The coronavirus pandemic has affected all sectors of the economy.
With the introduction of lockdown regulations, fashion and fashion design has been greatly affected since movement has been restricted and thus business could hardly be made.
The lock down at Toe Tag Son Streetwear has brought an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and come up with new strategies for business, which have seen the brand picking up despite the negative effects of Coronavirus.
Phiwayinkhosi Phila Dlamini better known by Taggerman who owns a clothing brand Toe Tag Son Streetwear, one of these local clothing brands that is making waves in the country shares how his brand was thriving amidst the pandemic.
While Eswatini has quite a number of local clothing brands proudly owned by Swazis, with no doubt, they put food on the table for many Swazis, but now these dreams seem to be shattered because of the devil we are facing as a country that is the Coronavirus.
Phiwayinkhosi Phila Dlamini an 18 year old boy born and raised in Manzini. He is currently doing his first year at UNESWA studying Bachelor of Science. And already owns a clothing line that is making waves in the country. He fell in love with fashion back in 2016 but then never had the capital to start the business until 2018 when he used his savings to start the flaming apparel.
The coronavirus has frozen and disposed of and disturbed big plans for the brand. As customers were increasing we had also increased the number of units we produce. The plan was to spread wings and to open distribution channels to South Africa as well as Mozambique.
Covid-19 coming in with lockdown has caused tailors, printers, distributors and marketers of the apparel to stop working, for them it’s being jobless and for the brand its loss of income not only affecting the brand but the economy of the country or let me say the world at large.
This has resulted is serious challenges while at some point it brought opportunities.
Knowing that everything has a fair share of negative and positives. It has gave us a chance to recollect and find new ways of marketing, promoting and flaming new ideas of the apparel stays with the positives.
The pandemic has also brought business to online and that part of it is ecstatic because more people are staying at home therefore more of them are online, making it easier to bring online attention to the brand.
As a Brand we have reached at least 30 000 people through online marketing of the brand as per our analytics. This was harder before lockdown as more people were engaged in more work. We will keep that with the positives too.
The Brand has embarked on aggressively selling through digital platforms like social media. Taking advantage that internet and social media usage has increased during this lockdown, the brand have stated to aggressively sell to customers online.
This has seen an increase in social media following reaching over 4000 followers in just a short while. As we continue to strengthen and increase online brand presence we have seen more customers coming and placing orders and paying deposits for cloths which will be deliver dater the lockdown.
Overall the deadly virus has made the whole clothing and fashion industry to take breath as we are being locked down therefore no work no pay. Many are suffering from these effects and hope soon enough they find a cure to thus devil in our mist.
In the meantime people must not wrestle with the laws and regulations put in place by the Government to curb the coronavirus spread. We request everyone to stay at home, be safe and also use this time to plan and come up with new ideas and strategies to run business after lockdown.
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