The Minimalist BW Facebook page owner and luxury baskets maker Portia Mano said upon realizing most rooms she moved into after finishing her tertiary education were unfitted she decided to spice it up. She made baskets that complemented her room tints be it curtains and walls .The baskets were mostly to set her clothes and blankets in. I love colorful beautiful interior spaces but couldn’t afford to buy furniture let alone the one suited my taste of style.
She says the multipurpose baskets business started off due to lack of money to purchase fittings as she had just finished university where she had been staying on campus and saw no need to buy furniture. The first national lockdown was an eventful one as she started during it and had her first client May and saw potential in herself.
The self-taught designer says her startup journey was electrifying as she had a lot of design ideas and fell in love with her new found passion, despite this she found it hard because she did not have enough money to buy materials.
Customer feedback is the backbone of her designs. “I love asking my customers to give me feedback and tell me how they prefer their baskets to look like then I design them according to the specifications they give me,” she said.Manos creation also requires help when she maneuvers the threads so she sometimes engage a part timer as the process can be long and tiresome.
The baskets are mostly used to reduce clutter to make spaces look organized and tidy. Can be used in bathrooms to set tissue paper, bedrooms for laundry, towels, clothes, makeup and also gift packages. It is mostly the customer who chooses the use. She trusts the material she uses to withstand the load.
Just like most small businesses her biggest challenge is finance .The material she use is relatively expensive .Due to a niche she is compelled to sell the products below or within the market price as she is still a newbie .Mano is currently selling to individuals and plans her baskets to retail stores soon.
She is grateful for the inspiration she got from fellow business woman and mentor Lere Tapologo who believes in doing things using her own hands and rarely buys anything.