So as you all know I love to support local and started a segment where we could share, learn and inspire! It is so important to support local and share your findings with others.
During lock down, we are going to do a whole lot of these to highlight these businesses – many of which are taking HUGE strain during this time – and shed some awareness and love to all.
I discovered Adjani and was totally captivated by their handcrafted Murano glass jewellery and homeware items. All their beautiful pieces are handmade here in South Africa! These will make the most gorgeous gifts for loved ones, and definitely for you too.
We chatted to the lovely Adjani Schoeman and she had this to say to us about her business!
Tell us a little bit about your business.
While studying for an interior design degree, I was captivated by the art of glass blowing being taught in the fine arts department.
Fascinated by glass with its widespread practical & decorative usage and frustrated at not having full access to that world of glass blowing, I started looking into other glassmaking techniques that could be practiced on a smaller scale and discovered the art of Flameworking.
This technique, where a gas fuelled torch is used to melt glass into a molten state and then shaped into a desired form using tools, gravity and movement, was the perfect solution for me since a work station could be set up from home.
The hobby gradually turned into a business, growing slowly to ensure the right production processes, organically to respond to the market and sustainably to guarantee longevity.
My passion for empowering and employing local South Africans has been a driving force in the business. Each product is designed and made by me and my team.
The ADJANi team designs and handcrafts a range of products by combining Murano glass with various materials.
This creates a distinct aesthetic, resulting in a modern design style that has international design appeal without losing its local relevance and sentiment.
The handcrafted nature of the ADJANI brand adds to its uniqueness, ensuring no two pieces are exactly alike, a true reflection of her biggest inspiration – the people of South Africa.
Innovative design, carefully selected materials and local handcrafting techniques resulted in a collection consisting of homeware, fashion and fine jewellery.
Adjani’s prospects for the future is to extend the range of exclusive handcrafted items; to keep the brand forward-thinking and build a steadfast reputation; to empower local communities by feeding opportunity into the local industry; and to gain international exposure, with the aim of collaborating and growing this unique brand.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
Set attainable goals & then ignore your inner perfectionist! Where do you even begin? Start by identifying what your overall company mission is, and build smaller, achievable tasks that serve as steppingstones to reaching that mission. Those small goals will not only make the company mission more digestible and less intimidating but will give you a good indication of where to begin.
Entrepreneurs are often perfectionists but remember that everything does not have to be perfect to start testing versions of your product, start building your own website and talking about your business to anyone who will listen.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
I can be flexible with my work hours and my studio is next to my home. Since I am a mom of two boys this helps a lot! I get to be creative in my work. I love to design things and work with my hands.
How has lock down affected you and your business?
My staff could not come to work during the first period of lockdown. We experienced delays from both our local & international suppliers. We were unable to ship our parcels to customers that ordered online for a long period of time. I had to reduce my staffs working hours, unfortunately they cannot perform their duties at home. I also had to adjust my shop hours for customers to visit & buy items in our studio because my staff were no longer working daily.
The whole retail experience has had to change, and we need to adapt to the new way of selling and reaching our regular as well as new customers.