Like many South African start-ups, Localnest was established during the Covid 19 lockdown. In conversation with the founder, Daniel Trevethan, he highlights how the business came to be, and some of the challenges he faced when starting.
Localnest is a platform where local clothing brands are found together, in one place. It works as an online store, where consumers can easily browse and shop for local clothing brands, nationwide.
According to Daniel, web browsing during lockdown was what helped in the creation of Localnest. “I came across all these cool brands and thought about having a place where local brands can get their brands into the hands of South Africans,” explained Daniel. He further added that upon seeing different brands across the internet, he was motivated to create an easier, more accessible way for people to find and shop for local brands. By doing this, it also helped businesses with their web design and marketing. “It’s a place where businesses can focus on their products without worrying about branding and marketing. Kind of like a business hub or third-party website.”
The target audience of Localnest is both local small to medium-sized local business, and customers looking for local clothing. The two-way benefits are that businesses don’t have to spend time and capital on branding, marketing, and finding web developers to start up their business. Localnest provides the platform and branding for these businesses. Additionally, customers will not have to search high and low for local brands to shop at.
Daniel mentioned that his passion lies in financial advisory. Thus, when asked where he sees Localnest in a few years, he told us that he hopes to still be involved, but not as much as he is now. “Majority shareholder, minority decision holder,” he jokingly agreed.
“I would love to for us to one day start employing a couple people – I think for everyone starting a business, that should be one of the key goals, that they’re actually creating a space for employment, not just about making money,” Daniel humbly stated when talking about the future of his company.
Daniel admitted that he didn’t always know that he would go into the entrepreneurial space. “I value working under someone and learning from guys who know a whole lot more than I do.” He added that he has a lot of support and is surrounded by many who are well-versed in business management, so he has always had the guidance and counsel.
As a start-up, Localnest has had its fair share of trials and tribulations. Daniel elaborated by referring to the first few months as “2 steps forward, 5 steps back”, as the business was in a constant state of fixing problems. Yet despite this, they managed to get through them.
Closing statements made by Daniel was that while starting a business is scary, the lessons you learn are invaluable. “Build something you’re really keen to see, not something half-hearted. And let it grow the way you visualise. Be patient. Overnight sensations aren’t always a thing. Don’t think you can do it on your own. Be humble. Identify weaknesses and bring people in who can compensate for those”.