It’s easy to feel powerless during a crisis, but for creative problem-solvers, Stratitude, it was important to make a difference and support local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on South Africa’s five million micro and small businesses. With government restrictions enforced to stem the spread of the virus, many of these businesses simply didn’t have the resources to weather the storm.
In July 2020, the agency committed R50 000 in marketing expertise to support registered, local businesses. One of the companies selected was Gazed Atelier. Gazed is a Gauteng-based fashion brand started by designer Grace Mokhele. Like large and small retail clothing stores around the world, Gazed was forced to shut its doors to comply with lockdown regulations.
“In order to survive I needed to restructure my business and operations. I expanded my range to include several fashion and bedroom accessory brands that would fall under the Gazed umbrella. My biggest challenge, however, was not being able to reach my customers. With advice from Stratitude, the solution was to develop an e-commerce website,” says Grace Mokhele, owner of Gazed Atelier.
“There’s been a global shift in fashion towards digital platforms, so an e-commerce website for Gazed made perfect sense,” explains Sylvia Schutte, managing director of Stratitude. “Not only is online shopping convenient but, during a global pandemic, it’s also safe. Digital platforms suit evolving customer preferences and e-commerce is helping businesses make up for lost sales.”
In addition to building a new e-commerce site and redesigning the Gazed logo, the agency has continued providing Mokhele with marketing expertise. “I’m so thankful that Gazed was chosen by Stratitude, as their advice is going to have a significant influence on the future of my business. I’ve overcome my greatest challenge of the pandemic and extended my client base from Vereeniging to across the country,” says Mokhele.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, but they’re also the most at risk. This is why it was important to us to support local companies and help them stay in business. The fact that Gazed is woman-owned is an added bonus. To Stratitude, it wasn’t just about giving away free services, it was about making an impact that matters today and long after the lockdown has finally lifted,” says Schutte.