Fredrika Gaweses is a living testimony that with self-confidence and positive encouragement, a person can reach their dreams.
A former cleaner at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Gaweses (52) promoted herself to being her own boss when she created F&F Enterprises cc.
Her journey to owning her own business started in 1992 when after witnessing how gifted she is with her hands, her husband surprised her with a sewing machine.
Back then, Gaweses confesses that she was not the best sewer there was but she was passionate about sewing and knew she could excel at it.
“I then started teaching myself everything I needed to know in sewing from home. As I got better, I started getting sewing orders from neighbours. That is how I got the offer of two ladies who proposed to work with me and thought me how to sew school uniforms,” she recalls.
Although the working relationship with the two ladies did not last long, she upgraded her skills of sewing school uniforms, which broadened her work opportunities. From then on, her clientele-base started to steadily grow and her house soon becomes too small to accommodate her business, prompting her to move to Soweto Market.
“If you have trust in yourself and believe in your dreams, it will surely develop into something bigger. I believe it all starts from the heart,” she says.
She sews school uniforms from primary school ones to secondary, which cost from N$155 (for six to 10-year-olds) to N$210 (for 10 to 17-years-olds).
She also does customised uniforms for schools like Moses van der Byl or Moses Garoeb Primary Schools. In addition, she does all kinds of dresses, plate mates and other related material.
In the spirit of enlarging her business, she attended a baking course in 2006 offered by Khomas Women Development.
The course enabled her to supplement her income and diversify from the sewing business.
She bakes for different events ranging from birthdays and weddings. Gaweses, who is also a pastor (together with her husband), believes in encouraging others to build themselves personally and professionally.
Currently, she only has one fulltime employee though she has two more casual workers who work with her from December to March because she gets a lot of school uniform orders during that period.
She complains that she has had a number of previous employees who were not hard working enough.
“I am passionate about what I do, so it always pains me when I employ someone who is not equally passionate. I always come across ladies who have no ambitions or aren’t hard working enough. If you are lazy, you will never develop. My wish is to work with hard working ladies in order to promote each other in business,” she notes.