‘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


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
South African youth love Coca-Cola, Ricoffy, Sparletta, Fanta and Oros – survey

South African youth love Coca-Cola, Ricoffy, Sparletta, Fanta and Oros – survey

The most popular non-alcoholic drink among South Africans between ages 18 and 24 is Coca Cola, according to the PAMS 2018 survey.

Meet Fred Roed, founder of 'Heavy Chef' (SA’s most popular monthly tech event)

Meet Fred Roed, founder of 'Heavy Chef' (SA’s most popular monthly tech event)

The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield interviews the author of "The Heavy Chef Guide to Starting a Business in South Africa".

SA engineer Neo Hutiri cuts waiting time for medicine from hours to seconds

SA engineer Neo Hutiri cuts waiting time for medicine from hours to seconds

He came up with the idea for "Pelebox" after contracting tuberculosis and having to queue for medicine at a state hospital.

'President Ramaphosa won Reserve Bank fight 6-0'

'President Ramaphosa won Reserve Bank fight 6-0'

Faction fighting will continue, but President Ramaphosa is stronger than he was 18 months ago, says political analyst JP Landman.

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
[PICTURES] It's freezing cold in Cape Town! (In case you were wondering)

[PICTURES] It's freezing cold in Cape Town! (In case you were wondering)

CapeTalk listeners share frosty car photos and zero degree car temperatures.

Mango responds to passenger irked after losing Rolex watch on flight

Mango responds to passenger irked after losing Rolex watch on flight

The airline says it takes limited responsibility for any valuables left in bags.

Jeremy Mansfield gets real about his money and beliefs about it

Jeremy Mansfield gets real about his money and beliefs about it

Bruce Whitfield interviews Jeremy Mansfield about his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Can I cut down my neighbour's overhanging tree?

Can I cut down my neighbour's overhanging tree?

Attorney Roy Bregman says you ask the neighbour to remove roots or branches, failing which you do it yourself and claim for costs.

[WATCH] Local six-year-old dancing sensation's video goes viral

[WATCH] Local six-year-old dancing sensation's video goes viral

After Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith shared the video of Ivanah Campbell dancing it has been viewed over 10 million times.

Pocket money: From what age? How often? How much?

Pocket money: From what age? How often? How much?

Certified financial planner Kirsty Scully shares her advice on teaching children about the value of money.

DStv subscription price hikes for 2019

DStv subscription price hikes for 2019

MultiChoice will increase the prices of certain DStv packages from 1 April.