Feature

Thrift Happens With Tiisetso Makgatho

Today I present you with the bubbly and beautiful Tiisetso Makgatho. Tiisetso was born and bred in Soweto. She studied digital marketing as well as graphic design. Thrift Happens is her baby. 

This interview is proudly brought to you by WeShouldAllBeEntrepreneurs.

How It All Began

Instagram: @thrifthappensjhb

It all began three years ago!

Tiisetso had always wanted an outlet that would allow her creative side to run wild. Three years ago she tried her hand at entrepreneurship and started her first business. Did she blow up and make millions out of that venture? Absolutely not. In her own words, her first dance with entrepreneurship and being a founder of a venture “was an epic fail.” Can you relate?

As an entrepreneur, you know that when you fall you don’t stay down. You get up, dust yourself and keep it moving. This is exactly what Tiisetso Makgatho (34) did.

In 2019 Tiisetso made the decision to give entrepreneurship another try after she had a few women asking her to do their shopping for her.

What is Thrift Happens?

“So, Thrift Happens is a South African based online thrift store. We search the streets of Johannesburg and serve you with the most unique, high quality clothes and accessories without the high price tag.”

Instagram: @thrifthappensjhb

A few things to learn from Tiisetso

Marketing is a task that every entrepreneur needs to take seriously. Amongst many other reasons, people can’t indulge in something that they don’t know exist.

Tiisetso makes it a point to ensure that she is up-to-date with her marketing strategy. She plans ahead and stays on track with social media changes and algorithms, especially since her business is online based. 

It’s always interesting to learn what a typical day looks like in the life of an entrepreneur. Tiisetso works a 9 to 5 and after that, she dedicates her time to her business. She spends time restocking items, handling customer orders and deliveries, creating content and taking stock pictures. 

She says “During the week I start at my 9-5 and manage orders on my phone as well as the social page. After hours, it’s me taking care of things that need my attention such as processing orders, taking pictures, deliveries, laundry etc. Saturdays and Sundays are dedicated for big tasks such as restocking, photoshoots and managing or updating the online inventory.”

The day she launched Thrift Happens, as one would expect, she was a ball of nerves. She “didn’t think people would be THAT supportive.” Before she launched she had a pre-launch count down to “keep everyone on their toes.” In her own words, “the launch was a success with most of our inventory sold out in about 3 days.”

Instagram: @thrifthappensjhb
Instagram: @thrifthappensjhb

The challenges that Tiisetso faces as an entrepreneur and what motivates her to keep on going

You know that being an entrepreneur comes with its set of challenges. Being in the clothing business, one of the challenges that she faces is sizing. Juggling a full time job and trying to maintain her business is also something that she has to deal with. 

“I literally run the business alone from top to bottom with no help. It does get too much sometimes especially if I have deadlines.”

There were many times where she felt like quitting. But that first sale that would come throughout the day and the need to “feed [her] creative side” kept her going. “What motivates me is the goals I have set up for the business. I have big plans for Thrift Happens to be something bigger than just another online thrift store. You need to always be evolving and trying new things.”

One of Tiisetso's most satisfying moments in business

Tiisetso was approached by the Etv Morning Show to do a feature on her business! This is big. If you don’t know, Etv is South Africa’s biggest independent and free-to-air televison channel. Getting this recognition made Tiisetso realize that her business is going to be something bigger than she ever imagined. 

What people can expect from Thrift Happens going forward

In her own words: “Growth, growth and more growth. The business is growing and now we are moving towards the repurposing of clothing items opposed to selling them as they are. We are getting more and more creative and playing around with ideas.

Tiisetso's advice to you

“Do your research and with the first thing being your target market. I have learnt that through starting 2 other online businesses in the past, knowing or not knowing your target market can make or break your business. Knowing who you are selling to will give birth to how you structure your marketing strategy, improving or evolving your products or service etc.

 It’s a vital part about entrepreneurship that a lot of people take for granted. Try to stand out from the crowd and be original and authentic and never neglect the customer experience in your business. Make it easy for the client.”

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2 Comments

  • Penelope Siwela

    Tiisetso is who I want to be when I grow up!

    As a black South African lady, this means so much to me. We are rarely exposed to such entrepreneurial gems that look and holistically are us. This blog is so important!

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