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Month: May 2015

Phone yourself today!

After a phone call to a large corporate that is known for its slick and polished exterior, I have been thinking about the many, many interesting encounters I’ve had with receptionists over the years.  Many have been downright laughable, others have been infuriating. What so many companies – especially smaller companies – don’t take into account is that this is often your very first interface with a customer. A call lost could be a sale lost. First impressions do count, manners count, time spent dangling on the end of a line counts when your customer is busy… But back...

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All the ingredients for a second career

Food, says vivacious Masterchef finalist and businesswoman Joanni Mitchell, is not just a passion but has provided an opportunity that few people get – to create a second career. Her decision to enter Masterchef in 2012 was not a career move. Instead, she admits, it was to fill the huge void left when her two sons went off to university. Up until then, she had been running a busy guest house in Durban North. However, when she was asked to buy the property, she decided it was time to change course and instead closed her business. Her foray into...

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Down-to-earth trestles unfold into a business opportunity

Right now, trestle tables are on trend in interior design circles, providing an exciting opportunity for Durban entrepreneur Caron van Wyk, to not only manufacture and sell the originals, but actually reinvent them. In her small Umbilo workshop, she works alongside a carpenter to both manufacture and spray a wide range of trestle creations. These include everything from glass trestle tables to tables with trestles made from copper pipes. Two tone trestle tables, tables with non-folding trestles and even tables crafted from beautiful birch wood are all in a day’s work for this busy business woman. “I build relationships...

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  “It’s not made in China, my china. It’s made in Durban, ek se,” reads the packaging on Island Style’s leashes – a somewhat irreverent swipe at the cheap imports that have muddied local waters and all but brought local brands to their knees over the past 20 years. Island Style remains authentic. This is a brand that has not only kept on paddling through choppy waters but also as good as re-invented itself to grow the signature products for which it is still known to appeal to a whole new generation of surfers. Since its relaunch in December last year, Island Style has been going growing in “leaps and bounds” according to founder and chief executive, Warren ‘Wazo’ Wareing. By staying true to his vision of selling products made by a surfer for surfers, Wazo has created a quality offering that enables him to declare that Island Style’s signature slops or beach thongs are  guaranteed for 2 000kms and that the company’s surf board bags are guaranteed for life – that of the buyer, that is. Wacky humour aside, his declarations are backed by confidence. Through developing and testing products themselves, the Island Style team trusts its own, he says. After the rand hit a wipe out during recent months, being proudly Durban is paying dividends. Whereas, in the past, being home-grown counted against Island Style at the till...

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