YouTube tutorials spark business dream
Glued to tutorials on YouTube, where he would spend hours watching craftsman working with leather, Tlotlang Keutlwile realised he had learnt enough to put the onscreen instruction into real-life practice.
Delving into his Arts and Crafts background, the 31-year-old teacher started his own business, Keutlwile Leather Goods in 2019.
“My company offers laptop bags, backpacks, leather chairs, belts, dog leads and leather watchstraps just to mention a few,” explains the leatherworker, who has always planned to have his own company.
“My love for business started in 2011 where I decided to take an Accounting course just to familiarise myself with how a business is being run. I did not have any business idea in mind but I knew it would prove useful in the future,” the Thamga native tells Voice Money.
Currently operating out of his rented accommodation in Letlhakeng, where he works as an Art and Music teacher at a local secondary school, Keutlwile is on the lookout for a permanent base.
“I’m juggling in between the two [teaching and leatherwork] so I’m forced to be mobile for the business to grow. I hope to have a stable place of operation which is obviously going to need a bit of financial muscle as I want my clients to have access at any given time,” he explains.
Tight finances are something Keutlwile knows all too well, as he gripes, “Start-up was a biggest problem as materials used are expensive; most suppliers import leather and leather products from South Africa which puts us at a disadvantage.”
Despite these difficulties, the trade remains a reasonable source of income for the hard-working teacher-cum-businessman.
Having originally honed his skills from online lessons, the digital world continues to have a big impact on Keutlwile, who advertises his products on social media.
“At the moment, my potential clients see my products on Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok,” explains the Keutlwile Leather Goods founder, whose Facebook page currently has 1, 077 followers.