You are currently viewing Inspiring Women in Business

Inspiring Women in Business

Every year in August, Women’s Month gives even more reason to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of female South Africans, and the vast strides that they have made in a traditionally male-dominated world.

This month we feature a variety of inspiring women who have beat the odds and succeeded, despite living the Covid-era and doing business during a time of massive economic strain facing the country.

Each featured woman was chosen for her unique achievements and was asked to answer five questions about what inspired her to start her business, her role models, as well as what some of the hurdles were that she had to overcome in the process of establishing herself and her brand. The women were also asked to share their secrets for success, as well as advice for other female entrepreneurs. 

After all, inspirational stories will inspire other women to succeed! We reached out to a few inspiring women in business and here is what they had to say:

Meet Maryam, owner and founder of Lanolab

Here is what she had to say:

What got you started on your venture? 

We were looking for a natural and local product that could be used as a multi-purpose balm for the whole family and could not find anything, locally.

What was your biggest challenge when starting? 

Having patience! Everything takes time and I tend to want to get things done instantly – learning to trust that things will happen as they should has been a vital lesson.

1 Tip for sucess

Most of the time I would recommend going with your gut feel and what feels right to you, while keeping in mind the advise of those that are working alongside in your venture.

Name A women that inspire you

Lamees Romaney, also a mome who juggles a business and family and has been the instumental driving force behind her brand Pomegranate Wellness Collagen.

Do you have any advice to future female entrepreneurs?

Do enough research and make sure there is a gap in the market for your product/service and always be 100% hands on in all aspects of your business.

Meet Leigh Sarembock, founder and owner of Spirit Girl

What got you started on your venture? 

This venture initially started with two Spiritgirls who worked in the corporate event world. My early partner and I met working at the same company and instantly there was a bond.

We were both yoga fans that enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle. We dreamed of creating a sustainable yoga brand that represents our love of nature, and passion for health and wellness incorporating our design skills.

In 2014 we realized there was a gap in the SA market for fun, uniquely designed leggings for eco-conscious women. We hunted down the perfect technical fabric and Spiritgirl became a reality.

what was your biggest challenge when starting? 

Our biggest challenge was finding the right fabric. A fabric that’s technical with moisture-wicking, good stretch, printable and recycled. Good technical sportswear fabric is not available in South Africa. So, we are faced with manufacturing and import delays regularly.

1 tip for sucess

Networking with the right people. We were very fortunate to be given a retail space at Yoga Life when we first started. This was a great platform for us to market our products to the right audience.

name 3 women that inspire you

  1. My mom has always inspired me to work hard and follow my dreams.
  2. A good friend of mine. She is a mom of 3 and runs a successful PR agency.
  3. Daniela V. Fernandez, the founder of Sustainable Oceans Alliance. Her company supports Ocean tech startups that are interested in ocean conservation.

do you have any advice to future female entreprenuers?

Resilience, hard work and finding key people that can nurture your brand with you for the long run. 

MEET RIZWANA CASSIM

What got you started on your venture? 

My love for fashion started at a very young age and grew stronger over time, people around me always loved the way I put pieces together especially for my body type and so I began my personal styling journey on a close colleague of mine at the time, where we transformed her entire look – from then I knew I didn’t belong in corporate any longer and this was my true passion and dream so I pursued it and have been loving it ever since!

what was your biggest challenge when starting? 

My biggest challenge was getting my name out there as a “stylist” – people knew about me but they didn’t know what I did exactly and so it took quite a bit of self-marketing and promoting to let people know who I am and what I can do for them.

1 tip for sucess

Consistency is key, if you want to be successful in anything that you do, stay true to who you are, what you stand for and don’t ever lose that. 

name 3 women that inspire you

  1. My mom has and always will be my first fashion icon and biggest inspiration.
  2. Princess Diana for all that she encompassed and stood for.
  3. Fashion designer & businesswoman Gabrielle Chanel for her influence over the fashion world to date.

do you have any advice to future female entreprenuers?

If you have a passion and if it makes you utterly and absolutely happy, persevere and see it through – you have no idea what you’re capable of until you set the bar for yourself and work towards achieving your goals. It is the most rewarding and satisfying feeling to see the magic of your actions come to life, so persevere and don’t strive for anything less than you want to be!   

MEET CASSIDY, FROM THE GLAM GREEN GIRL

What got you started on your venture? 

The Glam Green Girl started by sharing easy ways of how people can make small changes to their everyday life to help the environment. It grew from there to include cruelty-free beauty; lifestyle posts and travel diaries. 

what was your biggest challenge when starting? 

Getting someone to read my blog posts haha 

1 tip for sucess

Make sure you are passionate about what you are doing. It should be the driving factor behind your brand. 

name 3 women that inspire you

  1. Sivan Ayla – she’s my favourite blogger and an amazing entrepreneur that constantly inspires me
  2. Blake Lively – my ultimate icon
  3. Rushda Moosajee aka Rushtush – she’s turned her fitness career into a thriving business and looks amazing while doing it 

do you have any advice to future female entreprenuers?

Listen to your gut and stay true to yourself. It’s not an easy path but it’s worth it. Always try to do one thing a day that will help you in furthering your career.