Up close & Personal with Majda Rabin from Chimpel

Why did you apply for Threads?

The Threads competition came around the time I started questioning myself as to which direction my business was moving. I felt as if I was stagnating, yet bursting with ideas as to what I wanted to get out in the market. I realized that I needed to make some changes and move away from my comfort zone. The question was what now? Threads came just at the right time in my entrepreneurship journey. I needed a fresh course of action and Threads was there to bail me out.

 

What has inspired you to start your brand/business?

Coming from a background where both parents were involved in fashion, rallying around them as they were working, I am not surprised to have inherited their creative flair. As a little girl I played dress up and my dolls loved it. As a teenager, I always loved the glamour of the fashion world and pictured myself as a designer. The inspiration hit when I could never find the right bag. It was either overpriced, the design wasn’t right or just not worth buying. This was all I needed to move in and fill the gap.

 

 

Tell us more about your brand?

The name Chimpel evolved from the Indian word Chippel (sandal). My husband was always at our boys to wear their chippels. This word stuck and I made it uniquely mine by adding the “m” for Majda and creating a household name Chimpel. Chimpel is a design house and manufacturing company based in Cape Town since 2009. Only luxury exotic leathers are used in the manufacture of each handbag. Each product is hand made by qualified artisans who personalizes each item by adding exquisite detail, either a touch of ostrich or a piece of crocodile hide which adds to the originality and status of all Chimpel designs. The Chimpel range now includes a wider selection of soft, natural and exotic leather bags, clutches, belts and accessories. Our brand focuses on classic shapes, ensuring that our designs remain timeless.

 

 

What is the greatest challenge you faced so far as fashion entrepreneurs in South Africa?

I found that the local boutiques love the product but reluctant to purchase and only prepared to showcase your product if “Goods on Consignment.”
On the odd occasions of an emergency order, government officials lack urgency in assisting with documentation for export purposes which poses a huge problem.
My biggest challenge, however, is being unable to access the finance made available to women entrepreneurs. This places a tremendous amount of strain on my already limited resources.

 

 

What is your favorite side of doing business in the fashion industry?

I love the glamour and exposure that comes with the fashion industry. Being driven by the competitive edge in the fashion industry keeps me on my toes and makes me strive harder towards perfection. Most of all having a brainstorm session for a new design, meeting new people, having the privilege to travel the world and showcase my product while experiencing the beauties of the world.

 

 

Tell me about an accomplishment you are the proudest of?

My biggest accomplishment I would say was starting a business during the 2009 recession and making a success of it by using mainly my own resources, no experience but armed with enthusiasm and belief that I could make it in the fashion industry. Having Hillary Swank purchasing a Chimpel product was the cherry on top. 2016 proved to me that hard work and perseverance pays off. Being chosen as a top 13 finalist in the Cape Chamber of Commerce Exporter of the Year competition was definitely a highlight in my entrepreneurship career.

 

 

What trends do you currently see in the fashion industry, in SA and abroad?

In South Africa, people are definitely appreciating local more but they do not necessarily want to pay the price. Whereas abroad, the ethnic look of Africa with its combination of cowhide with crocodile, ostrich and ostrich shin are definitely a hit and accepted well in the fashion arena.

 

 

Tell me about an accomplishment you are the proudest of?

My biggest accomplishment I would say was starting a business during the 2009 recession and making a success of it by using mainly my own resources, no experience but armed with enthusiasm and belief that I could make it in the fashion industry. Having Hillary Swank purchasing a Chimpel product was the cherry on top. 2016 proved to me that hard work and perseverance pays off. Being chosen as a top 13 finalist in the Cape Chamber of Commerce Exporter of the Year competition was definitely a highlight in my entrepreneurship career.

 

 

What trends do you currently see in the fashion industry, in SA and abroad?

In South Africa people are definitely appreciating local more but they do not necessarily want to pay the price. Whereas abroad, the ethnic look of Africa with its combination of cow hide with crocodile, ostrich and ostrich shin are definitely a hit and accepted well in the fashion arena.

 

chimpel.co.za

https://www.facebook.com/ChimpelM/ https://www.instagram.com/Chimpel_SouthAfrica/ https://twitter.com/chimpelM

 

Threads Team

We believe in change. We believe in leaving a lasting impact. That's why threads mission is to empower the next of South African fashion entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools, resources, and networks to run a sustainable business operation and thrive internationally.