Despite the magnitude of what he’s achieved so far, Elisha Mpofu owner of Boaston Society, remains a humble mastermind of streetwear. Sitting on the stores bench on Long Street, Cape Town, the timid but determined entrepreneur speaks passionately of his business. He enthuses his love for the customer and talks of building relationships with everyone that walks through the door.
Boaston Society was firstly inspired by a friend, who used to sell knock-offs online. Seeing the demand for streetwear Elisha decided it would be better to sell authentic products. His experience in TV production added to his journey to Boaston, as he rubbed shoulders with streetwear enthusiasts and became more involved in youth culture.
The store was eventually launched in 2013 and has since garnered support and adoration from fans and friends alike. Stocking both local and international brands, you’re able to find labels from Puma to headhoncho, Elisha and his team have created a streetwear heaven. His understanding of street culture is a major strong-point and has steered the mothership to a land of happy customers. Its success, according to Elisha, is created by the fact that they actually care about their customers and in so doing learnt what they want – individual style and exclusivity is at the top of list.
On the topic of the budding South African fashion industry Elisha is surprised people aren’t taking more risks which he believes has jaded growth. Although there is a small local textile industry it can change if people buy more local, the demand will then increase, the product prices will drop and production will increase. The battle between local brands and major retailers is ongoing but Elisha has picked up that more and more South Africans are looking for clothing with a story behind it. When you buy a t-shirt from a big retailer, who orders in the millions, you don’t even know who made it. Buying local, on the other hand, you can safely say one of your own people created it.
He goes on to say, about the local fashion scene, that there is huge lack of appreciation for streetwear from big events such as Cape Town Fashion Week. This has inspired the Boaston Society team to work on an event that will cater to street culture which will take place in 2015.
The wisdom Elisha has gained in his entrepreneurial journey, has taught him to respect the customer, always! And he advises others who hope to tread down a similar path to always do the same. Practising what he preaches, Boaston Society is now known to offer quality products and the best local has to offer, all the while maintaining mutual respect and love with its customers.