Started as an online store that sells Lesotho manufactured clothing street wear, Shippa opened the doors to its first ever physical store on Monday this week at Reauboka Complex at Seapoint in Maseru.
The founders of this prime stockiest of Mountain Kingdom streetwear brands said a physical store was always one of the goals when they started the journey.
Having just started their own clothing brand known as Sqo, Tokelo “TK” Mofokeng and partner Molupe Motšoehli decided to create an online store in 2016. This was for customers in and outside Lesotho to have easy access to their brand. However, the two gentlemen then decided to start small and grow from there hence the online store at that time.
“When we started Shippa, we only sold Sqo which is our clothing brand that we had just founded so we realized that there are other local brands with a lot of demand across the country and beyond the borders.
“Though Shippa started as online and pop-up store, with time we realized the need for a physical store to have customers on a regular basis, that is how we developed into a flagship store to house all our local brands” Said Mofokeng, also adding that Shippa was created to bridge the gap between the customers and local brands.
Just like any other informal business in the country, the brand started out without any funding but Mofokeng attributes their passion to see the brand grow as the driving force for its sustainability.
“Opening this store is part of the vision that we had five years ago, this is a journey that is continuing. We have over the years hosted pop-up stores and the whole idea of that was to assist us in having physical interactions with customers and clients because we were only selling online then,” he said.
The pop-up store culture is expected to continue despite now having secured a one venue physical store, while the anticipation is that the expansion will go to other districts.
Brands such as Sqo, City Kings, Nobodies, F.M.C.K and others can be found at the store while Mofokeng said their doors are still open to other top quality brands in the country to be made available in the store.
“We are strictly into streetwear brands that’s a first and from there we are still open to other brands still in that line as long as they are arty, authentic, have some history behind and most importantly quality brands that we can be proud to sell to customers,” said Mofokeng.
Shippa is township slang for a store or a shop, hence the establishment prioritises firstly streetwear or the apparel of the township.