Today marks the first in a series I’ll be calling “love local”. Focusing on local, South African, mothers who are making waves in their industries. Breaking boundaries, creating empires and being the best inspiration of strong, driven women to their children.
I’m pleased to be interviewing a fabulous entrepreneur who is quickly gaining a cult following in baby accessories.
LITTLE ONE is a South African supplier of baby accessories, offering a Range of Funky Colourful Printed Cotton Blankets, Burp Cloths, Bandana Bibs, Pacifier Clips, Baby Changing Mats & Baby Feeding Rings. Her cotton blankets are comparable to “Earthchilds” at a fraction of the cost, whilst her designs are all on trend and on par with international stores such as “Cotton on”. Rameeza Dawood is, more importantly, a wife and mother of two young children and “Little one” is her third baby.
Read on below to find out more about Rameeza and her career journey thus far…
1) Tell me more about yourself and what you currently do?
My name is Rameeza Dawood & I’m a fashion Designer by profession. I’m the second eldest of four sisters and grew up in the Southern Suburbs of Wynberg. I come from a strong fashion bloodline running as far back as my moms aunts. My Mom currently runs an Interior Decorating Business & my two younger twin sisters work as Fashion Designers. I’m Ten years married & have been blessed with 2 wonderful children, a daughter Ariana 5yrs & a son Raheel 3yrs. I’m currently the Owner of the Baby Accessories Line LITTLE ONE & ”Stay at Home Mom”.
2) How did “Little one” come about?
I always knew I would love to start up my own business one day & not work in the clothing manufacturing trade forever. After working 13 years in the Industry I gained the necessary insight, knowledge & experience required to venture off to start my own business. I thoroughly enjoyed the fun playful prints, colours & less serious elements of Kids wear. I was inspired while on maternity leave after having my second baby, to start a Baby Accessories Line.
3) What did you study – was it in this field or something different?
I studied at Cape Technikon, a Three Year Fashion Design Course where I received my National Diploma in 2002. I absolutely loved every minute of it, no regrets!!
4) What was your first job and how did you progress to this?
I started working immediately at Monviso Knitwear, a Clothing Manufacturer for Woolworths. My first job title was an Assistant Merchandiser which was great in allowing me to learn what all goes into the process of making up & creating a garment. I then went onto Ladies wear designing to gain design experience.
Three years later I left to work as a Kiddies wear Designer at the well-established Jacques Hau ,a kiddies wear manufacturer for Woolworths, I designed across all departments. As a designer the requirements was to travel overseas which was definitely a great perk, allowing me the opportunity to travel to all the Fashion Cities across the world.
It was after Ten years at J Hau, I decided I want to be a Home Mom & start my Baby Accessories Line. I got straight to work, sourcing, range planning, creating the brand. In December 2016 I took the big leap and Launched LITTLE ONE!
5) What have been the highlights?
Initially I wasn’t sure what the response was going to be with my products & how people would perceive it, but thanks to the grace of the Almighty, I have gotten an overwhelming & amazing response from people, of how happy they are with the overall finish, designs & most importantly the quality of the products.
6) What’s the best part of your job?
I would say the best part of my job is doing what I LOVE!! Being my own Boss while spending time with my kids. I’ve always been a creative soul, I thoroughly enjoy the range planning, playing around with different prints and creating beautiful stories, and the gift parcelling is just as much fun.
7) What is the most challenging part?
The most challenging part initially was coping with the unexpected product demand as Little One was growing. My other challenge was and still is juggling time with my demanding day as a full time mom, & trying to manage time for work.
8) Describe a typical day in your life.
My morning starts off with dropping my kids at school. Thereafter I have personal gym training sessions. Its very important to have a little “me time”.
My day revolves around my kids school collection times so try to do all my rounds of fabric collections, drop offs, any grocery shopping all before I collect my kids. My daughter has a busy schedule of extra murals of which I take her too as well, so my day involves being on the road a lot of the time. After revisions with my daughter in afternoons, I slot in work & any outstanding admin. Before you know it, the day has already flown by, and it’s already supper time and getting Kids ready for bed. You tend to get the most work done when the kids are asleep, no disruptions & disturbances.
9) What are the “secrets” to your success?
I’m sure all entrepreneurs would agree that the biggest contribution to your business success is passion & drive. My love has always been for fabrics, colours & range planning. I have great support from my family, my husband, mom & sisters. My Husband is my greatest source of advice especially anything business & financially related.
10) How do you balance motherhood with being an entrepreneur?
To be honest, It’s a daily challenge trying to give my all to both being as a Mom & an Entrepreneur…Being a Mom is more demanding of my time in the day, it’s hard juggling, but everyday I learn to time manage a little better. If it doesn’t quite go according to plans (as most days go) then it’s a late nighters for me. I’m someone who makes sure to meet my deadlines, I don’t like disappointing people.
11) What is your dream for little one baby?
My dream for LITTLE ONE is to have my own Beautiful LITTLE ONE Store stocking an even wider range than what I currently do, a one stop shop for all your Baby Accessories needs under one roof. Have Retail stores both nationally and even internationally. To be a well established stockist for the Top leading Baby Chain Stores. You have to dream big 🙂
Little once couriers throughout South Africa. You can follow them on instagram : @little_one_baby and on facebook : @little1baby
Do you know of any local mama’s following their dreams and doing it for themselves? Id love to feature them and hear your comments below!
Keep your eyes peeled, Little One and In these stilettos have a super exciting giveaway coming soon !