This is my first blog on our new website and I am excited to be able to send our story out to lots of our old friends and new ones too.
Nomvula’s started 12 years ago as a dream to make jobs in our area. Currently South Africa’s unemployment rate is around 29% with our area nearing 50%. We have managed to sustain an average of 8 jobs over these years despite economic downturns and political upheaval. When we can’t sell in South Africa exports keep us going.
Each Nomvula’s job supports many more than just that one employee. Money gets sent to parents who look after children, and so you can mulitply your employees by about four and see that one job supports many people.
We started Nomvula’s hand knitting cute baby jersey’s with Vinnis’s Bambi that were trimmed with mohair. I sold them in America and we did really well. But hand knitting everything was never going to support many people. That’s when my dear friend Mimi Calhoun volunteered to bring herself and a knitting machine to South Africa from New York and teach Clifford to use it.
And the rest is history !!
Above a picture from our first knitting lesson and one of our first orders, a garter stitch sweater that is just rectangles. Colour and texture make it fun. We also knit baby toys and blankets.
Our first group – we parked in an empty warehouse. Of this original group Zizipho is still with us (second from the right in the back) and Clifford (bottom row left) has a job in a big knitting factory in East London on modern computerized machines.
I will be updating this blog every month – enjoy our new site!