1. Can you please tell us more about your business?
A. Coco Creative is a brand building and marketing agency. We help to build brands online, grow customer awareness, and develop digital communication strategies. Our passion lies in helping organisations launch, relaunch, or take their business to the next level!
Something Sassy is the most comfortable underwear in the world. A global underwear company based out of Cape Town, we are the first underwear brand in the world to equally, and successfully, combine comfort and super cute underwear for women to wear every day.
2. When, how and why did you start your business?
A. I started Something Sassy in October 2016. At the time, I owned a distribution business, distributing international cosmetic and clothing brands around South Africa. It was during this time that I noticed a gap in the market in the women’s underwear space.
Coco Creative was founded in March 2018. My passion has always been building brands. As the owner of a distribution and marketing business, my time was spent launching new brands into the market all the time. After successfully starting and operating my own brands for many years, I decided to create my agency in order to help other business owners to the same.
3. What is your role in the business?
A. CEO at Coco Creative, and Co-Founder and Managing Director at Something Sassy. As the CEO at Coco Creative, I am responsible for building our management teams and for acquiring new clients and projects. I am also always developing and training my staff’s skills and have a unique relationship with each team member, encouraging and motivating them. I believe a happy team brings you success. As MD at Something Sassy, my role is to manage operations globally and to support our sales and production teams across two major cities.
4. Where did you study and what did you study?
A. I have not studied anything – my highest qualification is matric!
5. How did you finance your business?
A. Coco Creative is 100% self-funded. We have built our team and our infrastructure as our client list and workload has grown. Something Sassy is investor funded, although we have still run it on a shoestring. Our R&D phase lasted about 2 years, so that was funded by investors, but since generating revenue we have been self-funding the business.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
A. No two days are ever the same, which I love! When I am in Cape Town, I usually start my day in the office, touching base with each of my teams. As growing organisations, there is always someone “new” on the team, or something being done for the first time, so I like to be on-site and available for the first couple of hours of the day. Late mornings are usually spent in meetings or on calls with clients, or negotiating new opportunities with retailers and wholesalers for Something Sassy. My afternoons are often spent meeting with people and networking – most of my job is getting the word out about our businesses, our brands, our teams, and our products. I travel quite a lot for work and am not always in Cape Town so during travel my days vary quite a lot.
7. How do you balance your home life and your work life?
A. Easily, so far. I don’t have children yet, which makes things easier I think. I have a lot of support at home – my partner is also an entrepreneur and business owner, also with a lot of international work and travel, so he is very understanding. It is easier these days, now that I have amazing people working with me in my businesses, but it wasn’t always easy to maintain a balance.
8. What drives you and inspires you?
A. Being passionate about building companies and brands is my biggest inspiration. I love seeing something grow in the early stages. I am inspired almost daily by other female entrepreneurs breaking through glass ceilings around the world – if they can do it, so can we!
9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
A. Usually while I am out walking my dogs.
10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?
A. Predominantly online, and with a lot of networking and word-of-mouth. And by not being afraid to venture out of South Africa!
11. What is next for your business?
A. Both businesses are launching in Los Angeles, which is incredibly exciting. Something Sassy is currently available in South Africa and Australia, so this will be our second international launch. Coco Creative has done a lot of work in New York but never anywhere else in the US, so the move to the West Coast is a big one for us!
12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?
A. Anything is possible! No dream is too big, no matter what you were told as a child, no matter what the people around you are saying now. If you have big dreams, chase them – someone has to pave the way forward for the younger women coming along after us.