‘Queen Elizabeth II inspired hats a fashion craze locally’

18th October 2017
Keletso Lobelo Source:The Midweek Sun


By Keikantse Lesemela - Reporter

Driven by the love for hats, Millinery Miller Founder and Director, youthful Keletso Lobelo realised that she can run a sustainable business and also share her skills with other people. She told the Business Trends that she started the business from her own resources assisted by her aunt.

“I basically had P9 000, it included the course that I took and to buy material. “But now the required fee would be P20 000 or more due to the material it’s expensive and the course fee has increased as well,” she said. She ventured into the millinery industry after noting Queen Elizabeth hats which she realised were unique and outstanding. Growing up she had always wanted to have the collection of hats with different styles.

She enrolled in fashion design course for three weeks before she registered her company. “ I ventured into this millinery industry after seeing Queen Elizabeth hats which I realised give women dignity and honour. “Soon after that I noticed that the millinery hat fashion was penetrating the market as a lot of women putting on the millinery hats at the Durban July horse Derby, Cape Town Derby in South Africa,” said Lobelo.

Lobelo studied Computerized Accounting (Pastel) and she is currently studying AAT. “With the gift of hand work am now able to design by looking at an outfit and know how it blends well with the full attire,” she said. Her major clients include Fashion Icons, bridal teams and church congregants. Her prices start from P250 for fascinators and P500 for hats depending on the designs and quality. Among the challenges she said market penetration is not easy as many people are not familiar with the new style of hats. “It’s not easy to penetrate the market because I am introducing a different style to Batswana.

Now I am working hard to convince them to buy,” said Lobelo. She markets her products through social media platforms and is able to reach more people through the mediums.She has participated in the Youth Business Expos, Miss Botswana 2015 fashion show she will also showcase her products at the 2017 Global Expo and Lao Glam fashion show in Namibia. In future she wants to own her millinery couture and manufacturing sinammay material that is used for millinery hats.

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