Chic Fusion is a design and manufacturing studio based in Woodstock, Cape Town, which produces hand-felted home décor and fashion accessories in 100% wool and natural fibres. Razaan Jakoet, a teacher by profession, founded the business in 2010. Chic Fusion employs unskilled women from disadvantaged communities and trains the women in the art of felting using the designs for them to complete the felting process. Currently, Chic Fusion has four permanent staff members and three trained temporary part-time workers.
Challenges Being Faced During COVID-19
One of our big export orders was forced to be held back shortly before lockdown, and two orders that we were busy with had to be put on hold.
During Level 4 lockdown, we received an order for approximately 20-30 units for export to the UK. We need our staff to be operational, at work, in order to proceed and complete this order.
With the sudden halt in turnover, we have been unable to fulfil its commitments to creditors as well as staff salaries. We require the implementation of Level 2 lockdown, at least, in order to start up production and exportation of goods. More than 50% of our turnover over the last two years came from the tourism and export market.
With the halt in incoming flights and overseas tourists, as well as limited sales for the export market, Chic Fusion is required to rethink its business strategy to stay afloat.
What Will The Donations Be Used For?
We will fulfill our obligations to creditors, finance overheads (such as rent, telephone, etc) as well as try to ease the burden on our staff by paying part of their salaries along with any UIF payments received.
How does our work impact the community/give-back?
We employ women from disadvantaged communities, where support and resources are minimal. Three of our staff members are breadwinners who have children and get little or no support from their children’s fathers as they are also without work.
Chic Fusion supplies tourist-bound shops in and around Cape Town as well as in the O.R Tambo International Airport. The business has been showing steady growth over the past few years with notable increases in exports. Chic Fusion attended annual trade shows on National and International pavilions, including USA, France, Germany, Dubai, Japan and the UK and secured a relationship with a Distributor in Australia, the USA and the UK.