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.

Today’s find is a great one! Our local business feature comes all the way from the gorgeous seaside town of Hermanus, an hour outside of Cape Town in the Western Cape. BELI EM creates gorgeous handmade cement products for your home. From pendant lights, to desk and beside lamps, and not to mention beautiful cement tiles too! Stunning designs that will look perfect in your home or office. Statement pieces!

Please follow them on Instagram, they would appreciate the love!

We chatted to Mariana and she had this to say!

You opened your own business – How does it feel to be a business owner that loves what they do?

Being en entrepreneur or business owner has it share of ups and downs. While the downs can be pretty low the ups always seem to triumph for a true entrepreneur at heart. Being a business woman and be able to do what I love feels amazing. Working with my hands and being creative is probably the most awarding thing for me. Finding something you love in running your business (for me it is the creative side of the business) keeps it from becoming stale in the long run.

What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?

When I started I knew very little about electrical stuff, power cables, tools or how to use a drill, but that only made me excited to learn new skills and it was so satisfying to know what I was capable of designing and creating. I have learned that a good design takes time and patience to create. Through failure I learned a lot, and one rediscovers other new ideas and designs through out the process. I have also learned that a business was not build in a day and that it takes time to build a brand and before customers first knows about your products. Starting your own business takes discipline and patience.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

I would love to see my business growing in the next 5 years and to increase my wholesale and retail customers. A big dream would be to have my own Beil Em showroom to display my products and to be able to manufacture my products from there.

What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?

I am still learning alot and it feels to me that I am the one seeking for advice everyday, but the advice I learned in the short time as a business owner is that you should not allow anything to stand in your way of doing something you love. If you really want to start a business, you need to address the reasons you think you can’t start a business and get rid of them. Find a solution to the issue rather than let it hold you back. Don’t be your own worse enemy, you’re here to stand out, you’re here to leave your own footprints, not walk in the steps of others. If you love what you do and you work hard you will succeed.

Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worthwhile?

I can be creative with no restrictions, and that I can be in control of my own destiny. I am able to set my own schedule around my family life. Being a mom of two, I have the flexibility to schedule my work hours around my children’s sports, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, home schooling during lockdown and the list goes on.

How has lock down affected you?

Lock down has affected so many businesses and it breaks my heart that so many businesses just couldn’t keep their heads above water, with understanding. The lockdown definitely affected my sales but it is important to stay positive and to support small local businesses.

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