Interview With Impilo Health Wear Founder Dr Siviwe Mila! Medical Doctor, Siviwe Mila has found a way to bring African authenticity and style to health care clothing through her medical clothing start up, Impilo Health wear.
We recently had a chat with Dr Siviwe to talk about everything Impilo Health wear. Check out our interview with her below.
What inspired your business idea?
I also loved working with my hands when I was in high school, I took up needlework and learned to create a lot of crafts. During medical school, I never had enough time for my creative creations. When I started working in 2016 I bought a sewing machine with my first paycheck. I started making clothes for myself. I remember making scrubs for myself and people liked them that is how Impilo health Wear started.
What problem does your business solve? …
We solve ill-fitting, dull, boring work clothes mainly for healthcare workers. We understand the South African body is unique and that the common sizing of scrubs does not accommodate the South African physique.
How does your business generate income? …
We generate income by selling our products, these are scrubs. Scrubs are top and bottom uniform used mainly by health care workers. We sell these to individuals mainly doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists. One of the biggest challenges is human resources, financing, and business expansion.
Which are some of the challenges you face in your business?
It is hard getting people that are passionate about the job and have a good work ethic.
What makes Impilo Healthwear unique from other health wear brands?
Impilo health wear is unique because it offers health wear with an African feel it was a pioneer in this field as early as in 2016. Many other companies have since followed suit.
Are you proud of where your business is so far?
I am proud of how far we have come. Our quality of garments and branding has improved. However, we need to expand the market and acquire more human resources.
Where do you see yourself and your business in the next five years?
I see myself having started other businesses that may or may not be related to the health care industry. I see Impilo Health Wear expanding and servicing clients beyond South African borders and also servicing one or more medical schools in South Africa. My childhood and upbringing contributed a lot to where I am today and my future aspirations.
Did your childhood play an active role in where you are today? Or would you say you were triggered by a shortage or lack of something in the health care industry?
My father never had a formal education but had a very successful business as a sawmill owner he was able to support his family and many other families. My mother had a spaza shop and I would work there during the holidays. All of these experiences have made me love business and aspire to be a great businesswoman one day.
Are there any prospects of expansion in the near future?
Yes, there are prospects of expansion in the future. We would like to go beyond South African borders.