Talented young designed Max Daters, originally from Aberdeen, was recently honoured for her achievements when she was selected to be part of the Pitching Den at the Standard Bank Top Women Conference 2017. This was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Port Elizabeth in November, and gave Max the opportunity to pitch her business to potential investors.
Max, who was born in Aberdeen, attended Kamdebo Primary School, and went on to matriculate at Cillié High where she said modestly she “learned a few basics of sewing”. She later went to study Fashion Designing at Damelin College for two years, and graduated in 2011.
She started her business, under the name Max Stoann Designs, straight after graduation, and after something of a struggle initially, she has found her niche and the business is now thriving. At the beginning of this year, the company was rebranded as Intombi Stoann, which means “woman hard as a rock” –and Max’s determination has certainly proved to be rock-like!
She has a business partner, Lukhanyo Sweli who is from Graaff Reinet, and he is the marketing guru in the company. They also employ a lady on a part time basis.
The company’s biggest drawcards are the matric farewells and this year they dressed about 20 matriculants from Aberdeen, Steytlerville and Port Elizabeth. This is a field they would like to expand next year. They have a smart casual range called EVOKE that caters only for ladies, most of our garments are custom made to fit their clients perfectly. Most of the company’s clients are in Graaff-Reinet, and they order on a regular basis. They have also taken the brand to Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Max’s family is still in Aberdeen and she enjoys going home to visit when her work allows. Oftenshe has to go home for work and thus spends less time with them than she would like, but she says they are very understanding! “My grandmother’s lounge literally turns into my work studio, but she doesn’t mind” she said ruefully.
Often Max and her team pack up their machines and go to their clients to work from their homes for a few days.
Max’s goal for 2018 is to build a Manufacture House in Missionvale, in Port Elizabeth, to help the youth in the community learn various skills as well as how to run a business. They are going to be doing a lot of fundraising to raise money for machines and everything else that will be needed for the Manufacture House in 2018.