Leche' Benny turns setback into a powerful comeback with 'Thrifty Fabulous' business

By Chanice Jennike - 30 August 2019Views : 756

Cape Town businesswoman, Leche' Benny is showing everyone around her that with the right mindset, determination and a 'never give up attitude', you can achieve everything you want... and more!

Born and raised in Mitchells Plain, Leche' is the proud owner of an online thrift store, Thrifty Fabulous. 

She is a wife and a proud mom to an adorable little boy, who she says is her motivation to always do better. 

Leche' had always dreamed of one day starting her very own business and that's exactly what she did. But the journey in getting there wasn't a smooth road. 

In 2016, Leche' was hospitalized after the left side of her body went lame. 

"My face was pulled to one side, I looked like someone who had a stroke. I was there for about two weeks and I swear, it was the hardest two weeks of my life," she said.

Following numerous tests, Leche' was diagnosed with a brain disorder. She was devasted and had no idea how she would pick herself back up after hearing the news, but she knew she couldn't give up.

She said that she decided that she will not let the brain disorder define her and started working towards getting better, not just for herself but for her son. 

"I took that and decided 'Hell no' I'm not going to allow that to define me. I am not that! So every day I walked a little, I pushed a little harder, I tried every day to just get back to the person I remember being. If I think of it now, I could have allowed it to eat me up inside but I had to push through, I had to. If not for my son then for me," she said. 

While Leche' was working as a shoe designer, the company she had worked for unfortunately closed its doors and Leche' was left without a job. 

"I was left feeling lost, uninspired and evidently unemployed," she said. "The thought of having to depend on my husband for everything really put a knot in my stomach and even though I had a plan for my life, as I am a firm believer in plans, this one plan didn’t work out the way I thought it would."

Leche' said that she decided to sell a few items in her closet to get some extra cash for her family. 

"After selling a few of my items, I stood back and had a moment of clarity, I thought 'I could actually turn this into a business'. I started off small, bought items here and there and resold it. To my surprise, it grew into something so phenomenal and essentially Fabulous!" she said. 

Leche' then started her booming business, Thrifty and Fabulous

"Thrifty Fabulous is an online store specialising in pre-owned ladies clothing. It is a company that is rooted in Mitchells Plain and that strives to push the boundaries when it comes to the perception of second-hand clothes," she said.

When explaining where the name for her business came from, Leche' said that "the word Thrifty has so many different meanings to it" and said that it was fitting for her business.

"Thrifty means 'using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully', aka a hustler. And Fabulous is something I believe everyone should feel when they wear their clothes."

She admitted that the hardest part of the job was creating her online store. 

"It was the toughest part of the job because I am not the most computer savvy person, but I got by. I built it and I run it all on my own. I try my best to showcase the most fashionable pieces on my site, being that it is my background, I wanted that to be a part of Thrifty."

Clothing at Thrifty Fabulous are purchased from various women or they are donated to the business. 

"The clothing is then sifted through and then selected to either go for sale or be given to charity. The items go through a cleaning process so it can be in the best condition possible," she said. 

All of the models used to advertise the clothing are women from the community. 

"Thrifty Fabulous also offers ladies a chance to showcase as one of the models on the page. We don't use professional models. We try to use as many local girls as possible, it gives them a chance to get some exposure and experience a professional photoshoot at the studio and all." 

Leche' said that charity is an extremely important aspect the business focuses on. 

"We donate clothing to various organisations as well as the homeless."

She admitted that she has always been in love with fashion. 

"My mom inspired it, she was always such a “diva”. She always wore heels and her outfits were put together so beautifully. So growing up, seeing that already had me dreaming about being a designer," she said. 

She went on to say, "My path took a different turn. I ended up studying Somatology after high school and to be honest, I hated every minute of it. I have loads of respect for the industry but it was not for me at all."

Leche' said that her passion was fashion but the dream to study did not seem reachable at the time as fees were too expensive.

"Divine intervention happened and I learned about Northlink College that offers Clothing Production. I jumped at the opportunity. I knew it was meant to be. I enrolled and graduated by coming second for my work throughout the years of study. After graduating I got the amazing opportunity to work and be trained as a shoe designer. Yes, I did clothing and shoes."

"I hope to one day return to Clothing design. Watch this space!" she said.