Meeting the creatives of HOMEMADE CPT

It was a rainy, cloudy day in Cape Town when we met with the creators of Homemade CPT –  two sisters who are committed and inspired by Cape Town and are building a platform for its local talent. From the get go we’ve been great admirers of these two incredible women.

Homemade CPT hosts and creates a personalised platform and showroom for local creatives. They arrange the complete shopping experience from setting up event spaces to bringing in tons of shoppers to its platform.

Join us as we unpack the story behind Homemade CPT.

Hi, Nabilah and Leila. Please introduce yourselves. How long has Homemade CPT been a dream before you both made it a reality?

I’m Leila Bardien-Taylor. Owner of Homemade CPT. My background is in textile product & process quality management and have spent 14 years in the industry. I’m a huge fangirl of all things local, and believe entirely that it is the sustainable solution to future job creation.

I'm Nabilah Hassen-Bardien. Co-owner and creative director of Homemade CPT. I have spent 6 years in the event and marketing industry within the corporate sector. I would never dream of missing out on conceptualising visual content.

We started playing around with the idea of Homemade CPT in September 2015 and by October 2015 we started building the process. By December 2015,  we launched our first pop up store featuring over 10 designers. 

It must be so fun to work as sisters! Tell us about each of your individual roles in the business.

L: We are both very service orientated because we’ve spent time in retail. We also stick to a plan since it was demanded from both industries we came from. We are complete opposites in style but we agree largely on aesthetic with Nabilah being the lead. 

Also Nabilah is very hands-on in terms of digital and web expertise, so we complement each other. We’ve been tested but our relationship has come through with flying colours, highlighting a great team.

What are some things you wish you knew before starting a business?

Realising how much time is required. Working in corporate you have a lot of resources at your disposable. With your own business, the responsibility is spread thin! If you are in the service industry cash does not flow. You have to persevere.

“You have to persevere”

Approaching/partnering/hosting brands is a big part of Homemade CPT. How do you choose which brands to host?

Our selection criteria is very simple. Firstly, our ethos is built around local design and manufacture; if this is met we host your brand. Secondly, we look at the brand image, for our long-term vision in remaining a boutique pop-up. It is important for brands to compliment our installation concepts. Look and feel is important.

How do you both juggle motherhood and Homemade CPT? As both of you are working moms, we’re curious about how mothers figure out how to do it/balance it all.

L: To be honest, it’s the most challenging thing ever. But we know what’s important and your babies wont be small forever although they will always remain the priority. With my eldest, we were able to work into the early hours of the morning but now that I have a newborn baby and so does Nabilah, its a little bit more challenging. So we took our foot off the gas a bit and are extremely selective about events for the rest of the year. 

We all lose a little inspiration sometimes. Have you ever felt like giving up? How do you get back on your feet when you have bad days?

L: OF COURSE. Many times. That is the life of an entrepreneur. However I’m that type of person that sees things through no matter the circumstance. So in times when I feel like I want to give up, I always go back to the reasons why I started in the first place. 

N: Remember to focus on the end goal; it always pushes you to work a little harder, even on bad days. If you follow any successful entrepreneur you will find that success comes after numerous failures and rejections. Those who keep at it will score the breakthrough.

“Success comes after numerous failures and rejections. Those who keep at it will score the breakthrough”

What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs and what’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

L: The best advice I’ve ever received is to ask for what you want. As someone who is more introverted it’s very hard to do that but it has brought on quite a few surprises. My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to be to be brave. You are capable of anything and everything. Just do your research first!

N: My advice is to have patience. People have only started to understand the concept that is Homemade CPT two years since its inception.

What’s coming up next for Homemade that we should have on our calendars?

Since we have a lot of babies on the brain, we decided to host a baby boutique called Little Homemade, at an incredible venue called The Homestead, in CPT. We’ve incorporated more than just products to shop and extended to services to enjoy, such as a beautiful outdoor activity area and a mommy massage. It’s going to be like a little party!

Stay connected with Homemade CPT

Instagram: @homemadecpt

Illustration: INARA
Photographer: INARA