At first Happy Shoes (walk smiling) was just a vision, then it was put to life and they never looked back. Happy Shoes is a shoe laundry and repairs company based in Hatfield, Pretoria. It was co-founded by four friends Kgoaile Molaba who’s the marketing director, Peter Magomarela (Director of Finance), Mosa Letsoalo (Operations Officer) and former co-founder Thapelo Phahlane.
Since dirty shoes are a burden to everyone, they chose start a shoe laundry business because they saw how students struggled to get their shoes washed or repaired. The initiative does all shoes related services from cleaning, customizing, soling, lacing and color changing. We all have that pair of sneakers that is close to our heart right? Then Happy Shoes is your friend.
Happy Shoes is not dependent on external funds, co-founders contributed out of their pockets to start and operate the business. Funding is one of the main challenges they are facing at the moment since the market is exponentially growing, another challenge that they face on a daily basis is collecting shoes from clients that reside out of Hatfield. Despite all that Happy Shoes team is always willing to sacrifice their own money for the growth of the company.
Happy Shoes grabbed each and every opportunity that came their way, they attended free business seminars and conferences in order to network and establish new markets. In 2016 about a month in operation Happy Shoes were able to make it to top five business ideas pitched at Standard Bank, ABSA, Tuks and UNISA business pitching. Unfortunately they were not chosen to be under the Standard Bank Business Incubation but they never gave up.
This year(2017) Happy Shoes once again participated in a business incubation competition and was able to secure position one. Happy Shoes is growing rapidly and is now under The University of Pretoria Business Incubation Programme.
Kgoaile Molaba who is the marketing director said that one of their long term goals is for Happy Shoes to expand to other locations not only around Pretoria but to other cities, provinces and abroad and we definitely see that coming .
Molaba also mentioned how entrepreneurship is about risk taking and taking calculated risks.
“Entrepreneurship trains an individual about decision making and most importantly innovation and creativity. As an entrepreneur your imagination should be your greatest guide”. You want to walk smiling, Happy Shoes has got your back.
Social Media Info
Facebook: Happy Shoes
Website: www. walksmiling247.co.za
Images Courtesy of Happy Shoes Facebook Page.
By: MAHLOGONOLO PHOGOLE