People

Stylish Sistas

Stylish Sistas

Passionate about empowering women and helping them feel beautiful in their workplace, former North Coast resident Nikki Syme and her ‘home executive’ Pretty Gumbi are helping make domestic workers across the country feel more stylish in their workwear.

All women want to feel beautiful. Whether it’s at home, out on the town or at work. And this includes the wonderful women who work hard to keep so many South African’s homes beautifully squeaky clean. 

The inspirational journey behind the stylish Pretty Bright Girls (PBG) clothing brand started just over a year ago when Nikki and her sister Pippa asked their domestic workers what they would like to wear to work.

“Pretty came to us with a dress that her neighbour had made and said she, Brightness Mlangeni and Nthombi Mthembu (our other employees) would love to work in them. So, we decided on what colours we thought would be best and had them made,” says Nikki.

“The dresses arrived in March and the ladies looked gorgeous in them! We took a photograph and that night over a glass of wine, Pippa and I decided to put the photo up on social media and see what world thought of them. The response was incredible.”

When comments and enquiries started streaming in, the two sisters chatted to their employees about starting a sideline business with them. “One of the first things we had to do was find a name. We came up with the idea of using their names Pretty, Brightness and Nthombi (which means girl in Zulu) and that’s how we came up with Pretty Bright Girls, which we now refer to as PBG.”

As soon as word spread of the outfits, and they started advertising on social media to an even bigger audience, things started to get busy. Within a very short space of time, the orders flooded in and sales rocketed. They sold over 5000 units in its first year of business.

“The outfits are unique, very comfortable to work in because they are made from light, breathable fabric and wrap around, offering a lot of versatility.”

Nikki says the fabric is all locally sourced, meaning the trim changes according to availability.

PBG currently has eight partners (not all eight are directly involved at present), and the goal is to ensure that all partners become more involved as the business grows. Since the conceptualisation of the business, Pretty has moved across from her role as a domestic and is now in charge of all packaging and distribution. She ensures all orders reach the customers on time and are beautifully packaged. When she’s not busy with PBG she helps Pippa and I with out home-based interior décor business.

“PBG’s is all about family to me – we are one big, happy family. It has changed my life for the better as has taught me a lot about business and hard work. I love my dresses and am very proud of our products,” says Pretty.

“We are eight sisters who work together and love each other (and fight like family sometimes, meaning we forgive, forget and move on very quickly). I think that we also know that this is a long-term goal and so we need to stick to our day jobs.”

In the past year PBG has managed to get their stock into 11 Spars (including Umhlanga Rocks Super Spar in Umhlanga and Glenore Spar in Glenashley) and one Pick ‘n Pay. They also offer door-to-door deliveries anywhere across South Africa via their online store.

“At the moment the core focus of the business is to uplift women and improve the lives of those involved. We are all thoroughly enjoying this journey together,” says Nikki.

Details: www.prettybrightgirls.com | orders@prettybrightgirls.com | @prettybrightgirls on Instagram | www.facebook.com/prettybrightgirls

Text:
Monique De Villiers-Delport | Main photograph: Chris Allan Photography | Makeup: Wadene Ngubane, Nixon Makeup

 

Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) – July 2018


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