Location: Smithsfield, Free State
Cote a Cote originated from the meaning side by side. "Our motto was, we can grow together", says Donve Fullard owner of Cote a Cote a handmade tile manufacturing company based in the small frontier town of Smithsfield in the Free State.
She started the business in 1996 when she had to decide what she would pursue in life after she studied classical piano at UCT and realised that she wasn't a music teacher and there weren't many performance opportunities for solo pianists in Africa.
Her background in music led her to the Mmabana Cultural Foundation where she started to play around and came up with the handmade tile idea. Then she met David Mthimkulu who was building houses at the time and side by side the business took off. They started by offering a service to people where they could show them the spaces that they would like to transform and Cote crafted tailor-made tiles to fit the spaces.
Cote a Cote employs 10 people and is looking to increase the number once plans of acquiring a glass crunching machine come to fruition. That will assist the company with recycling and reusing glass into the manufacturing of their products.
Seda has so far assisted Cote a Cote with developing a business plan. Implemented numerous marketing initiatives and provided training to the owner.