An online retailer of all things made in Botswana was recently launched by a young woman by the name of Tshegofatso Tlhong who is very passionate about the initiative. Tlhong revealed that her website Ziigie.com was founded as an electronic version of her list of local supplies and service providers. She said that the idea came about after attending a Gender Affairs Expo where she came across many unknown businesses producing amazing items that she thought couldn’t be sourced locally. “Journey of discovery began to find out what other hidden gems Botswana had out there idling in plain sight, and I then attended many expos which grew the list of local supplies and eventually Ziigie was formed,’ she said. She said that the website went live on the 3rd of October and currently they have 12 vendors with over 50 stock keeping units. According to Tlhong their mission is to encourage, facilitate and nurture the growth of local manufacturing and commerce. “We are promoting the crafty driven economy by supporting artisanal manufacturing,” she said.
She said that they are different from most businesses because most of them use social media as a way of marketing their offering and they see themselves as a compliment to this. She said that they focus on the core aspect of sale, which then leaves the vendor with the task of manufacturing and managing their business, where products can be bought anytime. She said that after establishing themselves in Botswana they want to pursue regional and ultimately international expansion, and they will be having a three year working plan. The payment options for the online store are Paypal, Orange Money or direct deposit into the Ziigie account while they are still working on more payment options but they will not be accepting cash on delivery. She said that they are happy with their product because a website got an international reach. Some of the products that can be seen in the website are The Kalahari Killings by Jonathan Laverick, Sereetsi and the Natives album, clothes and accessories from different brands just to name but a few.