GROWING UP EBOKA - TINUKE EBOKA
23 JUNE 2018
Anyone who calls the showroom will know the courteous voice of Gloria Thobela. As Fred Eboka’s right hand, Gloria has been with Eboka Design for 14 years. She shares some stories…
What does a day in your life look like?
I am the Personal Assistant for Fred Eboka and the Sales Executive for Eboka Design, so I am kept busy with a variety of duties from engaging with clients to administrative tasks to styling the showroom.
How did it happen that you joined the team? Were you involved with fashion before?
I joined the Eboka team April 2004, so it has been all of 14 years already! I was working as a sales representative with Edgars at the time, but I wanted to have more direct interaction with clients in a more exclusive environment, such as a boutique. I walked past the Eboka store in Rosebank every day and always admired the gowns in the window, so one day I just walked in and introduced myself. The rest is history!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
I am married; my husband is an IT consultant, and we have three children – two girls and a boy, aged 23, 17 and 10. We decided that it would be better for the children to finish their education in Zimbabwe, where we’re from, so they live there and we see them during school/university holidays. We live in Observatory.
What do your duties at Eboka involve?
My primary responsibility is servicing our client base, so I keep in touch with existing clients, and try to convert new ones into repeat clients by giving them the best service I can. On a daily basis I also ensure that all showroom displays are perfect. Then I manage Mr Eboka’s diary and make sure his business needs are met; and finally I manage the administrative services for the business.
What do you enjoy most about working at Eboka Design?
I love interacting with new and existing clients; it is very rewarding to introduce someone who is unfamiliar with the brand to what the possibilities are; and it is wonderful to work with such an exclusive, luxurious product… it is so easy to get people excited about what we offer. I enjoy the relationships with repeat clients, they become like family who rely on us to make them look good for all their special events, which is a treat for me. I love being part of building this brand.
You are the first person the clients deal with, so you must know everyone. Why in your opinion do people keep coming back to Eboka?
I think it is the personal attention. Eboka Design prides itself on providing excellent service to its clients – everyone who wants an Eboka garment is treated with individual attention, and that is maintained from their very first appointment to the final delivery of their garment. People trust the reputation for excellence and in my opinion that is why they keep coming back.
What is the nicest feedback you have ever got from a client?
We get so many compliments, but I suppose the best was when a satisfied client offered me an all-expenses-paid trip to the wedding of a family member in Zambia! That was such a generous gift.
Where do you get your fashion information from?
I have had the honour of working with one of the top fashion designers globally for the past 14 years – you can’t ask for a better source of fashion information! I keep abreast of the latest news in fashion magazines and am often online to keep myself informed.
I check the showroom to ensure the displays are perfect before we open for the day. Then I check my calendar for any reminders, and see what is on my to-do list for the day, and what I should remind Mr Eboka about. Every day is an adventure!