Being in the fashion industry was no accident for Lerato Senoko. The Bloemfontein based business woman says making clothes for her dolls while growing up was a good start for where she is today.
But creating sneakers for people was never part of the plan.
In spite of this Lerato is winning at striking the perfect balance between creating her sneaker brand, UNEXPECTED and impeccable entrepreneurship.
For Lerato being in the fashion industry was no accident. She always loved fashion, but manufacturing sneakers was not her first when she started her business, she admits.
She recalls how she started out making caps and t-shirts after she completed her first duplink.
“It started as a cap and t-shirt production called Unexpected. But I didn’t want to buy t-shirts and print on them, I wanted to manufacture my own products,” she says.
Lerato then designed her own brand of t- shirts to differentiate herself from the rest of the t-shirt and cap salespeople and to change the game in this industry.
As her business grew she also looked at other possibilities to expand.
She says after seeing a gap in the footwear industry she decided to do some research and she grabbed the opportunity with both hands when she realized that women owned brands were few and far in between.
“I realized that it is a complex and difficult industry, but the more I researched and learned the more doable it was,” she says. She decided to create the hand crafted UNX sneaker brand from her fashion line Unexpected.
Today Lerato creates stylish yet wearable footwear, already with three different styles that have different target markets.
She combines her passion for fashion and art. She says she draws her inspiration from her African environment and her Sesotho.
“Stay focused, write your vision and goals and focus on them, don’t move your focus. There are going to be obstacles trying to shift your focus, trust God”.