Friends who made it work


First & foremost - We are a proudly, South African brand.

Howzit!  We are Wendy and Shaileen (Shaize) and we are so happy you've found us.

We are firstly, best friends and true 'Durbanites.'  We grew up here, studied together ; worked our first 'real jobs' together ; had our babies together ; stumbled through raising our kids together and are now so excited to be following our passions and building our business "baby-step-by-baby- step"  TOGETHER. 

Wendy initially started making up dresses back in 2012, using 'off-cuts' from our local Indian markets in central Durban.  We were constantly stopped and asked where we got our frocks from!  So, in 2015, it was a 'no-brainer' to take her idea more seriously and our small business, 'Wendy Bashford Designs' was born, in the garden cottage of her home.  

Condensing 8 years of literal blood, sweat, and tears - interspersed with plenty of hugs and laughter, is not easy.   We had no preconceived idea of what our goals were and how we were going to achieve them!  We simply 'high-fived' on a great idea, dived right in and have found ourselves figuring things out as we went along. 

It actually all boiled down to our guts:

  • We followed our gut instincts to tap into a market of like-minded women, looking for comfy, easy-to-wear, classic, quality clothing, in which you feel amazing.
  • We bust our guts - we literally did everything ourselves : walked the streets of central Durban looking for fabrics, lugged fabric bales in our 'mom mobiles' with the seats folded down, packed & carried boxes of clothes to all our pop-ups, manned market stalls, counted & labelled stock ...
  • We had some gut-wrenching decisions & changes to make over the past two years with challenges that nobody could ever anticipate (or imagine.) 
  • And, most importantly, we had the guts to JUST DO IT!

We began by selling our frocks to friends, our kids' teachers & moms in the school carpark and at 'Pop-Up' shops in friends' homes.  Very soon, we realised the need for a more constant retail outlet and, in November 2015, we secured a stall (adding another 3) at the weekly Shongweni Farmers & Craft Market.  This incredible market was fundamental in getting our brand's name out there! As of March 2024 we have closed at Shongweni and are now open every Thursday and Saturday at our studio in Durban North. We also do 'Pop-Ups' all over the country!

Over the years, we've gathered a wonderful team of friends / employees, who treat the business as if it's their own.  Everyone is encouraged to share ideas and make suggestions, provide input and be involved in as many stages of the process as they'd like to be. We also thrive off the direct interaction we have with our clients in our studio and at markets, assisting them 'hands-on' with fitting, styling and colour co-ordination. 

We outsource our CMT work (Cut, Manufacture and Trim) to small local businesses. We aim to empower and uplift these local business', likewise encouraging employment and entrepreneurship to thrive within our community.  We love working with our fellow South Africans and being able to showcase the talent, creativity and quality products that we produce locally.   

Our small business is growing nationally and internationally and we are going with the flow.  But for us, balancing growth whilst maintaining our core values of direct interaction with our customers, is imperative and something that we never want to lose. 

So, even as you shop online, be assured that we are always available on our many lines of communication, to assist, guide and make recommendations to you and ensure that your shopping experience is easy and successful!

We are thrilled that you have found us and hope that this will be a long and fulfilling relationship.


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