‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

Nic Haralambous at his Nic Harry kiosk in Cape Town's swanky Waterfront. (picture supplied)

--

Nic Haralambous started wild/crazy/luxury sock company Nic Harry from his bedroom to prove a point – you can start a lucrative business in a short time with almost no money.

Haralambous had only R5000, yet he turned a small profit after a month.

His secret?

He chose his product carefully so he could utilize the internet to access the whole world.

“I specifically wanted to get into e-commerce,” says Haralambous.

“I didn’t want to accept returns and I wanted a light product that could ship cheaply to anywhere in the world.”

Stand out from the (boring) crowd - no new wardrobe required!

Socks – daring, brightly pattered ones – was the answer for the fashion conscious serial entrepreneur (Nic Harry is his 11th business – he’s done it all; from student news to being in a band).

“Your socks are a way for you to stand out without getting a new wardrobe. I wear long pants that I roll up!”

Picture by Andiswa Mkosi.

Designed and made in beautiful, marketable Cape Town

To keep costs down Haralambous designs all the socks himself.

The socks are made in Cape Town from a bamboo fibre he imports from China.

“We produce in South Africa purely for business reasons,” says Haralambous.

“People want to buy a Cape Town sock! Cape Town, as a brand, is absolutely marketable!”

The human traffic at his outlet in Cape Town’s Waterfront – Africa’s most visited tourist attraction, he points out – proves his claim.

Tourist after tourist stops to, at least, look at the riotously patterned, brilliantly coloured socks proudly produced in the breathtakingly beautiful city they paid top dollar to visit.

R200 for a pair, yet they’re flying!

Nic Harry’s socks, at R200 a pair, even for a boring black one, don’t come cheap.

Haralambous, however, is quick to point out the value of the premium bamboo fibre.

“It’s very comfortable and soft, antibacterial and absorbent,” says the always- selling Haralambous.

Today, just over three years after that first profitable month, Nic Harry has three shops (including the online store) that sell more than a 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

Nic Harry shop assistant Clarence Mpofu. (Picture by Andiswa Mkosi)

The future looks patterned and brightly coloured

“I want to have 50 stores! And I want to do that in the next three to five years,” announces Haralambous.

“I admire Elon Musk, because he doesn’t care about money. He doesn’t say, ‘I want a billion dollars,’ he says, ‘I want to save the world!’

“I’m not changing the world, but I make people feel good.

“And I’m changing my world as well as the world of the people I employ.”

--

Enter your email address in the form below to receive a newsletter containing the seven most-read articles of the week from Bruce Whitfield’s The Money Show every Friday morning in your inbox.

Subscribe to our Business Wrap Newsletter


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : ‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
It’s party time! How Quicket became the place to get a ticket

It’s party time! How Quicket became the place to get a ticket

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews James Tagg, co-founder and director at Quicket.

Even upmarket boutiques offer lay-bys! Here’s what you need to know…

Even upmarket boutiques offer lay-bys! Here’s what you need to know…

Lay-by has taken off as a payment option in the last year or two, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

Tom Moyane’s lawyer to represent Peter Moyo in battle with Old Mutual

Tom Moyane’s lawyer to represent Peter Moyo in battle with Old Mutual

Bruce Whitfield interviews Eric Mabuza who will represent the dismissed Old Mutual CEO in a court challenge against his firing.

'We don’t need more plans! We have plans coming out of every orifice!'

'We don’t need more plans! We have plans coming out of every orifice!'

Bruce Whitfield interviews political analyst Lukhona Mnguni, Bonang Mohale (BLSA) and Dr Adrian Saville (Cannon Asset Managers).

How to turn R1000 into a thriving business

How to turn R1000 into a thriving business

Valerie Pole took R1000 and turned it into an extremely profitable business (and then wrote a book about it).

How to start a business with R20 (and no experience)

How to start a business with R20 (and no experience)

She couldn't sew, and didn't have much money, yet Fernanda Morrow created a wildly successful fashion accessory business.

Popular articles
Even upmarket boutiques offer lay-bys! Here’s what you need to know…

Even upmarket boutiques offer lay-bys! Here’s what you need to know…

Lay-by has taken off as a payment option in the last year or two, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

[LISTEN] Jacques Pauw and NB Publishers issued with summons for R35m

[LISTEN] Jacques Pauw and NB Publishers issued with summons for R35m

Former State Security Agency director general Arthur Fraser says he has suffered repuational damage because of Pauw's book.

Innovative medical glue replaces stitches and staples

Innovative medical glue replaces stitches and staples

Bio-Technology Ph.D. student at the Israel Institute of Technology Alona Shagan explains device similar to a standard glue gun.

[VIDEO] DA's Van Damme accuses family of racism, V&A Waterfront apologises

[VIDEO] DA's Van Damme accuses family of racism, V&A Waterfront apologises

The Democratic Alliance MP claims she was subjected to a racist tirade at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront and wants action taken.

I’ve never seen anything like this! – Simon Brown on Old Mutual vs Peter Moyo

I’ve never seen anything like this! – Simon Brown on Old Mutual vs Peter Moyo

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Simon Brown, Financial Educator at Just One Lap.

[WATCH] Volkswagen’s new feel-good Kombi ad 'Cupcake Boss' is brilliant

[WATCH] Volkswagen’s new feel-good Kombi ad 'Cupcake Boss' is brilliant

Advertisers traditionally warn against working with children. In this ad it works beautifully, says ad expert Andy Rice.

Court orders Gupta-linked Trillian to pay back R600 million to Eskom

Court orders Gupta-linked Trillian to pay back R600 million to Eskom

It also ordered the company to pay for all the costs of the application. Bruce Whitfield interviews EWN’s Clement Manyathela.

Comparing milk prices across Africa suggests the rand may get stronger

Comparing milk prices across Africa suggests the rand may get stronger

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Neville Mandimika, Africa Strategist at Rand Merchant Bank.

Learn to invest, then watch your money grow

Learn to invest, then watch your money grow

Ray White interviews Thobelani Maphumulo, author of "Invest Your Way to Wealth".