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 found the most gorgeous handbags sold by the lovely local (and Vegan!) company, called Kindness. Their beautiful handbags – in every shape and size – are made from cork, harvested from oak trees. These bags are seriously beautiful and cruelty free.

Please check out their Facebook page and Instagram page for more! They would appreciate the follows.

We chatted to the lovely Jayme Wium about her business and she had this to say!

Tell us a little bit about your business.

I have 2 vegan businesses. My “baby” is called Kindness and I started it in December 2019. The focus of Kindness is to bring gorrrrrrgeous vegan handbags, wallets, and purses to stylish earth and animal lovers. I put a lot of heart and soul into my Kindness handbags which are mostly made from cork (from oak trees no less!), but I also have a cotton canvas and PU range. I also have my fingers in another company called Good Karma with the beautiful co-honcho Pam Bjornstad. We started this as a sideline gig but it really has grown and is such a cool business. We make funky vegan and esoteric clothing and gifts. Think tees, vests, mugs, magnets, growing cards, choccies…and and and! 🙂

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

Learning things the hard way seems to have been the theme of my business. 3 things I learned the hard way is that everything in business COSTS so be very ultra aware of that. My bank account was still cringing in the corner for quite some time after I started this all up. Another would be that not everyone is as kind and understanding as you would hope they are, but the good news (and the flip side) is that if you show immense kindness to others in business, somewhere along the way they reciprocate. The third is that a business in any market will take a lot of time and effort. I am lucky enough to be so dedicated to the cause that any effort is effort well spent though!

Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.

In 5 years time I actually hope to be where I am now. I am not in it for making millions or growing into a huge empire. I started creating a handbag range because I saw a way to make a difference in this world. So many people think that to be stylish an animal’s life has to be sacrificed. It’s just not true anymore. We live in amazing times where you can live the life you want and not hurt anyone or anything else. I live and work out of the Kruger National Park – I mean, you can’t really get any better than that in my opinion. In 5 years, I just hope to be happily doing what I am doing now…although I do hope to have helped a few more people see the light of a vegan way of life. Fingers crossed **grin**

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

I think being scared is good. It helps us be measured in our approach. I would love to say quit your job, throw away your shoes and hug trees for money if your heart so desires it, but that would be very irresponsible of me!

I think the best advice I can give is to plan, plan, plan and if you can possibly help it, set your heart on promoting a new way of life and making a difference instead of just making money. Making a difference is far more valuable than making money. In my humble opinion that is.

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

My little businesses have really helped me to meet such wonderful people that I otherwise would never have met. In the almost-year that Kindness Good Karma have been going, I have had the happiest conversations and connections with like-minded people ever. It is their positivity and their response to the whole approach of kindness that keeps me going…keeps me amped.

The second BEST part of owning my own business is that I get to work with my 2 pooches around me all day.

I call them my quality controllers and now that I am working in my own space and making all the rules (doggies get to come to work every day!!), I can’t imagine it any other way.

How has lock down affected you, your business and your team?

Lockdown has certainly had an impact in that I haven’t been able to get all the materials, bits and bobs required for my ranges as easily as possible, but it’s also had a positive effect. I have noticed so many people pulling together to make a difference and help those who are struggling that it’s really inspired me to find new faith in the human species.

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