Dapper Shooz is fashionable, stylish, neat and trims in dress and appearance. This is how 17-year-old entrepreneur Utlwanang Mmeti describes his sneaker range.
Mmeti from Luka Village, Northwest, is the founder of a sneaker brand called Dapper Shooz, a trendy sneaker brand geared at fashion conscious youth.
He says the idea of his sneaker brand came about when he noticed a local sneaker boom and that most of the popular local sneaker brands are all said to be township brands.
He says “I felt like we needed to have village representation as well because most of us are from villages, then I decided to research how to get into the sneaker business by finding out where they are made, how much it costs and most importantly where can I get funds to start.”
This was the birth of Dapper Shooz. Dapper means someone stylish, fashionable, with a neat trim in English slang, and this is why Mmeti decided to use the name because it’s easy to remember and it allows him to into other fashion accessories such as T-shirts, bags, jackets, and even trendy slip-on.
Mmeti describes his company as a fashion and apparel brand that will be primarily focused on sneakers for the first 3 years of its life. He will then expand into other fashion items after he has grown a loyal customer base and is a solid household brand.
When asked how he got into entrepreneurship, he says “When I realised that the unemployment problem in our country will need most of us to do our bit to try and create jobs, especially for our unemployed countrymen, I got into entrepreneurship to also play my part because having a job will only feed me and my family but starting a business can feed other families as well.”
The business is fairly new, so he is running it by himself and when he is at school his brother helps him with the administrative work. “so I’m currently working by myself, I’ll involve some people once my business gains traction.”
He might be the new kid on the block and has loads to learn but Mmeti is motivated by his long-term goal of creating employment for the youth. He adds that he is currently busy building a customer base through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for now because he only launched the business officially two weeks ago. so he is mainly using social media to reach out to potential customers.
Fortunately, Facebook marketing and influencer marketing has helped Mmeti a great deal because Facebook enjoys a huge market share of social media users more than any other social media platform.
Asked about his creative process, Mmeti confirms that he usually gets random ideas because he believes that having ideas is for free. “We all have ideas, the most important aspect is what you do with those ideas.”
If you want to look dapper, Dapper Shooz is your brand and support proudly Mzansi products.