Tintswalo Mabuza


Ever heard of the phrase “Build it and they will come”? Well, that is exactly what happened!After months of my store in operation, I received a message from a customer who wanted me to quote them on a huge order! Of course, for a small business startup, this is ‘over the moon’ news!! But…how did I get here? Well, let’s start from the beginning.

My name is Tintswalo Mabuza, I am 32 years old and I am the founder and owner of Calcaventia Couture. I am a Mechanical Engineer and Biodigital Architecture graduate who, after unsuccessfully securing a job after my studies due to the 2020 pandemic, decided to take my creative skills and love for African cultures seriously and start a business in the fashion industry.

I am usually a colourful person…I mean literally ha ha. This is evident in the way I dress, the things I create with my hands and my very imaginative mind. I have always been somewhat ‘ridiculed’ for my colourful expressive style.

Years ago, before the trend of African prints and traditional clothing picked up, I had dreamt of the day South African people showed up at work, meetings or events in their traditional inspired attires…everyday…with pride. And moreover, to be so immersed in African cultural fashion that they wear their clothing anywhere; at the beach, on vacation, just to go to the grocery store or even when relaxing at home. So…Calcaventia Couture was born.

Calcaventia Couture is a South African clothing and accessories brand for women that started operating in March 2021. It provides designer clothing and accessories that are heavily influenced by a mix of African cultures.

So, after months of starting my business, I had a request from customer, Mpho from ShopConsciously, to quote her on a huge order for my accessories. I was very excited about this order because it was my first huge order since starting my business! I definitely learned so much from fulfilling this order. It taught me a lot about business and about myself. It also helped me to finance the different parts of my business to keep me afloat.There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing someone wearing or using what you have made, the feeling is priceless. And now, not only will the beauty of Calcaventia Couture be experienced nationally but internationally as well!! Shop Consciously did that!

Calcaventia Couture is currently operated by me, the owner, and fulfilling the big order fromShop Consciously made me realize that the sooner I get more hands and minds to help me, the better it will be for my store. I hope to have a physical store in the near future and hope to employ underrepresented women in my community to help empower them with this experience.