Recent posts

Daily Collection

Instant Office – Just bring your laptop

It’s a craze that’s been sweeping the globe. In a world where small businesses have been forced to cut overheads and Startups are the new black, an instant office is the perfect solution!
Recently we’ve seen more and more of these venues popping up around the country, each offering more support and fun extras than the next.

For those with more simple requirements, there’s the desk, chair, internet connection and phone line option. Then there are the more deluxe options that include meeting rooms, trendy wall art, a receptionist and even… pot plants! What more do you need to make your office feel warm & inviting?

For so many business people, the internet has made working a completely mobile experience, making their large & fancy offices seem bulky & expensive. With an instant office, you can still have an address and a place to park your briefcase, without the big bills.

Plus, you could meet someone cute at the coffee machine?

Simply Living with Art

So many people would love the privilege of making a living from creating art. For Heather Wessels, this has become her daily reality.

After completing a diploma in textile design, Heather spent years working for others before she chose to go out on her own, starting Simply Art & Decor. Though she admits it hasn’t been easy going, she says the step was definitely worth it.

Today, the Durban-based artist creates unique contemporary pieces for homes and businesses.
“My art sells to all walks of life,” she said, “When it comes to creating artworks for individuals, it’s a wonderful time to explore with different mediums, colours and the usage of different tools and paints. It’s an opportunity to produce art that is unique to the individual, creating something magnificent in colour and design.”
It’s not always an exercise in freedom of expression though. Some clients are looking for something more specific.
“The clients will go through my website. If they like something I will do it for them, but it will be slightly different. Some customers allow you to have carte blanche, others don’t. When working with decorators you are very restricted.”

Heather’s journey into commercial art began with her creating Murals on walls and paint techniques on walls and furniture, but it all changed in 2005 when a friend asked her to do a huge contemporary piece. She took up the challenge and never looked back, gaining inspiration from the world around her. Continue reading

Dutch Ink: Making a New Mark

The young entrepreneurs behind creative media agency, Dutch Ink had already made a mark on the Durban cityscape before their doors opened.

Pioneering the medium of reverse graffiti in the city, they have created eye-catching designs and images that rejuvenated formerly grubby spaces and cast them into the local spotlight.
We wanted to find out what we could look forward to from this dynamic team with their latest venture…

Safindit: Who are the people behind Dutch Ink & what expertise do they bring to the table?
Dutch Ink: Our team comprises of seven talented individuals. Ashley Clark heads up our production needs and keeps our clients happy. Stathi Kougianos is a talented illustrator, (check out durbanisyours.co.za). Nick Ferreria and Scott Hill live in another world. Then there are our multi media/ animated graphics, web guru’s. J.P Jordaan & I head up the studio with our skills lying in Art Direction and Strategy.

S: What kind did Dutch Ink set out to be?
DI: We have created an advertising & design studio which aims to help people & save their brands from bad creative decisions. We embrace the grey of advertising and cut straight to the point. There isn’t any time to muck about with vague communication. People’s jobs and livelihoods are at risk.

S: What makes Dutch Ink unique?
DI: What makes Dutch Ink unique is that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We don’t believe in your ordinary run of the mill ideas. They must touch home, or the work has failed. Continue reading

10 Questions with moneysmart’s Tobie van Zyl

Tobie Van Zyl is CEO of moneysmart, an exciting online personal financial management platform that enables users to take hands on control of their finances.

At 26, Tobie has defied the odds to become one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the financial sector to have braved the independent market.

1. You didn’t go to University or study finance. How did you acquire your finance knowledge?
I only finished matric in 2002 and attempted to undergo a CFP (Certified financial planning) degree through Damelin banking and insurance institute but did not complete it since my business at that time (Online Financial Advisory Company) started taking off and consumed most of my time. Other than that, I have had numerous entrepreneurial ventures of which some were successful and others not. Through failure I have gained the most experience and knowledge to be successful today.

2: Do/ did you ever wish that you had gone to University?
In some cases I regret not completing or furthering my education but its more from a theoretical and technical knowledge point of view, since academics can’t teach you about the actual operation of an organisation (practical running of a business). I’m happy I have chosen the trial and error path. From this I have more knowledge and practical business skill and a lot of acumen than a fourth year Graduate of BCom finance. (With all respect, this is how life turned out for me. I don’t advise that my path to business success should be followed by students). You can only risk what you can afford to lose. You have to make calculated risk-based decisions.

3: We’ve heard you originally had dreams of playing & producing music when you moved to Cape Town. How and why did you make the big jump from music to finance?
In SA your shelf life in music is around three years so I always knew that for me to make a living through music was going to be limited. I have been more fascinated by entrepreneurship, economics, finances and business development from a young age.
Financial Services had such a lack in innovation and the new generation needed someone that could relate to their world. I knew in my heart that moneysmart was my calling and gave it my unconditional dedication to help the new generation understand the subject of personal finances and to build an online application that can help them to manage their finances better. Continue reading

Daily Collection

Home-Brewed – For the love of bubbles

This has got to be one of our favourite collections. It took a long time & a lot of research to compile this extensive list of local craft brewers and we learned a great deal about the burgeoning industry along the way!

We also had a little assistance with Cape Town beer blogger Nich Mulgrew, who chatted to us about his beer journey.

We find it so exciting that South Africans are pouring their creativity & passion into unique & tasty beers & we love how the beer-buying public is starting to embrace them!

Our hope with this collection was to bring more exposure to South Africa’s microbreweries and further fuel the trend of creating, buying & drinking local products. We also wanted to provide a kind of map that beer-lovers could use to embark on their own tasting quests, thereby encouraging them to visit these breweries and engage with them.

We hope that people will use out collection for these purposes as there really is nothing else like it out there and we hope that new brewers will get in touch with us & ask us to add them to our collection so we can keep growing it and updating it.

Creating Meaty Masterpieces

No red-blooded South African can resist a tasty piece of biltong. If anything, the great success of Kleyn Begin Biltong is proof that we just can’t get enough of the meaty morsels.

Self-confessed biltong addicts Naomi and Anton Kleyn started making their own products in 2006. Naomi had already been making a healthy R6000 extra income by re-selling biltong to her friends and family when she and her husband thought they could create a better quality product themselves. They started experimenting with different meats and recipes and soon, they had a winner on their hands!
“The biltong-makers at Kleyn Begin make this company stand out above the rest,” Naomi says, “Our “secret” ingredient is US! Biltong making is not just about cutting a piece of meat, spices and drying – it’s about the people behind the scenes, the passion for making biltong. It is a “lonely” world cutting and spicing meat – meat does not talk back. Our staff is what makes Kleyn Begin Unique.”

Today, Kleyn Begin makes biltong in large quantities but only on order. They have reps in different areas that buy their products and re-sell.
“We would definitely want to give more people an opportunity to make extra money this way, as people are always hungry and when biltong is on offer. No-one can say “no thank-you”,” says Naomi, “For now, opening a retail shop is not on the cards. We have a special, one-on-one relationship with all our reps and that is how we would like to keep things for the time being.” Continue reading

The Devil & Team Inkredible

RedInk Multimedia is a full-service ad agency, based in Centurion, specialising in all that is Multimedia – from social media content management to email marketing, mobisites, SMS campaigns and general consulting on e-marketing requirements.

We spoke to Redink MD Daniella Louw.

Safindit: Who are the people behind Redink Multimedia?
Daniella: The owners are myself and Belinda Nelson. I’m the MD and she’s our Creative Director. We make a great team. People often assume from first impressions that we’re vastly different- I’m the rocker and she’s the soccer mom. But it’s not so. We are actually very alike. We’re both ENTJ personalities, we’re very supportive of each other’s endeavours and views and we run a tight ship. We’re known as “D the Devil – generally depicted with a whip and a cat of 9 tails – and B the Angel – generally depicted with wings, a halo and known around here as the Good Cop. It’s an invaluable combination!

S: How did the business come about?
D: Belinda (I call her B) and I worked together at Marketing Mix magazine in the year voetsek. We both left to start our own businesses- I in journalism and marketing and she in graphic design. We soon found that our clients were overlapping, that we were working together on a lot of projects anyway- and decided to join forces and see if we could fly this thing! It’s 7 years on and we have never looked back.

S: What’s it like to work at Redink?
D: There’s a great energy here. B and I put a lot of effort into company culture. There’s always music playing, manic outbursts of laughter, a pool table, a foostable, strange bites of inspiration from my office and a general consensus of “Screw it, let’s do it!” B and I like to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit, and we’re suckers for independent thinkers. So it works, and brings out the best in people. Team Inkredible rocks! Even if I say so myself.

Continue reading

Get Inspired. Find Happiness.

For many people who have lived a turbulent life, speaking about their ordeal can be almost impossible. For Charmaine Mill it’s a healing process that she hopes, will bring inspiration to others.

After surviving a battle with Leukemia, being retrenched, divorced twice and becoming a single mom of two daughters, Charmaine has had to cope with experiences that some people will never know or understand. But that doesn’t mean she has no empathy for other people’s struggles.
When conducting inspirational talks and workshops, Charmaine wants her audience to relate to her as an equal.
“I don’t want them to think that my challenges in any way make theirs seem little. We are all capable of coping with different degrees of stress and pain and I have just managed to have survived my journey. I hope that they feel that I want to encourage them to be more and to follow their hearts. I also hope to be able to teach them valuable tools in some of my workshops that will help them make their lives easier so they have time to do the things they love,” Charmaine says.

Charmaine never realized how prophetic her choice of name would be for her business when she started her events company, Inspired Experiences.
It was only after she had been through all the trauma and stress and decided to change the focus of the business that she saw how fitting the name actually was.
Despite having little or no training as a motivational speaker, the naturally shy woman from Durban defied her own limitations to pursue her new dream.
“I have had to step completely out of my comfort zone to fit into this new role but I find that it is easier to keep the “rules” in the back of my head but to speak from my heart,” she says, “I am proud of how much I am doing on my own. I have had to learn how to use social media, plan strategies and write and deliver my own material. I am also in the process of writing a book and I often take a breath and say, who is this woman?!” Continue reading

Gifts that Speak 4 U

Two young and creative friends are the driving force behind Just 4 U Gifts – an online gifting store with a difference!
Cassandra Wright originally started a small costume jewellery range as a way to supplement her income and fuel her imagination, but it wasn’t long before her friend Kerry Hall, a graphic designer, wanted in on the action.
“We both knew how much of a hassle it was to find gifts for birthdays, weddings etc. as well as time being very limited these days and the same applies to getting things for, and organizing kids birthdays and other events. We decided to help those people that battle with shopping and offer them the service of “shopping” for them,” Kerry says.

Just 4 U Gifts offers personalised gifts ,jewellery and trinkets and gift baskets, but is unique in that the client can tailor-make their purchases.
“The gifts, jewellery and party things can be personalized to suit the customer and their budget. Often you go onto gift websites and you can chose from their range but you can’t tell them what you would or would not like in the gift package and we do all that to fit the customers budget. We feel we are a very flexible business and that could appeal to a large amount of customers.”

Continue reading

Finding Perfect Synergy in Dance

Natasha Rizza - owner, instructor, choregrapher

Natasha Rizzo, owner & instructor at Danz Synergy opened her first studio in 1998 whilst living in Hong Kong. In 2002, she opened her second, successful studio in Krugersdorp which she later sold. After stints in Richards Bay and the UK, Natasha returned once more to Krugersdorp where she started Danz Synergy.

Movement in my Blood…

“Dancing from age 5, movement was in my blood. Where normal people listen to music, I could close my eyes and see a whole show being performed in my head. Because this passion for dance stayed with me for so many years, I opened the studio because I knew there would be like minded people who had no experience, and if I could open up the magic of dance as an expression of self to them, I would have achieved my goal in life – to make a difference.”

Experience led Natasha to develop her own individual dance style. “I merged various styles to create my very own unique style called Hip-Funk which teachers are still teaching in Hong Kong and South Africa today. We are now starting a new style called Modern Beat and Acro where it is a combination of hip-hop dancing fused with various other styles such as acrobatics, Latin etc.”

Movement in her blood...

Tracking Progress…

While Natasha does not give examinations at her school, she makes a point of tracking their progress using film so that they can see themselves grow from year to year.

Unlike many other dance studios, Danz Synergy caters for teens and adults with no previous dance experience. Natasha also offers fused styles that she choreographs and creates herself so that students to remain excited and interested.

Natasha’s pride in her work is not for nothing. In 2006, she was nominated as a finalist for Female Entrepreneur of the Year and her studio was a finalist for Small Business of the Year for the KCCI – Chamber of Commerce.

Real Passion…

It takes a person with real passion to work as a dance instructor. “Someone that does it for the love of dancing as it’s not a highly paid industry. You also need to be someone who can connect with people. You can teach dance but you won’t truly inspire a person if you don’t have an ability to build trust with your students.”

Keeping abreast of new dance trends is crucial to Natasha. “With new styles popping up almost every day, you need to constantly keep track Of what is new in the dance world and how you can incorporate it into your own business. Currently the latest trend across the globe is hip-hop.”

Natasha attributes her solid business skills to her mother who taught her that you should always stand on your own two feet. ‘The biggest thing she taught me – show interest in your client. Don’t see them as money, see them as people and that led to the success of everything I’ve done till today.’