We are Yeyethu Designer Studio, a unique and empowering fashion design studio with a story of passion, perseverance and purpose. We are based in Kayamandi township, Stellenbosch in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Here, we welcome guests from across town, across the country – and across the world!
The story began in the hearts of two dynamic individuals – Bulelwa Tito and Lerato Mtiya.
My mother, who had a taste in fashion, used to dress me up a lot! But frills and fashion were never that important to me – all I ever wanted to do was to run my own business, and that’s what I did from a young age. Now I cannot imagine doing anything else!
I grew up wanting to become a police officer, not knowing that there was such a love of creativity that was hidden in me. But soon it would vibrantly change my life! The opportunity to study at the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design gave me the meticulous fashion skill I needed to become confident in doing what I love.
Bulelwa and Lerato’s paths crossed in Kayamandi, where their dreams for creativity and transformation became woven together – and in 2018 they co-founded Yeyethu Designer Studio. Their vision is to continue building a unique fashion brand, train people in our community and create jobs.
Our fashion philosophy is simple: to focus on quality, not quantity. Every creation is tailor-made and unique. And, as every design is made by hand-operated machines, our designs are creating value for, and bring income to, gifted artisans in Kayamandi.
We also love creating unique, bespoke items, so please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, +73 511 2033 (Bulelwa) or +27 73 002 2247 (Lerato) to discuss your ideas.
We create custom made men’s and women’s wear for casual and special occasions.
We do suit tailoring.
We work as as CMTs “Cut Make and Trim” for several clients.
We create table linen and scatter cushions.
• We do some craft items such as stuffed animal toys, key rings and bow ties, using shweshwe fabric.
We offer a 6-month sewing course where our aim is to equip our students with the skills to draft basic patterns and sew garments. (The fees are R250 per month.)
“The shweshwe dress from Yeyethu Designer Studio is definitely the best souvenir I got from South Africa. Bulelwa and Lerato are not only talented but also very inspiring! The whole experience from sketching up the pattern, to selecting the fabric, to fitting was very unique and inspiring. The attention to detail makes the dress fit perfectly. I’d definitely recommend Yeyethu!”
JILL KITTINUTTAKUL • THAILAND
“The distinctive smell of freshly-starched shweshe fabric and a riot of colour greets you at the door at Yeyethu Designer Studio. By far the hardest part is choosing your fabric and I could spend hours there!”
SONYA OLIVIER • SOUTH AFRICA
Yeyethu Designer Studio is a participant of the Ranyaka Community Transformation Building Business programme. As part of this programme, Bulelwa successfully completed an intensive nine-month programme at the Stellenbosch University’s Small Business Academy in 2019. Read more about the programme here.