1. Can you please tell us more about your business?
A. J’ADORE D’AMOUR is a proudly South African luxury women’s footwear brand founded in 2017. The brand is well known for stilettos with a minimalistic but audacious style in footwear design. J’ADORE D’AMOUR means ‘I love LOVE’ in French and truly defines the romantic feel of the brand. Our brand caters to high-end ultra-feminine consumers with a love for sophisticated trendy footwear.
2.When, how and why did you start your business?
A. How I started my company was quite a very funny story. I was spring cleaning my house with my mom and we were getting rid of old things that I wanted to give away. I then realised that I owned an overwhelmingly large collection of shoes and that’s when I had an aha moment, and the rest is history.
3. What is your role in the business?
A. I am the Founder and Head of Creative.
4. Where did you study and what did you study?
A. Straight after high school I worked and my love for shoe design was self-taught through general curiosity, however, later in life just to get a better understanding, I went to a design school and did a speedy three-month course which I completed in a month. The University of Vaal is a recommendation for footwear fundies, however, there are various other accredited institutions available.
5. How did you finance your business?
A. Operating a business is not for the faint-hearted, you learn a lot of obstacles throughout the journey. How I funded my business was through a loan I received from a dear friend who saw and supported my vision and turned it into a reality.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
A. I have a very hectic schedule 24/7! My team keeps me updated with everything from admin to final decision making. I’m privileged to have a supportive team that’s why I allow them to and head their departments respectfully.
7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?
A. At first, I struggled balancing home life to work. But as time progressed I gradually got used to a morning routine that does not center around work. I’ve also mastered how to keep myself motivated and be in the right headspace.
8. What drives you and inspires you?
A. I’m inspired by a lot of things but what stands out for me is success. Success motivates me to excel in each and every department of my brand. I’ve also believed that aligning the brands’ vision and values with my own is one way to achieve and reach my goals.
9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
A. I get my ideas by keeping up with the latest luxury trends and knowing what works with my brand. I’m fascinated by the smallest detail and make sure I add a personal touch to every design.
10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?
A. Definitely Instagram, it’s a visually appealing platform that showcases our creativity and designs. Also, some of our clients are our followers and we’ve learnt to remain consistent with the content we put out.
11. What is next for your business?
A. I have a lot of plans for my business and as well as my personal brand. We have a lot planned in the pipeline for 2021. We’re looking to branch out into more shoe designs as well as luxury clothing and accessories. For more info and update, you can visit my personal website www.iammathapelo.com
12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?
A. To always have the passion and drive to chase their dreams no matter what!. Like I always say, everything starts with an idea and the rest will follow. All they have to do is remain consistent and you will reach your end goals.
Mathapelo Pitse is the Founder and CEO of J’ADORE D’AMOUR’. Her valuable skills, which have played a great role in making her business ventures so successful, with her first business rodeo having a catering company and selling it to a friend, have been cultivated through her 13-year track record in Corporate and Luxury Retail. This has tremendously benefited J’ADORE D’AMOUR’ as a luxury women’s footwear brand.
Mathapelo boasts immaculate skills in areas such as sales, business development, business expansion, and customer relations. These key aspects were integral in the founding and management of J’ADORE D’AMOUR’ to ensure the smooth-running within the business as well as success for the overall brand.
When it comes to the creativity and style of footwear development, Mathapelo has always had an eye for minimalistic designs exotic textures, and bright colours. This has seen the brand appeal to an audience who believe in a style that should be audacious sophisticated, timeless, and unapologetic.
Mathapelo gets her inspiration and creativity when travelling (since she is an avid traveller) but most of all through her appreciation of the sensuality of a woman. She views the brand as an embodiment of fearlessness and empowerment, as well as the embodiment of sheer elegance and grace in the lives of its consumers. From the soul of our Captain of the ship, Mathapelo paired the catchy phrase “A woman should be like cashmere, soft, subtle and expensive!” with the essence of her brand, she believes in independence, fearlessness, and elegance that is shown through fashion in a confident and sexy way.
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