In this interview we find out more about Kutlwano Rose Whitney Malete (Founder of 9TX Media and Head of Digital & Design), her business journey and why she believes South Africa should support small business.
Kutlwano describes 9TX Media as being a vibrant, skilled, creative, digital boutique design and marketing agency based in Pretoria, South Africa. She goes on to say that they are also working with international clients from Nigeria all the way to Greece and Barcelona.
She explains how they are fiercely creative in their approach, up to date with the latest trends, and have a great amount of experience. Their team is said to be well-versed in many design platforms and that they “breathe life” into any brief that they are given.
Why did you start your business?
I started my business in my second year of college because I needed extra money, on my terms. I already had the equipment, and was expanding on my skills, so I started my business and it grew in ways I did not expect.
What do you love the most about running your business?
Freedom. The amount of freedom I’ve received from focusing on my own business full-time has been immense. Yes, there are days when I work at ungodly hours of the night but there is something very empowering about knowing that it’s for me. It’s for my business. The freedom comes at a price of having to be very responsible and having to really make sure I do right by my clients, my business partner, and the business itself – but it is all worth it.
What is one of the biggest lessons you have learnt on your business journey?
Team work is everything. I spent the majority of my time running my business alone and it was only last year that I brought on my business partner, Ruvey Van Zyl. Together we’ve been able to grow the business and set plans to soar to new heights. I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point on my own. Sometimes there’s too much to do for a single person.
Why do you do what you do and what do you focus on to help you persevere and get through tough times?
Seeing my work make other people happy is one of my main motivations. There’s something about seeing a client boast about their new website or open up a new store that was branded by us. It really gives me a sense of pride because there is nothing better than seeing a person or business succeed and knowing that you had a hand in supporting a dream. I do what I do because I love design, I’m a creative at heart and being creative as a career is one of the best things ever.
I sometimes focus on my past when I struggle. I look at where I’ve been, where my business has been, and how it has grown. That growth and how I’ve matured with my business is what keeps me going. If I could get to this point after everything… surely I’ll be able to get to the next point.
Why should South Africa support small businesses now and beyond?
South Africa should be supporting small businesses because they put so much back into the economy. Small business has been the backbone of many South African communities and their owners are often supportive of each other. We hire each other, buy from each other, endorse and empower each other. We need South Africa to see the value in small businesses because we see the value in South Africa.