Letitia Fly: The side hustler
Updated: May 13, 2019
Letitia Fly @letitia.fly is the founder of @stonecamp_leather , a South African brand, founded on the principle of “practical luxury” which designs and produces genuine leather handbags and has also recently branched out into shoes. The vision for the brand has its roots on the sheep farm in the Karoo where Letitia grew up and was first exposed to quality genuine leather sheep skins, sparking a long-held desire to eventually one day create genuine leather products.
Letitia, a mom of two boys under four, started the business whilst on maternity leave with her first child, using her annual bonus as seed capital. She tells us that she started the venture “cowboy style” with no business plan but that through hard work (and some tears and late nights!), being flexible and adapting to what the market wants, she and her business partner were able to turn Stonecamp into a profitable venture after just a year and a half, and now employ a team of seven. Letitia focuses on marketing and sales whilst her business partner takes care of manufacturing but they both share the design responsibility. They also source the bulk of their raw materials from local, family-owned businesses. Letitia, has a MSc in plant biotechnology and is a marketing manager for an animal pharmaceutical company by day and runs Stonecamp as a side business but says that this would not be possible if she did not have the support structure she has from her husband, siblings, business partner & business manager. She says that she loves her day job and Stonecamp will always be her side hustle, however she is very pleased with how they have managed to grow the brand and create employment. Her advice to anybody wanting to start a new venture is that you should “just start”, although she admits having a day job has ensured financial stability that has allowed her to pursue her passion. We are inspired by Letitia’s drive and commitment to successfully wearing so many different hats in so many different spheres - she gives new meaning to there being 24 hours in a day! Letitia was never a fan of dogs until she met her family’s current pet, a Jack Russell.