1. Can you please tell us more about your business?
A. Dazzle Events and Courses is a business which has two areas of focus:
Soft Skills Workshops
These workshops are offered to businesses and we also have a school program focusing on the FET phase of high schools. At the beginning of 2019, I started the Dazzle School Program, which is a program that runs the workshops to schools that cannot afford to pay for them, at no cost. We use some of the proceeds from our events to fund this program.
We arrange events for Businesses and our own events that are focused, primarily on women and fundraising for various organizations. We are currently working on 3 Women Arise Breakfast Events, which are taking place in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban during the 16 Days of Activism against abuse of women and children. In August, we did a series of Businesswomen’s Events.
2. When, how and why did you start your business?
A. I Launched in April 2018. I had been working on my idea for a long time. I was well prepared before eventually starting. Everything was done. The website was live, email addresses organized, my business phone setup and I had my plan in place. The reason I started Dazzle was that after spending more than 20 years in a corporate environment, it became very clear that the younger generation who were joining the teams really battled with many of the softer skills, skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, work ethic, dealing with adversity, etc. I started working on material that I could share with them and eventually decided it was time for me to do so full time. In the early part of my career, I was involved in event management, and I always enjoyed it, so I added this to what I do.
3. What is your Role in the Business?
A. I am the owner and I run the business. I bring others in to assist with various functions on an ad-hoc basis.
4. Where did you study and what did you study?
A. I studied via Damelin and I studied Marketing and Public Relations.
5. How did you finance your business?
A. Dazzle is self-financed.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.
A. I like structure, so I always plan my days the night before. My day normally starts at 6 am with coffee and a quick look at my emails before taking my son to school. I have a “To-Do-List” and take pleasure ticking tasks off as I go along. I also like to take a few breaks during the day, so I take my dog for a walk, meet a friend for coffee and I try to do yoga most days.
7. How do you balance your work life and your home life?
A. This is a tricky thing to do. I work from home, so often find myself working in the evenings and over weekends. Especially when I have events. The first year of having your own business is a lot of hard work, but worth every second of it. I am trying to be a bit more balanced, especially over the weekends.
8. What drives you and inspires you?
A. I find working with school children very inspiring, seeing them having fun while learning new skills is very enjoyable.
The number of dynamic and courageous women that we have in this country is phenomenal. I have been extremely inspired by many of the women I have met during my journey this year.
I want to make a difference in other people’s lives, and this is my main driver.
9. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
A. Always in the middle of the night. I often wake up with an idea, so keep a notepad and pen on my bedside table.
10. Where and how do you market/advertise your business for sales leads?
A. I mainly use social media. Facebook and Instagram, but primarily Linkedin. I also do email campaigns and the good old-fashioned cold call.
11. What is next for your Business?
A. I have a lot planned for next year. I am working on Industry-specific awards for women, Debutant Fund Raising Events, Businesswomen’s Conferences in August and other events focusing on women. Also, I will be doing some Train-the-Trainer Workshops to teach others how to facilitate the Soft Skills Workshops with the hope of creating opportunity for employment.
12. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs hoping to start their own business?
A. It is scary, but worth it. Be prepared before starting. Sort out as much as you can before taking the leap, don’t spend the first few months worrying about the basics, such as logo’s, business cards and websites, etc. These things are time-consuming and can be done before going full time on your own. Have as much capital behind you as you possibly can, you do not want the lack of finances creating unnecessary stress. Be organized and know what you want to achieve up front. Attend networking events where you can meet people. Do not be afraid to change things that aren’t working., it is one of the beauties of a small business.