Thabisa Mathandabuzo, 36
1 daughter, 8 years old
The Comfy Shoe Lady – Spotted a Gap and Took a Leap of Faith
Thabisa joined the Durban branch in 2016. She is a single mom with an 8 year old daughter.
Prior to joining TCB, she was a domestic worker earning only R1 500 a month. She says she was ‘’drained and depressed’’, unable to survive on these wages. Through the ED training programme she learnt how to plan, budget and keep records which helped her improve her spending habits.
After graduating from TCB, Thabisa spotted a gap in the market for comfortable shoes for nurses who work long shifts. She started buying reject Bata shoes and slowly grew the business, using the knowledge and skills gained on the TCB programme. She started saving, to reinvest in her business, and now buys shoes in bulk and sells at clinics and hospitals in Durban, Johannesburg and the Free State.
Her mobile shoe business and pop-up shop has grown to a point where she is ordering 150 pairs of shoes every 2 weeks. Thanks to good record keeping she knows the stock levels for every shoe size and orders timeously.
Thabisa has appointed an agent in the Free State and hopes to have agents around the country in due course. She employs a part time assistant whom she has even trained her to do bookkeeping – a great example of paying it forward.
She has moved into her own flat in Umbilo and has 2 tenants renting from her. She is currently building her own home.
Thabisa has shown great commitment, determination and resilience and her perseverance has paid off. She is a true entrepreneur!
Her advice to women is ‘’Get out there and take a leap of faith. Read books about what interests you and don’t be afraid of challenges’’.