I am not in the business of providing free advertising for companies. But I am in the business of promoting local startups and helping good ideas see the light of day. I like SpringLeap. I think the concept is great. I have bought T-shirts from online companies abroad and in fact am still waiting for delivery of some of those shirts.
So this comes as a breath of fresh air to me. SprinLeap is a startup that is giving locals and soon, internationals the opportunity to design their own shirts and get hold of them at relatively low costs.
Things seem to be going well and the founders are extremely positive about the future of their startup and the market in SA for startups. But don’t trust me, read it from them:
Tell me about Springleap and what it actually does for a user?
The concept behind Springleap materialised just over a year ago when eSquared noticed that we were constantly inundated by AMAZINGLY talented graphic designers and fine artists who want to see their incredible designs on t-shirts. The problem, as always though, is that the cost of doing one off t-shirts is very high. We therefore needed to come up with a solution that would empower these individuals and see their ideas and designs come to fruition.
Springleap is ultimately about empowerment. Whether you are a voter who is now empowered with a platform to cast your vote for a design that may ultimately be printed, or whether you are a creator who seeks recognition as an artist on both a public and a peer level (as well as financial remuneration and the opportunity to see your creative ability and talent come to life), Springleap prides itself in being proudly South African from the ground up. We are about positivity, job creation, showcasing designers, contributing to the community and the economy and showing the world that SA has something to offer other than gold.
How many people are involved?
In truth, everyone. Anyone from the artist to the voter to the South African cotton manufacturer and CMT to the retailer and ultimately the consumer who dictated the design in the first place.
We even have an amazing solution for wholesalers. Anyone with an online or offline retail store has the opportunity to stock the Springleap t-shirt range. Backed by HUGE marketing support and the guarantee of sure fire sales – we only manufacture the t-shirts with the most amount of votes online as dictated by the public – wholesalers would be silly not to get involved.
In a nutshell Springleap is broad-based empowerment solution for South Africans across every level.
To answer your question though , Eric Edelstein and Eran Eyal are the founders of Springleap.
Do you think it’s a good time to build a start-up in SA at the moment?
It’s always a good time for a start-up. Eric and I have been working in and with start-ups for approximately 13 years. The South African economic climate can make things a bit tricky at times, but necessity is the mother of all invention and we believe that there is always necessity and opportunity, you just have to be creative.
Is the online market in SA ready to make you some money? Let’s be honest, you don’t start something without the hope of some sort of financial gain.
We believe so. One only has to look at a recent Fin24 article to know that online is the way to go.
With awesome sites like SA Rocks who are constantly on the search for great South African content and working hard to make South Africans and people abroad aware of how much amazing talent and incredible business opportunities there are in South Africa, I think it makes online successes, exposure and of course mucho mula even more possible.
You mentioned that eSquared is involved in the project. How’s that relationship going?
Fantastic. The founders of eSquared are the same as for Springleap. We gave man-birth to eSquared 2 years ago and it has gone from strength to strength. We are constantly learning though, and retail is an amazing game to be in. eSquared will of course be stocking Springleap t-shirts and has taken a commitment to getting rid of all international brands in favour of some SA flavour.
Where are you all based in SA?
Durban and Cape Town. Eric heads up the Cape Town crew and I head up Durban where our manufacturing goes down.
Any plans to expand the site outside of SA?
Definitely! We are creating a first for South Africa: offer quality t-shirts that feature both local and international designers that will be sought after by both markets. By its very nature our online presence will lead to this sort of expansion. In fact we have already been contacted by retailers in both Canada and the US!
While using the site I noticed that a lot of the links simply take users to the “Register” page. Why? That’s really quite limiting in an age of openness and access to content.
Springleap is and always will be a very organic business model. We are constantly adding new features and pages as well as upping the prizes and the overall content. As we grow, so too will the experience of anyone involved with the site ranging from the manufacturers to the consumers.
Every week we will be adding a new functionality to the site. As a community centric site, expect loads of social interaction, the ability to blog and comment, competitions, creating and updating your profile etc. At present, this content is being generated so we are launching with the basic functionality for the time being which entails the ability to create a username and password and submit designs.
Is there anything else you’d like to add or say?
It’s an exciting time for everyone in SA and we welcome all comments, suggestions or even critique so please take the time to contact us through Facebook, eSquared or Springleap. You can also follow Springleap on Twitter: http://twitter.com/springleap and be the first to know when new functionality or competitions are added.
Thanks so much for taking time out of your obviously hectic schedule! Good luck with the project, I love the site design and concept.
Thanks for the interview – I am sure that we will be chatting soon and I am always happy to wax!
The only grip that I have with the site thus far is that I cannot actually find anything out about it unless I register. This is really quite frustrating. My suggestion would be for the site to give something (even an about section) to the users of the site before asking for too much in return. User Generated Content is fabulous and can be profitable but it needs to be a give, give relationship.
I am all for giving and have registered on SpringLeap! Maybe you should too?
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