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.
Looking for wooden decor in every colour, every shape and any word? This is then the business for you! Any word you could dream of, in an array of fonts and colours – let your creativity flow and use their decor pieces to brighten up any room of your home.
I am a huge fan of Bokke and Blomme, first seeing them at Kamers Market and then finding them at the Watershed Market in Cape Town at the V&A Waterfront. Their goodies are just so divine and so proudly South Africa!
We chatted to the lovely Janet about her business and this is what she had to say.
You opened your own business – How does it feel to be a successful business owner that inspires others and loves what they do?
I have always been very grateful for the way my business has evolved since I started it years ago. I started with a small range of products to test the market which included about 3 / 4 words.
I decided to get a market stall at the Bay Harbour market in Hout Bay and to be honest it was the best risk I ever took.
My range has since developed into offering hundreds of words and designs in different fonts and colours. I think that is what has always made Bokke & Blomme stand out in the crowd from other similar businesses.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
There have been challenges along the way of course. Investing time and money into ranges that dont always do as well as you expected they will. Taking risks to invest in a new store or outlet that may or may not work out financially even if your heart was all in it.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.
To be honest I have never really planned ahead. Sounds like pretty bad business planning I know! I have had many ideas in the past of branching out overseas as there is great interest for my products abroad. Now that I have been faced with remodeling and adapting the business to our current situation I have been looking into focusing more on ecommerce. So I am hoping that in the coming years I will be able to build an online shopping experience that can target local and international markets.
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
Its quite simple! Just do it and trust that you can work and grow it as it progresses. There really is no time to waste.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?
Id say the best thing of having your own business is the satisfaction of making that sale! It sounds funny to be something as simple as that, but I still do a little jig after a successful hard days work at a gift fair or looking at a sales report at the end of a good day in my store.
Lately its been checking for online sales and getting all excited when I’ve made one. You definitely wouldn’t get that feeling if it wasn’t your own business and nothing beats it. The other major thing for me is that being a mom of two boys and having my own business has definitely allowed for flexibility between playing mommy and work.
I’m grateful to be able to juggle both commitment together. Even if it gets chaotic at times haha!
How has lock down affected you and your team?
I have like so many small businesses owners I know taken a huge knock during lockdown.
I’ve unfortunately the biggest loss is that I have had to let go many of my staff from the factory and my retail stores.
I’ve lost all my income from my stores and have had to close my beautiful store in Kalk Bay now permanently.
The only income the business has now is generated from my eCommerce site so I’m focusing as much time as I can into that. But obviously multi tasking between homeschool, housekeeping and the general ups & downs lock down has brought with it.