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Women Entrepreneur Kumari Govender: Fashion Director & Founder of StyleSociety

Kumari Govender

In 2008, I made the big move from engineering to fashion. As much as I love the fashion industry, I also quite like working with numbers, so I studied project management before landing a job at a corrosion engineering company. I have now managed to marry my logical and creative sides to help build my career as a fashion entrepreneur with StyleSociety and my online store, Haute Edit (hauteedit.com)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to start your business?

‘A project manager by profession, I enjoyed a hugely successful career spanning 8 years in the corrosion engineering industry. I absolutely loved my job, but my entrepreneurial spirit inspired to pursue my dream of launching a fashion brand.


How did you get your idea or concept for the business? 

Twelve years ago, I took a leap of faith and left the comfort of a full-time job to pursue my dream of opening a fashion boutique.

StyleSociety started out as a monthly newsletter that was sent out to boutique clients, updating them on my style events, new arrivals and the latest fashion trends. It became so popular that I decided to move it to its own domain (stylesociety.co.za) in 2010. StyleSociety – my ultra glossy fashion blog was established in 2010 and it pretty much snowballed from there.

A few short months later I discovered the ‘pop-up retail trend’ that was sweeping the fashion capitals of the world, and it aligned with my intentions to establish StyleSociety as a fashion and lifestyle brand.

After months of extensive research and planning, I hosted one of the first ever Pop-Up Shops in South Africa in 2010. StyleSociety Pop Up Boutique was sold out success acquiring vast media coverage. The event was marketed exclusively through the stylesociety.co.za platform. I hosted seasonal pop up boutiques that were hugely successful between 2010-2015 before pursuing more up-to-date, fresh, unprecedented offerings.

Today as we celebrate a decade of style, StyleSociety is a highly curated lifestyle brand that has been guiding style conversations within the fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle verticals since 2010. As an all-female powered community, our mission is to encourage, empower, elevate and drive a culture of social responsibility powering positive change in the South African fashion sphere.

How many people work for you currently?

I am a one woman army but I frequently out-source work on a contractual basis. StyleSociety celebrates a decade of style this month, so I am in the process of relaunching and growing the team to five.

What advice would you have for other new entrepreneurs?

Love your work. Persevere. Stay focused. And be authentic. You have to be a believer and a dreamer to get that big success. It is what’s in your mind that dictates your results

What are your major services and how people can take benefit from it?

Acutely insightful yet willing to experiment to strike the right balance of innovation and return on investment through my work with a plethora of ventures, I’ve established my signature style when it comes to marketing and brand placement.


Consulting as an image enhancer who can modify your value proposition, your marketing collateral and your business voice to resonate deeply with your target market. Crafting promotional strategies, marketing pitches and social media campaigns that are unique. Mentoring and equipping you with the means to succeed amongst the cut-throat competition. Positioning your brand as a desirable choice for the power purchasers I interact with on a daily basis.

If you were given another chance to choose your career field, what would you choose?

I love both engineering and fashion so I would not change a thing.

Who supported you the most in your life?

I am blessed with the most supportive circle – my husband has been my biggest supporter, along with my parents, siblings and closest friends.

In addition, StyleSociety introduced many incredible people into my life who have become brand evangelists and shown up with their loyal support during the past ten years.

Which books do you read and recommend to get inspiration and motivation?

Right now I am reading ‘Manifest Now by Idil Ahmed’ and ‘The Divine Matrix by Gregg Braden’.

Old but Gold motivational page turners which I highly recommend – ‘Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill’ and ‘As a Man Thinketh by James Allen’.

What are your future plans? 

As an all-female powered community, our mission is to encourage, empower, elevate and drive a culture of social responsibility powering positive change in the South African fashion sphere.

My intention for the online glossy is to re-establish StyleSociety as an authoritative voice in the South African fashion domain while shining the spotlight on local talent.

My mission is to use the StyleSociety platform to provide value by encouraging, empowering and elevating our all-female powered community of StyleSociety readers.

Today, we are celebrating a decade of style with a huge #FashionForLiteracy campaign that will launch in the next few hours. Our ‘Giving is back in Style’ theme drives StyleSociety’s culture of social responsibility.

As part of StyleSociety’s 10th birthday celebration, we will be encouraging our readers to open their hearts and foster their ‘love of giving’ by nominating 30 families in need of food and basic essentials. 30 Food hampers will be distributed to these families as a ‘gift’ on behalf of the reader who nominated them.

Encourage, empower and elevate has been part of the StyleSociety narrative for many years. To show appreciation to our all-female powered community of readers, we will be empowering 30 of our readers with ‘fashion and marketing online courses’ to help them learn new skills or help elevate their existing skills.

The campaign will close with a host of brand product giveaways.

How people should contact you?

I can be reached via StyleSociety or Instagram