Nomvuyo Treffers is the founder of Swimma, a company that sells swimming caps for women with dreadlocks, braids and afros.
We chatted to her about her brand and future business plans:
1. How did you conceptualise the idea for these caps?
The idea goes back a couple of years and came from my own struggle to find a swim cap in South Africa that can fit my hair (dreadlocks). Being a mother of two small girls, when they first learnt to swim they thought it was a fun idea to be with them in a swimming pool and play splash games.
I would agree to this wearing a swim cap labelled large, yet it only fit half my hair and I couldn't keep my hair dry. So after every swim session I would be faced with a long blow-drying session.
I started making excuses to avoid getting into the water and rather watching them swim and play while I read a book. The girls would try every time to invite me in and it bothered me that the correct size swim cap was an issue that kept me out. I started a search on the internet to find a swim cap for dreadlocks and I found nothing in South Africa. I eventually found some on the internet which were very pricey in pounds or dollars excluding the cost of bringing one to South Africa.
At one point I cut my hair out of frustration so I could swim with my girls. However, I realised that in a country like South Africa where many people have hair like mine, surely I can't be the only one who needs a swim cap, and thus, I decided to start Swimma.
2. What do normal swimming caps do to natural hair in your experience?
To me they are not normal swimming caps, but rather the "largely available option swim cap". Those swim caps are harsh to natural hair as they are just too tight and pull one's hair resulting in breakages when pulling off the cap.
3. What has the feedback been like from customers?
The feedback has been amazing! We continue to receive positive messages in many forms of communication with some describing Swimma Caps as a life saver, necessity, long overdue, etc.
4. Are you looking to expand your business to other swimwear products?
At this point not to other swimwear products, but rather to other items that are sorely lacking for the majority of our population.
5. How long can you use the Swimma cap before having to replace it?We have tested our product and ensured that a durable and slightly thicker silicone is used. While time will tell, ultimately, we believe that, when looked after, your cap will give you many years of usage.
Shop yours at Swimma.co.za