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The Mitchells Plain Online Store is an uplifting business success story.
The three founders were unemployed and had a mere R50 in their business account when they started the company to create a general online store for their local community, offering free delivery in the Mitchells Plain area and post office courier rates elsewhere.
They began by selling bathroom mats, pillows and duvet covers on Gumtree in May 2015 and they now boast a website, a Facebook page and a large customer base.
The co-owners are receiving salaries and they have been involved in community events like the DSTV Mitchells Plain Festival, the Open Streets Mitchells Plain and the recent Tour d’Plain Cycling event.
One of the owners, Andre Williams, says they want to employ local matriculants in future to help kick-start their own business careers. He also acknowledges the role that Gumtree played; “as a small business we needed the opportunity to show people that we were trustworthy and to build client relationships – Gumtree helped us along”.
Marketing Manager for Gumtree SA, Claire Cobbledick, says the Mitchells Plan Online Store is just one of many examples of small businesses which have used the site very successfully to gain exposure and build a customer base; “Gumtree is perfect for free marketing of goods and services and for testing out demand and then adjusting a business offering.”
The original Mitchells Plain Online Store Gumtree ads can be found here.