So as you all know I love to support local and started a segment where we could share, learn and inspire!

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 have followed Melissa Louise for many years on Instagram, loving her interior design before and afters! She has such an incredible eye and I love how she renovates and makes dream rooms and homes a reality.

She also offers social and content marketing packages, styling and photography and lets not forget about her divine soy candles!

We chatted to Melissa Louise about being a business owner and she had this to say!

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You started your own business – How does it feel to be a successful #girlboss that
inspires others and loves what she does?

Owning your own business comes with a plethora of emotions. Some days you feel productive, others are less so, most days you feel like a girl boss but there are some days filled with doubt. I am most proud that my brand would be considered empowering, thank you.

It is a life goal of mine to share and lift others while we evolve, doing this daily excites me and inspires me to continue doing what I am doing.

What are the top 2 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?

1. Trust – This is a big one, especially in the building industry, which is notorious for shady contractors. Building trust with your team and having people you can rely on is really important but even more important than that is having the trust of your client, if your client shows hesitation and reluctance that can be a red flag. Your client needs to work with you, not against you.

2. Being agile – “The only constant in life is change”-Heraclitus.
This is SO true, things don’t always go according to plan, but it is how we deal with change that can be the make or break when running your own business.

Below photographs show the making of the gorgeous Melissa Louise candles.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

This is a tough one to answer in a time where so much is uncertain, our working landscape has changed pretty dramatically in the last 3 months and with all the changes happening as we navigate a global pandemic, plans made this morning are no longer relevant this afternoon. With that said, my long term goals and aspirations for my business remain the same, even if it means taking the long road… In coming years I plan to grow a Home Enthusiasts community – a decor resource, do it yourself guide and online community. A place to connect and feel at home.

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

Start right now!

Right now, where you are – while you are studying or working full time, or even staying at home with children… I am a huge believer in the compounding effects of consistency.

Start small, do something small but do it every day and that will create the momentum you need to get you / your business / your brand off the ground.

Beautiful homes and rooms that have been renovated and styled by Melissa Louise.

Tell us 3 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worthwhile?

Flexibility. Every day is different, this keeps things exciting and although this can sometimes be stressful I have learnt to embrace it. Flexibility also allows for balance.
Balance. I try to ensure that each day is filled with the right amount of self-care, fitness, productive work hours and connecting with others.

Being creative. Being a creative business owner allows you to determine what your creative landscape is. Be it making candles or dreaming up beautiful but functional spaces for clients.

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How has lockdown affected your business?

While I am very much pro life, making the role of lockdown crucial at this time, it has been a very big adjustment.

Level 5 was definitely the most disruptive in that we stopped all current projects pretty abruptly.

I’m grateful that we had not started demolition on any projects at the time lockdown was announced, can you imagine having your only bathroom renovated but the project stopped just after everything had just been ripped out… What a nightmare!

Right now my focus is on supporting my contracting team as much as possible while we wait level 3 out, we are doing smaller maintenance projects but it is the large full scale interior design projects that pay the bills.

I am running a candle initiative for the month of June, for every candle sold we will be donating 25% to my contracting team.

If you would like to support us you can shop here.

Lockdown aside, my focus has shifted to navigating our new working landscape, what will the world of interior design and eCommerce in South Africa look like in months to come. We are the pioneers of our time, what do you want the future to look like?

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Please follow Melissa Louise on Instagram and Facebook! She would appreciate the love and the follows x

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