Lilo Collections is one brand that is on an upward trajectory with very inspiring story behind. This brand born out of frustration caused by the high youth unemployment in South Africa. I caught up with the lady behind the brand to give us the low down.

About the founder…

Founder: Lerato Ogagba

Age: 25

Area: Johannesburg

Qualification & Profession: BTech in Fashion Design and self taught Jeweller.

Lilo Collections Founder Lerato Kuthu
Lerato Ogagba: Lilo Collections Founder

How did it all start?

I started Lilo Collections after I completed my degree in Fashion from the University of Johannesburg. After several attempts to get into graduate programs and internships in some of the biggest retail groups in South Africa. I found myself seating at home, almost depressed because of having literally nothing to do. This one day I remembered this one bead shop I knew as a child. I decided to visit the bead shop to buy some beads, materials and tools that I will use to make the earrings.

How did the name of your brand come about?

Lilo is a pet name that my husband gave to me whilst we were still dating. I thought it was short and quite easy to remember. Fortunately, it later branded well.

Why Earrings?

Earrings are my favourite accessory. I think my choice to make earrings was influenced by a pair of earrings that I purchased from one of the popular jewellery stores. I paid quite a fortune for the earrings and I felt that they were worth the price as I appreciated their exclusivity and beauty. When I looked at the earrings and I thought to myself, I can turn ordinary earrings into outstanding earrings. I consider myself a creative.

I enjoy crafting and making things with my hands. At that point, earrings made sense to me and I convinced myself that one can never really have more than enough earrings. So, there’s a big market for earrings.

What is your personal favourite Lilo Collection so far?

My favourite collection so far is ADORN, because it was the first collection of earrings I’ve put out to the public. This collection made me realise potential as a self taught jeweller and crafts woman. In addition, ADORN as a collection defines the exact purpose of Lilo earrings, which is to allow women to adorn themselves.

Lilo Collection - Adorn Collection
Lilo Collection: ADORN

What is the highlights or biggest achievement so far?

I got to exhibit and sell my earring at the University of Johannesburg where I obtained my qualifications for Fashion Design. Lilo Collections was a gifts partner at the POB Dialogues. Lilo Collections had its first collaboration with TNM jewellery for women’s month called BASADI, which means women in seTswana.

What makes Lilo Collections exceptional?

Lilo Collections’ earrings are hand-made to exclusively suit a variety of styles. They cater for  the Afro Chic, African traditional, formal/ corporate as well as casual and street smart wear.

Where do you see Lilo Collections in the next 3 years?

Lilo Collections will be supplying boutiques and retail stores across the country. This means Lilo will be employing young people who will be making larger amounts of earrings to supply our clients. We will also be diversifying our product catalogue by adding other accessories and designer clothes.

Who would you like to see wearing Lilo earrings one day?

I would say the likes of Nandi Madida and Tumelo Mothotwane.

Where can people buy Lilo Collection?

Customers can buy through our online store, www.lilocollections.co.za, as well as our social media pages, Instagram @lilo_za, Facebook @Lilo crafts and Whatsapp at 0765849100. We also sell at various markets in and around Johannesburg.

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Thokozani Patrick Mahlangu

Thokozani Mahlangu is an internationally certified digital marketing professional and an Mcom Business Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg. He is the Chief Brand Creator of Pat onBrands and Pat onFitness- a fitness movement through which organizes weekly runs under the banner #RunWithPat.

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