LULAS CLAN: VIBRANT TEXTILES CELEBRATING AFRICA’S HERITAGE AND CULTURES
Discover the ethos behind the New-African interior design studio that’s driven by craft and storytelling.
Working from the foot of this famous landmark, Rustenburg’s most precious export may have become its design talent. In five, short years Bonolo Chepape’s business has come to boast the biggest names in motoring, food and telecoms as her clients.
Lula’s Clan is the name of the brand creating one-of-a-kind contemporary African textiles.
“I like to play on heritage and culture because I get to tell the story about my background through the work,” shares Bonolo.
The business is family run, alongside Bonolo’s mother and aunt, though they soon needed help meeting demand. Seamstresses from a Rustenburg skills programme were called upon and so the brand grew.
“There was an organisation in my community in Rustenburg and they used to teach young women how to sew. I saw it as a way to foster a relationship with the facilitator of the programme. That’s how I started the outreach and using people within my immediate surroundings to help me build this brand,” explains the entrepreneur.
Today Bonolo has a team of five contract workers, who make the digitally printed fabric into scatter cushions selling here and abroad.
Ms. Chepape is now an interior decorator too. She’s received design orders from a top South African restaurant franchise which has led to a new line in furniture too.
We don’t know about you, but we find it most heart-warming how Bonolo’s vision is lifting up a family, community and the proud name of African design, with every piece.