After a successful launch in New York, one of the fashion capitals of the world, SE Preggoz is set to launch in South Africa on 5 December. The designer and founder of the brand, Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa is excited to be bringing her brand home, and is certain all pregnant South African women will love her for it.
Tell us a bit about the collection
I realised there was a market for this type of clothing, that it wasn’t just me who was struggling to find amazing clothes while I was pregnant. During my first pregnancy I struggled to the point where I would shop for three days and find only two outfits.
So I thought I should just get my own stuff made, and that’s how the idea came about.
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Why the decision to launch in New York first?
I was in the States for about six months, and I actually gave birth that side, so at the time it just made sense. Also, style in New York is very forward and I enjoy styles that can be worn for years and which look aesthetically amazing. The New York style scene exposed me to a lot of that.
When I launched my collection in New York I didn’t expect the response to be so positive. I realised I had under-stocked when I was sold out in a week. And when I first opened up my website, there was so much traffic, it crashed. I knew from that point on that I had to bring it home.
You go through so much during a pregnancy and a lot of people don’t understand it until they experience it
How involved were you in the design process?
A hundred-million percent! I am the designer for now. I studied fashion management, so designing and making clothes wasn’t something new for me. I enjoy the process of seeing it on paper, sourcing fabric, playing with colours and then seeing it made and in the flesh. I enjoy samples as well, because that means I get to grow my closet.
And that’s another thing about this particular collection, the clothes aren’t limited to pregnancy, they can also be worn afterwards and they still look great.
What are some of the challenges you faced?
I’m a perfectionist and demand professionalism from whoever I work with, so finding a solid team was one of my biggest challenges. And it’s so unfortunate, because I love supporting small businesses, but sometimes one ends up finding that you just have to go with big companies that have good reputations. Working with people who prove to be unprofessional can be the downfall of any business venture.
We hear you’re hosting a big baby shower as part of your launch?
I prefer to call it a mommy shower, because I’ll be ‘showering’ the moms-to-be. I want to share my experiences and lend them the experts I used for my pregnancy. It’s not just about the clothing, it’s also about how you feel.
You go through so much during a pregnancy and a lot of people don’t understand it until they experience it! So, I’ll have my personal make-up artist there to make the ladies look and feel pretty. I have The Lazy Makoti coming as well to give some quick and easy cooking tips that the ladies can use during and after their pregnancies. I will also have a fitness trainer whom I love to give the ladies tips on how they can get fit after their pregnancies. A lot of people think I’m genetically small, so it must’ve been easy for me to lose the baby weight, but that’s not true, I had to work my butt off to get rid of it.
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What are your plans for SE Preggoz?
I want to start stocking in the United States, but apart from the US, I want to expand into Africa. I want to branch into the southern hemisphere for the near future and in the next ten years expand into the rest of Africa.
Her maternity collection will be available at www.simplyenhle.com from 5 December 2015.