Fabric Bank is a textile and wallpaper design and print company that offers a holistic service; from concept to creation. The services are tailored to fit detailed client briefs; from designer scatter pillow and bespoke locally-made sofas to impressive wallpaper installations The company works together with local and international designers to source, curate and commission detailed designs for wallpapers and fabrics. Fabric Bank operates out of WeWork in Cape Town. “I am not only excited to see our community of entrepreneurs thrive, alongside SMEs and large enterprise companies, but also to witness the success of our network of female founders and entrepreneurs”, says Karla Bussman, Community Manager at WeWork 80 Strand Street, Cape Town.
What inspired you to start your company?
Shara: I started designing my own products a few years ago and found it extremely difficult to get the advice and service needed to get my business started–I found myself printing and making all my own products abroad but encountered many difficulties along the way. I then decided it was time that someone started a niche service to assist designers locally, developing their designs and brands without having to go beyond borders; and Fabric Bank was born.
What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur?
Shara: It’s extremely difficult to manage all aspects of your business when there is only you. I have learnt a lot along the way, but I don’t think there are enough support systems in place to assist small businesses and their growth. I am lucky to be part of the WeWork community here in South Africa, where I am able to scale within WeWork as Fabric Bank has grown.
What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
Shara: The freedom to create something unique and that you are passionate about. I love to form relationships with incredible clients, suppliers and other members in my WeWork building; it’s a complete joy to come into work everyday.
Who or what has inspired you on your journey so far?
Shara: I’ve had the pleasure to interact with some remarkable individuals throughout my journey so far. Something that continues to inspire me is the untapped talent that South Africa has to offer; I am dedicated to helping these designers showcase their talent and reach their potential.
What advice do you have for other women who are thinking of branching out into entrepreneurship?
Shara: Take any opportunity that comes your way; don’t focus on the “what ifs”, you’ll learn along the way.
If you could talk to your 16 year old self, what would you say?
Zimela has been a multimedia content producer and writer for 10 years and an “insufferable feminist” for six. When she’s not battling writer’s block, you’ll find her practising the ukulele or watching documentaries on Netflix.