Kind Hearts; Fierce Minds, Brave Spirits… the ethos behind the brand BOGENE.
BoGene is not just a fashion brand, but rather an inspirational platform created for woman that have fire in their soul and adventure in their hearts.
Brought to you by two dynamic and fierce females, their collection is based on their passion for all things beautiful.
They describe the BOGENE collection as one of “inspiration, of dreaming and of motivation”, a creation of arts sourced both locally and abroad.
Each item produced and sold is unique and made by hand, many of which their designs are one-of-a-kind pieces or of limited quantity, allowing you, the customer, the exclusivity of the BOGENE brand.
As a Pretoria based brand, The Pretoria Post sat down with Directors, Elichia Truter (36) and Nastasha Watson (34) to chat more about the dynamic brand, making moves in the fashion industry.
As the owners of Bogene, what does it mean to be a vital part of the company's growth and success as a whole?
For us it’s about nurturing, taking care of our passion “project” that is BoGene.
Like your favourite flower, it will not grow without the right water, food and sunlight. Any business wont flourish without a loving hand. It takes time and a souls intention.
We ourselves love fashion, funky colours mixed with Boho flare so why not share what you love. A small pop of uniqueness can make you feel great when wearing it with any outfit or on any occasion.
How did you first come up with the BoGene concept?
BoGene was born with the idea of curating a range that could speak to peoples individual personalities. It’s very hard these days to find pieces that go against the grain of trends. Fashion trends dominate the concepts that you find in the store. We wanted to bring something that spoke of the consumers heart.
What was your journey like to starting the BoGene brand?
We travelled to India and met with many bespoke stores. It has been a trial and error game for a few years to find the people that we love working with and that can accurately represent our brand. Now all our pieces are custom and handmade and curated by us.
What do you lend the success of your brand to?
I think it’s purely down to the fact that we have taken years to craft bags that we genuinely love. The pieces we sell really are born from a place of care and excitement. And I think that resonates through to our consumer.
"Any business won't flourish without a loving hand. It takes time and a souls intention."
Being a brand that specialises in hand-crafted bags and accessories, what in your opinion makes you unique?
Our designs are really special. It’s not something you will find in a store in a mall. We don’t follow trends. We just create designs that stand out and speak to peoples individuality.
Where do you come up with your creative designs and inspired artwork for your handbags?
We are inspired by Nature, Spirituality, Women and Community. We love the bohemian, wild heart, free spirit vibe. And it’s our intention to have each women of any form remember her wild side.
Based in Pretoria, what are your hopes for the brand in terms of expansion?
We are working on expanding to wholesale in different parts of the country… As well as designing specific looks for different brands that will be unique to them.
What vital advice and support did you gain from your co-owner in the opening stages?
Its amazing to have a partner that you trust. Our partnership started as a friendship first. When you trust someone as a friend you trust them in business too. It is invaluable to be able to bounce ideas off of each other, and to brainstorm as a team.
What do you enjoy most about being entrepreneurs and businesswomen in the lifestyle market?
Freedom to co-create and build towards the life we dream to have.
Elsie de Wolfe said “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life.” And that is our intention with everything. A loving touch and a wild, beautiful heart.
With more woman starting their own businesses and becoming entrepreneurs in our country, what advice would you give them when facing hardships and challenges?
Its not easy. Everyone is trying to stand out of the crowd these days, but of course there is plenty of Sunlight to go around. Make sure you concept is clear and your branding speaks about who you are. And then give it 100% and don’t give up.
Where do you focus your marketing efforts towards?
Because we are a small business, most of our marketing efforts is geared towards social media platforms. Social media has the amazing ability to subtly inspire us with consistent presence.
What makes each other, the perfect business partner?
Elichia: Stash is very level headed first of all. She is open and easy to talk to. We work well together because we allow each of our identity to shine through
Stash: I have loved working with Elichia, because we both share a passion for the brand, and for something that we have put our blood sweat and tears in together. She brings an earthy admiration to the brand which I absolutely love.
What are the 3 most important must-haves for the perfect business recipe?
Clear concept, excellent branding/CI, and dedication
How do you find the perfect balance between work, personal life and all the daily admin and duties?
It’s not an exact science sometimes the calculations are a little off, but trying to create space for rest also helps the creative juices flow.
Family time is a priority and a good laugh or cry with your friends can fill that cup right up.
Giving yourself grace to also not have it all together all the time is important, leave room for error. This is how we best learn anyway.
"The pieces we sell really are born from a place of care and excitement. And I think that resonates through to our consumer."
With so much of business having gone technological, how do you remain unique and on top of trends?
There might be many stores online selling bags, but our bags are unique. I think its important to make sure that you are doing something different and something that you love yourself, then you can’t go wrong.
Describe your perfect customer?
So speaking to that point, our brand is to create a community of free thinking women who make room for all not just one.
So for us the perfect customer is anyone wishing for a seat at the table. Any and all.
What can we expect from BoGene in the upcoming months?
You will just have to wait and see ;)
This brand is for YOU… the dreamer, the adventurer, the creative and most of all, the stylish!
For more info and updates, visit their website: https://www.bogene.co.za