Bold accessories not only gives an outfit or home a pop of colour but also adds flair that makes them stand out. Two creative ladies, Pinkie Nkhwa (38) and Tebogo Ntsayakgosi (29) have partnered to create an accessories line for a largely cosmopolitan clientele who appreciate African sass. They make neckpieces, earrings, clutch bags, purses, rucksacks and jewelry boxes as well as scatter cushions.
Before working together last year, Nkhwa worked her magic under a company named Pink Creations while Ntsayakgosi operated Just Easy Accessories. The two met at a workshop hosted by the Arts council and immediately hit it off. Upon realising that they make similar creations, they decided to form a business partnership and funded the project from their own pockets. They now have a store in Molapo Crossing.
They share that they would like to one day own a one-stop gift shop.
Nkhwa first showcased her work at BotswanaCraft when she started making accessories in 2008. Her creations were taken as consignment. Nkhwa’s speciality is using precious stones, freshwater pearls and wooden beads. Ntsayakgosi works more with African print fabric.
Nkhwa says that while their mainstay is largely African-inspired accessories, they also try to evolve with trends. She notes that there is a market for accessories, not only from locals but also visiting foreigners and Batswana living abroad. ‘People who see our work are always amazed that we make them with our own hands. Some clients have even offered to buy them at a subsidised cost in bulk to re-sell overseas. The reception has been overwhelmingly positive,” she says.
Making accessories started off as a hobby for both ladies, but it is now their bread and butter. Business however comes with its own set of challenges. Nkhwa points out that the business is seasonal. “From January to April, most people are still financially recovering from the festive season. Around May people wear scarves because it’s colder. Business usually picks up around August and September because it is usually wedding and events season. We however still get trickles of people who buy regardless of the season,” she says. This is what inspired them to expand into décor pieces.
Interestingly, both ladies are self-taught. “We learnt from Google, You tube tutorials and Pinterest. We are both creative so it helps the whole process,” she says. The two also decided to make their pricing affordable. Earrings are P10 and P20, P100 – P180 for neckpieces, P100 for cushions and P150- P400 for their different bags.
The two are regulars at the Bull and Bush and Mowana markets. They are working on creating joint social media accounts and also selling some of their products on e-bay. Nkhwa encourages people, particularly women, to explore their talents, find something that they are passionate about and make a living from it.