#FRESHINTERVIEW: THE KHAKANE SISTERS
Names: Sonia Khakhane & Grace Khakhane
Occupation: Business owners of the Khakhane retail shops in Windhoek & Okahandja
Ages: 25 and 23 years old
Fresh: How did you get your start in fashion?
Fashion has been with us throughout our years of growing up, because we are just ladies in our family, that is myself (Sonia), my sister (Grace) and our mother, it was easy to just grow into it. When you grow up with a strong single mother you learn about life in a totally different light, especially how to carry yourself as a woman.
Fresh: Can you share with us the story of how Khakane Shoes got its start?
We initially started 2 years ago, we just wanted to share our sense of style and decided to buy a few stuff and it than grew into a brand people were so so interested and they loved what we had to offer.
Fresh: How did your brand evolve and what were the important elements to building it? Was there anything that didn’t work out?
We guess that with doing our homework before anything else, it’s what helped us out a lot, the only major problem was finding space for what we initially wanted to do.
Fresh: What sets Khakane Shoes apart from department stores, specialty retailers, and other boutiques selling women’s clothing and shoes?
We believe that all women love looking good and some just cannot afford looking a certain way, so we set ourselves apart with affordable prices and by not catering to only a specific buyer such as body types.
Fresh: Can you describe the ideal location and demographics for a Mainstream Boutique? Who is your target customer?
We are situated on the upper level of Town Square which is not as busy as Wernhill, I guess the only means of our customers reaching or knowing about us is by how we market ourselves, through social media and by word of mouth.
As said previously we do not necessarily have a target market, we target to every women looking for something nice and luxurious to wear.
Fresh: How do you choose your looks for each season? Do you have a certain woman in mind when doing so?
We value a lot of our customers ideas, styles or items they personally would like us to bring in, we always note it and do that. Its all about what our customers want, so if they want a certain color of an outfit they like, we do our best to cater to them.
Fresh: What do you want your boutique to be known for?
Definitely for being affordable, luxurious and of course for having the best shoes, we want to be a shopping hot spot among the style elite.
Fresh: People today don’t have to leave their apartment to go shopping. They can sit on the couch in their PJs, open their laptop and just go online to shop for clothes. Why open a store?
This is Namibia, and from finding out what or how most ladies want, we can assure you that they prefer seeing their goods themselves before they spend money. We did the online first before moving on to a easier option for the ladies.
We designed the store so when you walk in there — it’s a feeling you just can’t translate to a website.
Fresh: Many boutique owners view their shops as an extension of their closet. Is that true with you as well?
Sonia: Yes so so much, I loves jeans and that’s why you will find a variety of jeans chosen by me.
Grace: I’m a dress person, so I personally pick out dresses.
Shoes we definitely both go crazy for, so we select those together.
Fresh: How important is it for you to achieve success with the Khakane brand?
Wow, well our surname is branded with the shop, so as much as we want to be successful with shops, we have to work extra hard not to hurt the name. This is a brand we want to one day pass on to our young ones.
Fresh: Could you describe what a typical day is like for you?
A typical day for us to wake up nice and early to go straight to the shop or on some days we do a quick trip to Okahandja to make sure everything is in order with the shop and staff.
We are full time at the store, helping and consulting customers, so we basically sit there all day till close, because this is a normal job for us and we want to be just as involved as our employees.
Fresh: Which fashion icon do you most admire, and why?
Sonia: I love Kim Kardashian’s style, she just wins with her outfits and I am definitely one of those people who copies her style.
Grace: I admire Bonang Matheba, she’s a woman of many talents, and one of them is being a fashion killer.
Fresh: How would you describe your personal style?
Classy, edgy and stylish. Gone are the days when fashion was dull and boring. These days it’s all about drama and the brighter the better. Don’t fade into the background, command attention wherever you go with confidence of course.
Fresh: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Sonia: I wanted to be a lawyer, but that changed later at school and I studied marketing instead.
Grace: I’ve always wanted to become a fashion model.
Fresh: Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
There is just a lot of pressure answering that, don’t know there is like a list of 100 people. But we would love to have dinner with Queen Elizabeth II, Fashion Police’s Giuliana Rancic, Ryan Seacrest, Kim Kardashian West and the husband of course Mr Kanye West aka Pablo (LOL).
Fresh: What item or collection are you most proud of?
Our shoes are bomb, every time we get new arrivals, we actually jump to grab ours first. (LOL)
Fresh: What are your interests outside of fashion?
Sonia: I love singing, dancing and acting, so I like to think that I’m the whole package, like a “Jaqueline” of all trades.
Grace: I love modelling so I like taking pictures and dressing up in different looks.
Fresh: Is it all work and no play, or are you able to balance following your dream and relaxing?
Work first and the rest follows with the little time we have. We both really fun people so jah
Fresh: You are currently in the works with a charity of Namibian personality Maria Nepembe’s Nepembe Foundation. How did you figure out what to hitch your brand to and what do you look for in a charity to partner with?
We came up with this idea awhile back and took it us about a few weeks to pull off this upcoming event. Maria is a personal friend and we just thought that it would be great if we teamed up with her, as she has an established foundation already, we’ve always wanted to work with her and we could not have chosen a better person.
So we are just happy that Khakhane Shoes brand will be hosting its first of many more charity events.
Fresh: What’s your next goal?
We want to open as many shops as we can, we are visioning a countrywide Khakane Shoe brand.
Fresh: Where can we find you?
Windhoek: Town Square Upperlevel (Close to Mugg & Bean)
Okahandja: Okahandja Shopping Centre (Next to Clicks)
Facebook: Khakane Shoes
Instagram: Khakane Shoes