HOW DID THE JAMM'N BEGIN?
From Hairdresser to Hashtags
Settle in for 3 minutes of glorious procrastination and read this WHOLE page or cut the shit and get the short version here.
After a baptism of fire as a freelance copywriter in the early 2000’s, I hit the eCommerce ground running. with zero experience or any proper understanding of the industry while juggling 2 hair salons and a young family.
THE GENTLE BREEZE OF eCOMMERCE
I imagined the world of eCommerce as a gentle breeze that would gradually blow me into a new direction. I was absolutely unprepared for the tornado that catapulted me into a wild storm, and a parallel universe where I was about to experience the full range of human emotions and then some.
RUNNING A BUSINESS IN SOUTH AFRICA
What an adventure! [Also known as wine and crying.]
A post office strike that tested my sanity and almost brought us to our knees in our 1st year, load shedding schedules that were never on time, unreliable couriers, corruption, theft, massive client fraud, near impossible government red tape, customs clearance headaches.
At first, the only South African manufacturers who had the supply monopoly in the country were not keen to supply us. They didn’t know who we were, and we were not going to place an order with a 6 figure invoice, so we were not worth their time. So we reached out to international suppliers, bit the financial bullet and clawed our way forward.
WE STARTED TO DO IT!
Despite the challenges and the fact that I was totally unequipped for eCommerce life, we were thriving. Falke South Africa stepped into the local hosiery game and didn’t hesitate when we approached them to supply us. It was a game-changer for us.
Every insane risk we took, every expensive customer service promise we stoically stood by – it was paying off. We won awards, we were interviewed, the media started to take note. It was a feeling we can’t describe – with a customer base of over 40 000 people by our 3rd year who recommended us to their friends, colleagues, and family for our dedicated levels of the highest customer service is a pretty unreal feeling. And then…everything changed.
THE WINDS OF CHANGE
In 2017 New Zealand made my husband an offer we couldn’t refuse.
We packed up 2 teenagers, 2 dogs and one highly unimpressed cat and never looked back.
I left behind 20 years of hairdressing, packed up 2 salons, 2 online stores, and said goodbye to my squad of amazing clients, and all of our friends, and family.
A New Chapter
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…..
When it came time to do something else in the new chapter of our lives in New Zealand, I knew that there were others out there just like me, just like you, who are navigating the highs and the very real lows of this everyday adventure [wine and crying] we call business.
Marius and I had seen the abyss where we had a glimpse of everything we had worked for flashing before our eyes.
We have been taken for a ride by unscrupulous contractors who saw us coming and navigated the crooks and the cowboys that seem to come with the business territory.
In terms of running your own business, I have seen the bottom, had a glimpse of the top, and everything in between.
I have juggled every single task in my businesses and appreciated the relief and unbridled joy that comes with delegating the jobs I positively loathe, to a professional.
I have been on the receiving end of some impressively malevolent lip from keyboard warriors, stood my ground in battles of wills against big bolshy business personalities who have wanted me to go back from where I came from, and been the despondent recipient of under-delivered promises that never seemed to end without somehow losing my sense of self or sense of humour!
SOMEONE LIKE ME
I know now that if I had had someone like me to cut through the clutter, help me prioritise what to do first, and where to spend first to help me scale in a realistic way that I could manage financially and with the resources available while also identifying the opportunities around us that I could do myself, I know I would have made different decisions.
I wouldn’t have felt so lost or like I was flying by the seat of my pants without a cooking clue on how to measure the outcomes.
WORKING WITH ME
If you are still reading at this point, you must be one of my parents, (Thanks Mom) or need a medal.
- I don’t believe in fancy titles or highfalutin ways, and can’t be bothered trying to impress anyone with corporate fluff
- I wear jandals all year round. Yes, in winter with socks. Total thirst trap
- I only work to keep my rescued street dogs in the level of comfort and indulgence they have become accustomed to. I also can’t stop buying plants, so there is that
- I am not a graphic designer. My design style is all Mardi Gras on tequila slammers and apparently, I am more or less alone in my fandom. I can definitely recommend someone less insane
- Out of the office, I perform (smash every part of my body, holding onto my friend as we both laugh hysterically, trying not to fall out of the hoop) as part of an aerial hoop duo. People pay to see us. They obviously don’t have anything else to do with their money.
What you see is what you get. Bring your dogs.
Born in south africa
Made in New Zealand
THE WEIGHTS ON MY WALLET
THEY WHO RUN THE OFFICE
Rescued from Lab Rescue in South Africa in 2013. Has no idea how to interact with other dogs. Must be the centre of attention at all times. LOVES all Men. Walkies, car adventures, swimming, snacks or parties – she will be there. Has her own pet fantail called Kimchi, which thoroughly enjoys teasing her relentlessly.
Bonafide street dog hybrid. An abused rescue with a plethora of issues – hates parties, noise, men, the sound or sight of any puffer jacket, water, sand and waves (we live at the beach). Preciously pampered, she sleeps in a bed with her human prefers 800 thread count sheets. She must have her own pillow, otherwise don’t waste her time.
The free-range parenting result of letting your pre-school aged children name your cat. The only remaining feline from a motley crew of 5 she has never known anything other than a life of pampering and luxury. Born in 2005 she travelled with us from South Africa and is enjoying her golden years in New Zealand.