The founder and CEO of the budding fashion powerhouse La Manche, Tshego Manche, has a desire to strengthen her business and ensure it reaches its full potential.
Manche, who is known as “Ms Manche” by her peers and social media followers, is one of the 12 talented fashion entrepreneurs who’ve been selected to participate in Threads Accelerator Programme.
“The past few weeks of the programme have been insightful beyond expectation, already having a positive change in my work environment. We have learnt what our value proposition as a business is, had thorough training on customer service and key factors or activities within the fashion business,” she says.
This enthusiastic fashion entrepreneur, who is based in Johannesburg, is a budding powerhouse whose premium, elegant designs have already garnered her a loyal following among South African celebrities.
Ms Manche is an engaging, energetic person who speaks with great eloquence on the triumphs and challenges of running a fashion business, and how she plans to turn her fashion enterprise into a powerful African fashion brand.
She says it has been an honour to be chosen from 400 strong fashion business entrepreneurs.
“I’m very excited to gain insight into the business of fashion and turning a fashion brand into a fashion empire,” she says.
Her brand, La Manche, is centred around providing fashionable lifestyle experiences to women seeking a stylish resolution to their wardrobe needs.
She says she would love to own a premium empire that includes different diffusion lines that cater to stylish family needs as a whole.
“This will include product lines within the brand, such as La Manche kids, La Manche shoes, La Manche bridal and later, La Manche home, all locally produced,” she says.
Ms Manche says that with economical and environmental changes bringing challenges within the business, she tries her utmost best to reinvent and keep abreast of developments.
“As a team at La Manche, we always refer to our vision of why we started, how we can gain continued consistency, maximise profits, minimise expenses and create an experience at La Manche for all our customers,” she reckons.
La Manche has been able to draw brand advocacy from collaboration with people who have influence, dress an array of women from different avenues and collaborate with premium brands to attract consumers.
Ms Manche was selected to participate in the inaugural Threads programme from over 400 entries received from fashion industry creatives in the country.
Inspired by the confounding statistic that the sub-Saharan African fashion industry represents a lamentable 1% of the $3 trillion global fashion industry, Threads was conceptualised to support up-and-coming fashion entrepreneurs in transforming their growing businesses into powerful, profitable fashion brands.
The programme will take place over 12 weeks in classroom hubs in Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. The curriculum was co-created with the e4 Impact Foundation, an initiative of the Universita Cattolico of Milan, which focuses on impact entrepreneurship.
At the conclusion of the 12-week programme, they will present their new business models to the panel of judges, which includes businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo, branding guru Timothy Maurice Webster, creative Jacqui Burger, Spree CEO Vincent Hoogduijin and Maxhosa fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo.
The winner will receive a package of prizes that are designed to set them up for success – a Mercedes-Benz ambassadorship, which will see them driving a brand new vehicle for a year, a Standard Bank-curated SME start-up pack and an international trade trip to Europe, where they’ll present their businesses to wholesale buyers and retailers, a high-impact private distribution network and attend industry trade fairs.