How a Hobby became a business… the story of Annapatat Kids
Often the projects we least expect can morph into something of far greater magnitude than we intended or could ever imagine. Annapatat Kids is proof of this. A move from Cape Town to Johannesburg inspired Anneke du Toit to start a new ‘hobby’ and in the nine years that followed, her hobby has grown into a business which opened its first physical store in the latter half of 2021 at SOKO District in Rosebank Mall.
In 2012 Anneke found herself with quite a lot of extra time on her hands as her then boyfriend was working long hours. She decided to try her hand at starting a kids’ clothing side hustle that would generate some additional income to supplement what she was making from her day job in the décor industry. A short while later the magazine she was freelancing for ran a feature on her business, and it snowballed from there.
As a passionate and creative person, Anneke is all about doing things differently and standing out from the crowd. Annapatat Kids reflects that, as does SOKO District which illustrates once again how the retailers within this regenerative retail space mirror their brand ethos. Anneke explains her brand journey: “My brand is built on my love for anything quirky, pretty and local, my signature look being locally designed and printed floral fabrics that we use to make leggings, vests, accessories and more. The Annapatat Kids online store went live at the end of 2015 and was my main platform for sales until I knew the time was right for the next stage in 2021. I was looking for the ‘next big step’ for my brand and the decision for the store came at the same time I was expecting my firstborn. I realised that I could not continue to have all my eggs in one basket in terms of my business. With a new baby I couldn’t spend the time on my website and social media as I normally would. The store was a great way for me to shift my focus onto something new that would be able to operate without me being present all the time.”
Of course, a lot still has to happen behind the scenes to have a successful store! And that is where Annapatat’s studio comes in. All the clothing is made in Cape Town, while the prep and finishing touches are applied in her studio in Bryanston. All the accessories are also handmade in the studio and form a big part of the Annapatat Kids collection. The aim - with the help of her team - is to fill the shop every two weeks with new designs.
Anneke proudly explains how her memorable pieces are of such exceptional quality that they stand the test of time and are frequently passed on to siblings: “I am so fortunate to have loyal clients who have supported me with every collection I have launched – I think they see how unique my locally designed and printed fabrics are which means they know they are getting pieces that can’t be found anywhere else. They also appreciate the impeccable quality. I am so in awe of the support and recognition; it really makes all the hard work so worth it!”
Anneke looks forward to creating pieces that will continue to bring clients back and showcasing like-minded small businesses in her SOKO District store. Annapatat Kids has already formed collaborations with three other businesses that supply accessories that fit her brand and vision as well as the SOKO District platform fits her brand by providing a platform for small businesses to prosper and creating opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Anneke’s search for beautiful fabrics and creating more of her own prints is at the heart of Annapatat Kids and will continue to driver her pursuit in creating pieces which make Annapatat Kids what it is today.
SOKO District encourages any local brand to visit www.sokodistrict.com for more information on the completely customisable spaces available for brands that want to connect with customers who appreciate and value exceptional locally made quality items. SOKO District offers the perfect solution for brands which want to be part of something extra ordinary – register on the website today and become part of the SOKO District platform! And if you want to recommend a brand that fits the SOKO ethos, you can do that via the website too!
The Fun Stuff… with Anneke du Toit
Can’t live without item?
My phone! And coffee
People who drive slowly. I’m always in a rush.
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
I’m one of the few people who owned a kids’ clothing brand for many years before having a child of my own! Which finally changed in 2021, after having my business for nine years.
Books or movies?
My happy place is….
Cape Town – especially somewhere at a wine farm with a beautiful view.
Top of my bucket list is…
Going to Italy for our honeymoon which was stopped in its tracks due to Covid.
You’ll find SOKO District located in the bustling heart of Jozi at Rosebank Mall, 50 Bath Ave, Rosebank. For more information visit the SOKO District website or watch a video which will shed some light on re-tell therapy here: https://youtu.be/9udCS_7EMPM