In the spirit of February, the month of love, we celebrate the power of collaboration. It’s about sharing the love for your art, the attraction of creative force and being better together Words: Bianca Agenbag
The recipe to success: Combine a shoe lover’s OCD with a great appreciation for SA’s sneaker culture, then throw in some romance for good measure. When sneakerheads Lebo and Luyanda realized the potential that existed within SA’s growing sneaker culture (especially the township sneaker-crazed youth blasting thousands on the freshest kicks) the idea to create the country’s first professional shoe “spa” was born. In 2015 they launched Clean Grip Shoe Laundry, which they are taking from strength to strength by staying true to their roots, ensuring customer satisfaction and building lasting relationships. We had a chat with the two entrepreneurs to get the inside scoop on their biz and of course their relationship- goals!..
“It’s not just about washing sneakers, it’s a lifestyle and an art”
PART 1: THE BUSINESS
CSA: Tell us more about Clean Grip?
Lebo & Luyanda: Clean Grip is South Africa’s first laundry business to focus solely on footwear. We wash, repair, customize, refurbish and also revive died out and faded colors on any and all sorts of footwear. We don’t come short on anything! Pick up & delivery in 48hrs (talk about convenience) is one of the many tricks up our sleeve.
How did you come up with the amazing concept?
My business partner here – who also happens to be my wife – is OCD and was tired of her helper ruining her sneakers after every wash so she took matters into her own hands and approached me, and the rest is obviosly history!
What does the service include?
We have a basic wash which only caters for the outside of footwear and a deep cleanse to remove inset stains as well as the inside of the footwear. We revive colour on faded materials, we pick up and deliver for 3 or more pairs (JHB only) with a turnaround of 48hrs and lastly we repair and customize to the customer’s request.
Recipe for success?
Never stop scrubbing lol!
What has been your biggest achievement up to now?
Creating a solution to an everyday problem and turning it into a fully functional business.
What’s next for the brand?
Opening a flagship store that our customers can call home. The rest shall come as a surprise…
PART 2: THE COUPLE
How did you meet?
We met on the evening of Easter Friday at church when we were about 9yrs old. Haha, talk about predetermined happenings.
How long have you been together?
Dated: 3yrs Married: 4months
When did you know he/she was ‘the one’?
She said: When I went through a really tough time in my life and he just never left my side, knowing there was a human being who didn’t come from the same womb as I did that made me feel whole.
He said: I’ve always believed she would be my life partner as I would say to her when growing up that one day I’m going to marry her and she’ll be the perfect soccer mom to my kids. I knew she was the one when I realized just how ambitious she was. Also after she came to watch me play soccer and became my #1 fan.
Did you come up with the concept of Clean Grip together?
No a beautiful young lady titled Wife did :p
What attracted you to each other?
Our love for God and we share the same heart
What is the chemistry like (as business and romantic partners)?
It’s huge ball of light, fun, love and laughter as we maintain the same chemistry in our business that we carry out in our relationship, even when things get heated.
What is your favourite thing about him/her?
She said: His smile, it lights up my world and assures me that everything will be okay.
He said: Her mind, I’m constantly fascinated by the way she sees the world.
If he/she says “they are playing our song!” what is playing?
She said: BJ The Chicago Kid: Shine
He said: BJ The Chicago Kid: Shine, that’s what we had our first dance to
What word describes him/her best?
She said: Superman
He said: Creative
If he/she was a character in a movie, who would they be?
She said: Superman haha
He said: Tinkerbell
Ultimate love song?
She said: India Arie – He Heals
He said: Boys 2 Men – I Do
Finish the sentence: Love is … ?
Favourite sneaker brand?
She said: Adidas
He said: Nike
How many sneakers do you own?
She said: Do I really have to count?
He said: Undisclosed lol