“If you don’t follow your dreams, you’ll end up working for someone who is.” — Margaret Holloway, my grandmother

Courtney Hodgson



Organisation / Company



Courtney Hodgson, 25, is the owner of Kiffkak. She designs and manufactures all of the products, creates content, oversees all operations and drives growth of the business through cultivating new opportunities. Courtney is always on the lookout for new and innovative opportunities to start businesses that fill gaps in South Africa’s creative landscape.

She is also a freelance creative — illustrator, designer, copywriter, voice-over artist and video editor — who helps businesses reach their full potential with innovative solutions. South African culture is her biggest inspiration. A big part of the Kiffkak brand is creating humorous products that show uniquely local imagery and copywriting that reflects South African culture.

Her biggest challenge has been having to save up enough capital to start her business and then to generate enough work to keep the company going. The other challenge in a small business is to find the balance between all the hats she wears such as social media manager, creative lead, customer liaison, salesperson, bookkeeper and inventory manager. Courtney says she has the “kiffest” customers and if Kiffkak continues to make people smile, laugh and celebrate South Africa she will remain motivated.


  • BA Visual Communication, Open Window
  • Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, US embassy
  • The Dream Builder Course, Arizona State University
  • Touch Up programme, The Loeries
  • Constitution Hill Accelerator Bootcamp Incubation Programme, SA Creative Industries Incubator


From starting Kiffkak as a university project to where it is today, I am immensely proud of the entrepreneurial resilience I have shown as a young South African to get the brand to where it is today. I believe that Kiffkak has a bigger effect on the South African retail landscape than just that of a monetary nature. Sure, Kiffkak has contributed to uplifting the economy by selling locally finished products, using small businesses for production and employing young South African women, but at a more grassroots level, Kiffkak has an effect on how we celebrate our unity in diversity through our purchasing power as South Africans.

Kiffkak seeks to find the rainbow-coloured thread that connects all of us rather than capitalising on what makes us different. The brand does not only sell products, it sells the narrative of Ubuntu.
I believe that my efforts as a young entrepreneur have always pushed boundaries and sought to say and celebrate things that other brands do not. Through Kiffkak I practise what the brand silently preaches. Besides the fact that Kiffkak is 100% female-owned and operated, the brand is a testament to the potential for transformative change that young individuals in South Africa possess. Kiffkak is a love letter to the country which I can only hope ignites economic and social change as it grows. It would be easy to start a business that sticks to the status quo, but as a third culture kid who seeks to represent the underrepresented, I am not afraid to go against the grain to uplift the country. I can only hope my journey inspires more South African youth to do the same.


I registered Kiffkak in 2019 while working at a creative studio in Pretoria called Spaza Studios. While working for Brent Swart and Nathan Mckay (the owners of Spaza) I was able to start growing my business on the side. It was also during this time that I worked closely with Tiaan de Bruin, the owner of plankton.mobi, who became a mentor for me. Tiaan made me believe that becoming a business owner in South Africa was possible.