1989. Then my parents relocated to Cape Town and I completed my high school and tertiary education here.
When my dad moved to CT, he worked in a bead shop in Long Street. I was in grade 9 then and would pop in to see my dad on the way home. The handiwork involved in bead-making just came naturally to me.
I loved it, but I felt like there was more to this jewellery-making industry than just making beads. So, from then, I knew I would study jewellery design and manufacture. My father didn’t think it was a good idea. He wanted to know what I would make and who I would sell to, but I was so adamant.
I then got a job as a waitress to fund my schooling at CPUT where I studied jewellery design. After two years, I had to drop out because I couldn’t afford the fees. I also felt like I wasn’t doing well because some of my lecturers would say I’m not cut out for this. I felt like they didn’t have faith in me. No one thought I could start a business. I just said to myself, “I’m going to do this”.
How Did It All Start?
My dad encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to study jewellery design and manufacturing at the Ruth Prowse School of Art. I got accepted in 2012, when I was pregnant with my first child, Talia. That’s why she’s in the name of the business, “Tali”.
Once I finished school, I worked for a year to raise funds to build my studio. And then in 2017, I fell pregnant with my son, Damian.
So, I thought “What’s the name of the brand”? “Tali and Damy Handmade Jewellery” just made sense to me.
When people tell you that you can’t do something, part of you wants to prove them wrong. Being a woman of colour, you don’t want to be a statistic. I wanted to prove to the world that I can do it. I can have a baby and still make it.
The process isn’t smooth. But the challenges are required because there isn’t a beautiful end result without them. You just have to work really hard.
I’ve been through it all. There have been days when I really cried. You know, you wish things were easier and smoother. But if things were easier, I probably wouldn’t be here.
Which iKhokha Product Has Helped Grow Your Business?
The iK Cash Advance. With the money I get from iKhokha, I use it to grow the business step by step. We first decide how to use the money. For example, to buy equipment. With the next iK Cash Advance, I hope to get my own shop with my name on it.
What Do You Enjoy Most About What You Do?
I like the flexibility of doing things on my own time. So, if I have an idea at 3 am, I just want to be able to wake up and do it. To just do whatever you want to do on your own time without having to wait to go to work and do it.
Tell Us About Your Staff
I always say to my staff that this is our space. Because without them, I wouldn’t be able to produce the work I need to. And without me, they wouldn’t have the designs to make. It’s our studio, our staff, our business. We’re thriving together.
Lastly, What Advice Would You Give to Someone Just Starting Out?
You have to love people. You have to understand them, that’s the main thing I’ve learned. Without people, there’s nothing. It’s like a reminder that never goes away. It makes me want to hold on. I don’t want to let go because it feels like fate. It was meant to happen.
Fancy A Piece of Fine Artistry?
If you’re in and around Woodstock, Cape Town, be sure to pay Tali & Damy Jewellers a visit and spoil yourself with some special jewels, handmade with love.
Not in the area? No problem! Check out Tali & Damy Jewellers’ online store and get your jewels delivered straight to your door: https://talidamy.co.za/
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Facebook: Tali & Damy Jewellery
If your business could do with a cash injection, check out iK Cash Advance!