I had no idea that my previous blog post would explode on social media the way it did. I knew we were in for some attention, but the support from our customers and the public has been unbelievable and I’m just blown away by how huge this became overnight.
So first and foremost, a heartfelt thank you to everyone for the support, the phone calls, the emails, it’s all very overwhelming.
I met with Woolworths today and our conversations centered around the Woolworths baby carriers in relation to my Ubuntu Baba baby carriers.
In light of all the social media attention and media coverage, a number of small business owners and entrepreneurs had contacted me to say that they are going through similar issues (or have previously gone through similar issues) with Woolworths. I am now sure that this issue is bigger than just Woolworths copying my Ubuntu Baba carriers, and it needs to be addressed.
Big corporations, like Woolworths, should NOT be allowed to take advantage of local SME’s the way that they have clearly been doing. Instead, they should be looking into ways where they can support, rather than hinder small businesses in South Africa.
At the end of this really long and challenging day, I’ve come to realize that I have an opportunity to help make sure that big corporations, like Woolworths, make an honest commitment and ACTIVELY take steps to promote and empower SME’s in South Africa and to keep their promises, do what they say they will do, and be true to themselves, local SME’s and their customers.
This is what I will be discussing with Woolworths over the upcoming days and I will keep you posted. Our discussions are still ongoing and Woolworths have asked that they remain confidential at this time.
As per their social media updates, Woolworths have withdrawn the product from their shelves and online shop, and have personally apologized to me for the time it took for them to address my initial complaint, as well as the striking similarities of the products in question.