Meet Mevrou & Co
Meet the proudly South African brand that prides itself in authenticity. If you are a fan of uniquely South African wear, then this brand is for you. Mevrou & Co has also launched a winter range that includes Unisex Hoodies with an array of colors. For the month of July, Mevrou & Co has also partnered with Moonstera Goods to bring you cool, re-usable, washable and most importantly compostable cotton shoppers. A portion of the sales will be donated to The Beach Co Op , to help cover the cost of creating awareness around reducing single use plastics and to keep our beaches clean.
Q and A with Mevrou & Co – Catherine
Introduction: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your back ground.
I’m a born and bred (English-Speaking?!) Capetonian who managed to sleep through 3 years of Economics. I’ve been a Fashion Editor for teenage magazines in Australia and New York as well and co-founded a safari company called Uncharted Africa Safari Co. in Botswana. In my spare time, I’ve developed a party game about consciousness which I hope to launch on Kickstarter this year.
When did you start Mevrou & Co , and why?
The short answer: I just had a crazy idea after a glass of red wine one night. The long answer: Inexplicably, I’ve always had a strong connection with Afrikaans people and love for the Afrikaans language. I thought that Se Dankie Vir Die Tannie sums up the Afrikaner culture to a tee – Ha ha ha !!! I suggested this to a friend of mine who also makes tees and, as he didn’t want to do it – it fell to me!
Describe Mevrou & Co in five words.
Sassy, playful, funny, honest and occasionally, dark!
Does the name have any meaning?
I spend a lot of time in a place with the best name – Vermaaklikheid! It’s a very traditional and rural area so the people insist on calling me “Mevrou”. My friends find this hiliarious and started calling me that too. The & Co. refers to everyone who has helped the company to develop in any way and also all our amazing and lovely customers.
What challenges have you faced whilst running your company thus far?
- A total lack of experience with regard to this very tough industry.
- My perfectionist character and attention to detail
- Finding a reliable, high quality production solution at the right price. Since the advent of Chinese and Indian manufacturing, the local industry has been devastated and so pricing is not competitive. Additionally, people are under a lot of stress which means they are distracted and this impacts on quality.
How do you overcome these challenges?
Keep on keeping on… Ie. constantly searching for and developing relationships with suppliers.
What do you love about owning your own business?
You can make your own decisions for your own reasons. This can also be very stressful but, for a perfectionist working in a creative industry, it’s probably nicer to be the boss if you can deal with the admin and responsibilities as one’s feelings about design are so subjective.
Which job title best describes you?
Ek weetie!!!!? I’m the boss I suppose!? As my father always said to me: “There can only be one ship’s Captain”… However, we’re a small team and, as we outsource the manufacturing and also some of the services eg. The graphic design for our prints – the structure and atmosphere of the company is quite releks’d
How many days per week do you work on average?
4.5 if I go away for the weekend – but, I never stop thinking about the company, make to do lists while I am away and engage with Staff who are working on the weekends etc.
Name three things that you can’t go a day without and that help you run your business.
- Good staff who you can enjoy working with
- A beautiful view
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own business or brand?
- Try to work for and learn from someone else who is doing something similar before you begin.
- Find a good accountant
- Be passionate about what you want to do.
Do you feel like you are living your passion?
I’m too passionate about everything I do! It could be seen as one of my problems in life! ☺
Is there anything you know now, that you wish you knew when you started your business?
Which people have been enormously helpful to you?
The Staff and the customers who promote our tees via Instagram and are walking adverts for our product! My Housekeeper, Nozuko Sobetha who makes me cookies, prepares all the swing tags, is my sister from another mother and who looks out for me when I am totally deurmekaar and can’t even and finished!
Who is your target market? If I were to give you a referral, who would I be looking for?
Hipsters to braai masters – Anyone can wear our tees… #XXX
Any future plans with the brand?
Yes, we have a new idea for a kids tee that is again about words and Afrikaans but, is something quite different and special and technical!!! And, we’re going to continue to develop a few other products and focus on corporate collaborations as well.
The new hoodie Range. Photos by Katinka Bester
As their saying goes, if you like Mevrou & Co, go on and tell your friends!