Nomvuyo Treffers is the creator of Swimma, a brand of swimming caps designed specifically for hairstyles like dreadlocks, braids, Afros as well as weaves.
The best business ideas solve a problem. Nomvuyo’s problem was that whenever she got in the pool with her two daughters that love to swim, it took forever for her dreadlocks to dry.
She couldn’t find any locally made products and the ones she did find were overseas and expensive.
She decided to create her own. “I started thinking how can it be that in a country like South Africa, with the demographics that we have, that we don’t have a product like this for Black people,” she says.
As with many businesses, finding the right manufacturer is not always easy. Nomvuyo went through ten manufacturers before finding the right one.
She now plans to expand into several other African countries, including Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? Do not to be afraid of taking calculated risks.
“When you think of an idea, don’t wait and think – act on it,” she says.
“Whatever gap you see, you should take it and take a chance because that’s what entrepreneurship is about. Sometimes you have to go with your gut, but obviously market research is critical.”