We recently attended the HMC Homemade Art Fair, held at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg and met many women who create beautiful things with their hands, while guided by their hearts. Much has been written about the benefits of supporting local businesses — such as the fact that small businesses form the backbone of any economy and buying from them sustains local communities and the economy in the long run.
First up on our series of local entrepreneurs we’re crazy about right now, is Makori Mosiuoa, the founder of Nahla Sleepwear, a premium lounge and sleepwear brand that focuses on elegantly designed garments that are inspired by the African continent. Though the brand started off making luxury sleep- and lounge-wear, it has added a few other items all designed to nudge women in the direction of self-love and inner peace.
“Through my brand, I really want women to feel loved, at ease, at peace with themselves and always remember their beauty and strength,” muses Makori.
READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide To Self-Love
How did Nahla Sleepwear come about?
The name Nahla was borrowed from the Basotho coat of arms – Khotso, Pula le Nala (meaning Peace, Rain, Prosperity). However, due to the unavailability of Nala as it is on the domains, I decided to add an ‘H’. I’ve always been fascinated by the Basotho culture, particularly the women, and how the seshoeshoe (traditional Sesotho print) is an integral part of our lives. I can go as far as saying it is a symbol of womanhood. I love ease, beauty and elegant things, and I wanted to make something elegant and beautiful – and marry that with my love of culture.
The love of sleepwear, though, was passed down to me by my mother, a woman who didn’t have much but the one thing she always managed to buy me was sleepwear. That was her way of saying I love you. As I grew older, it became our love language. So, by making sleepwear accented with seshoeshoe, I guess I wanted every woman who wore Nahla garments, no matter where they were in the world, to always have a piece of home with them.
What inspires Nahla’s designs?
I first (and always) ask myself the question: ‘What will make the girls look elegant, at ease and sophisticated?’ Then fabric. But in a nutshell – we are inspired by ease and elegance.
Entrepreneurship is a demanding journey. Talk us through your wellness journey.
- I don’t compromise on taking time out for myself.
- I often just sit and do absolutely nothing.
- I will watch a K-drama on Netflix and feel incredibly inspired by the characters – they are often so stylish.
- I journal my prayers and thoughts, and go for walks.
- I’ve also learned and understand that when it is meant to be, it will be.
What book reminds you to stay on track when the chips are down?
I’ve recently started reading The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google by Scott Galloway. It has reminded me that great things take time and that one must be intentional when building something. In the book, the author highlights the importance of being comfortable with failure. He urges failing quickly but, most notably, to fail forward. He emphasises that all the greats understood that failure is a fabulous teacher.
What are your favourite things about entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is a journey that reveals your flaws and your strengths – you get to learn so much about yourself. I get to do what I love and make others happy, which makes me happy. I think Nahla has also taught me that I can be and do anything I put my mind to, with enough perseverance and patience. It’s taught me the importance of starting and to keep going. Lastly, I love that I own my time.
What can we expect from Nahla in the coming months?
We are launching a keepsake for the girls, something they can do while wearing their Nahla garments. Mahlohonolo (meaning blessings), our guided journal will launch just in time for the gifting season, and I am pretty excited about that.
We are also onboarding on the online wholesale marketplace The Folklore and hope to take NAHLA globally by doing so.