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Vuyiswa (Vie) Mutshekwane

30, Director & Co-founder – The Other Girls

‘People think you can live purely on passion and determination. You can’t.’

 

Vie has had an extremely colourful career already – and she’s only 30. She studied economics and politics, worked in fashion retail buying for a couple of years, and headed up sales and marketing for African fashion store KISUA. She is now in the commercial property sector and holds the position of CEO of The South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP). But she also co-runs a viable entrepreneur venture, The Other Girls, with partners Thithi, Tumi and Nandi. The Other Girls produce and create lifestyle experiences and events that are relevant to their customers, most often females. Their most notable event is the regular WKND Social, ‘a brunch and day party that aims to bring together like-minded people in an authentic and innovative way,’ Vie says. Visit Thewkndsocial.com

On starting The Other Girls:

I am a serial entrepreneur and I’m also very passionate about women; particularly collaboration and partnership between women. The Other Girls gives me the opportunity to feed these two passions.

On initial challenges:

It was (and still sometimes is) very difficult to get our vision across to the venues and owners of the spaces where we choose to host our events. It’s a very unique format and the target market is also quite niche. We had to work very hard to ‘build trust’ with venues and service providers and get them to take us seriously, but things have gotten somewhat easier since then.

On the misconceptions of entrepreneurship:

People think you can live purely on passion and determination. You can’t. Nothing kills dreams faster than a returned debit order, so if you don’t have a nice capital cushion, don’t rush to quit your job on day one. Start small, manage your time, make your mistakes and go through the teething phase without the headache of monthly bills.

On lessons learned:

This has been a real growth experience. I’ve learned to be a better team player and to be more patient. Sometimes you want a concept to just go from being an idea to being a global household name but I know now that you have to take baby steps before you can sprint.

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