Launching an educational toy shop was an inevitability for best friends Pheto and Brescia, as they are very passionate about education and giving their children the best life they can.
Pheto says for her, it’s personal, as she wasn’t exposed to a lot of tools growing up, so she tries by all means to give her nephews and nieces access to the opportunities and tools she never had. She adds that even when buying gifts for her younger family members, she always makes a point of purchasing meaningful and educational items.
“Mampho and I are similar in that way; we always make sure we buy our kids toys we know they’ll learn from – toys that will assist them in grasping meaningful information that will help them grow,” she says.
While doing their research last year, Pheto says they discovered the harsh reality of the state of education in South Africa. That’s when they realised there’s a significant need for children in SA to learn and develop from an educational perspective.
“When we looked at the statistics and ranking of the South African educational system in comparison to other countries, we were really shaken up. We then asked ourselves how we can give the children of SA access to educational tools they can use to conquer the world one day,” she says.
From then onwards, the duo started doing intensive research, finding suppliers, registering the company and sorting out the legalities that come with starting a business. Once all the teething issues were out the way, they decided to launch their brand in August this year.
She says their biggest highlight thus far is seeing the improvement in their children and receiving testimonials from other parents who are happy with their kids’ progress and development. There is no other black female-owned company that offers similar products. “We have a huge responsibility to uphold our brand and give South Africans the best.”
The biggest challenge the pair have encountered thus far is customs delays, which tend to be costly and frustrating.
The toys are targeted at children of between 18-months and 18-years old. They also cater to the needs of children with disabilities and special needs, she says.
“For the older kids, we’re focusing on literature, maths, science and technology. For the younger age groups, the toys are curated to make sure the kids improve their thinking and brain power,” she says.
Let’s Learn Toys has more than 2 000 products, which the pair have sourced from the best suppliers all over the world. The price point varies, depending on the type of toy – the cheapest item is about R29 and the most expensive is over R1 000 and are available from Let’s Learn Toys and takealot.
Pheto says working with her bestie has been a beautiful journey. She believes every relationship requires work and she and Brescia have been working on their relationship as friends for over a decade.
“Mampho and I are always together because we enjoy each other’s company – we empower each other in ways that we hope other women do too,” she says.
She adds that they are more driven now because they both want to see the business grow and make a difference. “It’s a dream come true to do something I’m passionate about with someone who’s equally passionate and who I adore,” she says.
She adds that they agree and disagree about things, but says it’s the how that’s important. “It’s about how we disagree, how we fight and even being able to laugh at the idea you thought was amazing, but was ridiculous,” Pheto explains.