Between 70% and 80% of small businesses fail within five years, however, according to research, approximately 40% of the success of small-scale businesses is dependent on one thing: the entrepreneur who owns the company.
One example of this is Luke Calitz, CEO and Co-Founder of Luxity, South Africa’s leading pre-owned luxury reseller, who clinched an honorary award at the 40 Under Forty award ceremony over the weekend.
“I am honoured to receive this award, which underscores the transformative impact we’ve made at Luxity,” comments Calitz. “It’s a testament to our team’s dedication and our commitment to social empowerment and sustainability.”
Transforming the Luxury Resale Landscape of through Innovation
Calitz’s trajectory within the luxury resale industry stands as a case study in rapid and visionary growth. Within seven years, he and his partner grew the business from a once solitary endeavour into a thriving corporation comprising a workforce of 45. His innovative approach to omni-channel retail has not only ensured the company’s viability but also positioned it as a dominant force in the marketplace.
Setting High Standards
Drawing upon his wealth of entrepreneurial experience, which includes the founding of B Online and participation in the Grindstone entrepreneurship program in 2021, Calitz has set and upheld exacting standards that have been instrumental in Luxity’s ascent. However, his professional aspirations extend beyond profit margins.
Empowering Women and Fostering Sustainable Practices
In parallel to his role as an entrepreneur, Calitz stands as an advocate for social empowerment and sustainable practices.
Within his business, he leads by example, presiding over a workforce in which women constitute 90% – a substantial portion of whom come from historically marginalised backgrounds. His mission transcends the realm of job creation; it takes shape in his support for women and children through philanthropic initiatives and campaigns dedicated to raising awareness.
Moreover, he champions sustainability in the fashion industry, upholding the ideals of a circular economy, waste reduction, and the elongation of high-quality item lifecycles. His devotion to sustainable principles has positioned Luxity as a standard-bearer in sustainability education.
By forging strategic alliances with the press and collaborating with influential figures, Calitz has effectively heightened public awareness and inspired positive shifts in consumer behaviour.
“The luxury resale industry plays a pivotal role in promoting sustainability and reducing fashion waste. We’re proud to be at the forefront of this movement, redefining how people perceive and embrace pre-owned luxury items,” he notes.
Mentorship and Ingenuity
Beyond the boardroom, Calitz channels his fervour into mentoring emerging entrepreneurs, frequently lending his expertise as a speaker to the Grindstone entrepreneurship program.
His most recent venture is his involvement in co-founding and supporting RareStep, a premium South African online store for exclusive, authentic, limited-edition sneakers, and high-end streetwear. He does this through providing technical assistance, marketing, and business consulting.
“Mentoring young entrepreneurs and fostering innovation are essential aspects of our journey,” he explains. “It’s about giving back and ensuring a brighter future for aspiring business leaders.”
Plans to Bolster Business through Tech Innovation
Going forward, Calitz aims to continue growing his business to provide South Africans with even more safe, convenient, transparent, and accessible places to trade. This will be achieved by bolstering the business through tech and expanding Luxity’s footprint.
Additionally, he will be helping to support the next generation of entrepreneurs, who are the driving force of South Africa’s economy and can contribute to a sustainable future.
“This award serves as motivation to keep pushing boundaries and elevating Luxity to new heights. We have exciting plans for the future that will further our mission of amplifying the importance of sustainable fashion in South Africa and growing the pool of like-minded entrepreneurs who in turn will support the sustainability cause and empower others,” Calitz concludes.