A family-run Fish Hoek fabric business has won praise at the South African Small Business Awards.
Shakeel Karjieker, managing director of Global Unique Fabrics in Main Road, won two awards this year, one for top-20 small business in the country and the other for national champion entrepreneur.
The awards ceremony, hosted by the National Small Business Chamber, was held virtually for some 200 attendees earlier this month.
Shakeel started Global Unique Fabrics, previously known as Global Textiles, in 2002 after his father, Shoakat Karjieker, gifted him the first month’s rent for a 60m² property in Fish Hoek.
Since then, the business has grown to more than 200m².
Shakeel also opened a second business in Honeywell Road, Tokai, and there is also an online shop.
Four years after the business started, Shakeel’s father joined him, and today the business has 28 employees.
“I am honoured to be recognised for our hard work as our mission has always been to leave our clients feeling inspired, hopeful and optimistic in the way we interact with them,” Shakeel said.
The business started an initiative, Crafting Heroes, that makes knitted and sewn goods for charities and Shakeel has a website, Aspiring Startups, where he mentors other entrepreneurs.
Shoakat said: “I feel so proud of what my son does for the Fish Hoek and Masiphumelele community and his achievements.”
Shakeel said that when Covid19 had hit, the business had started making face masks.
“It is through hard work, dedication and a strong mindful team with a shared goal that we have managed to achieve something so significant for what was once a small family store in Fish Hoek,” he said.