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.

Gosh, today’s feature may break some of your hearts as you will want to try this gin straight away. Unfortunately you will only be able to after the alcohol ban is lifted BUT the good news is, you can still place orders for delivery once the ban is lifted!

And then you will have something to look forward to! I mean how stunning does this range of Gin look? It comes in 3 variants currently, Citrus, Spice and Elderflower. We love Smiths Gin before we have even tasted it, purely due to their packaging. Then add on their many accolades they have won in the brand’s short time of existence, add on the fact that money from every sale goes towards hospitality industry bursaries and you have one incredible local brand to support! Check out their website to place your orders.

And they have also been so nimble and are now selling gorgeous masks in collaboration with A Love Supreme! These can be found on Takealot (link to masks here!) so be sure to check them out.

Please show them support and love and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

We chatted to the lovely Rachel Smith, the Managing Director of this awesome business, who had this to say about Smiths Gin!


Tell us a little bit about your business.

Bursary Spirits was started early 2019 with the sole aim of growing the hospitality industry by funding bursaries. It’s vision is to grow the economy by driving education and provide the tools for talented and passionate individuals to become successful business owners. Long term goal is to see these individuals start their own business, drive the economy and reduce unemployment.

I started off with the gin brand, Smiths™ which has been the biggest learning curve of my life! Previously I did work in a very cross-functional department and this time I was all of them. I was very fortunate to have built a large network of experts who have helped me on this journey from experts of taste assisting with the flavour development to the suppliers and agencies assisting with the brand side. The business took a leap into success when the gins were all awarded at the 2019 SA Craft Gin awards and this cemented my belief that it was going to work.

Since then I continue to chase opportunities and release my fun-loving, creative and adventurous self in everything that I do.


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

Google prices that you get quoted first before saying yes – goods and services
You can do most things yourself – it’s a matter of taking the time to research and try (I’m still trying to master my video taking skills 😉 )
Stick to making decisions on a financial basis and not whim

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

I see Smiths™ as the global brand that provides hospitality bursaries with an array of quality products under the brand.

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

Figure out exactly what is stopping you from doing it. Will it cover my living expenses? Will people buy it? Is it too late for it? Do I even know where to start? Once you’ve got that fear identified find ways to resolve it – work out how much of an income is enough, chat to others in the industry you want to launch in to see if there is a demand for your product/service, watch webinars and Google. Google a lot. Also don’t be scared to start a side hustle while keeping a job. No-one says you have to focus on doing one job in your life you will just need to understand it’s going to be working weekends and after hours.


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

Owning my own business has released my fun-loving, creative and adventurous self and I’ve learnt to do so much more than I would have in a normal 9-5 single job. It’s nice to occasionally compare myself back to the unhappy, stagnant employed person I was and see the growth and happiness I’ve developed through running my own business.

How has lock down affected you and your team?

We’ve got a decentralised business model so have been working from home and took the time under level 4 and 5 lockdown to do some upgrades. The “departments” have gone through some improvements at home – Website, social media and bottle label update, new distributors and even dipped into making masks with the brand’s bright patterns. Now at level 3 we are focused on the selling of our facial masks and preparing to start delivering again once alcohol sales are unbanned.


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