In the business of making women feel good about themselves
UK-based Nommiselo Nene has built a product and sales strategy with a strong focus on customer comfort
Nommiselo Nene is a South African born entrepreneur who while living in the city of London saw an opportunity to enter a niche, and largely untapped market in South Africa - the plus size lingerie business.
Nene, 34, founded the lingerie brand Curvolutions, which specialises in providing plus-sized women with comfortable and luxurious underwear.
The brand manufactures in lingerie, nightwear, swimwear and bridal lingerie, in sizes 30- 50 back size and A- O cup sizes; and prides itself in being able to give women the confidence to feel beautiful and sexy no matter what size they may be.
Building the brand
"It was frustrating to watch bigger busted women go into a store, see a stunning, colourful lace bra, that only came up to a size 36D; and when enquiring about a size, being directed to a dull, standard bra", she says.
Nommiselo then presented the idea for a lingerie brand to her sister who is based in South Africa, Ntombi Nene, who - from personal experience - was familiar with the challenges faced by most plus-sized women. The sisters then when into a partnership.
Customized customer experience
When it was time to put together a marketing plan, the comfort of their customers was top of mind.
The online store offers customers the chance to shop while in the comfort of their homes. According to Nene, this is so they don't have to face the disappointment of not finding their size in a traditional store.
Curvolutions also offers house visits, giving customers the opportunity to see, touch and feel the quality of the products before they can buy.
The brand is also targeting the bridal shower market. Sales agents are invited to bridal showers and ladies events to demonstrate the product. Customers are also measured to ensure they get the correct size. For those customers who are out of reach, step-by-step directions of how they can measure themselves are sent to them.
In keeping with the goal to offer the personal touch, Nene is also looking to venture into the direct selling market, joining the likes of Avon, the beauty brand and Honey jewellery. In this model the product is sold directly to the consumers, rather than a retail chain or distributors, who in turn then sells to the customer.
Nene says the consultants will receive training on how to sell the products, as well as customer service, and that there will be minimum startup costs involved. She adds tha the consultant will be doing this for profit; so they are encouraged to treat this as their business. This, according to Nene, will empower other women to become entrepreneurs.