It’s all about the ladies this month!
August is a special month – it’s Women’s month! But it’s also a bittersweet event, especially this year. The month is meant to be a celebration of women and the role they’ve played in our history — which is why we celebrate Women’s Day on the 9th of August, the anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March against pass laws — as well as our place in society. But, more often than not, it ends up highlighting the struggles and dangers that women face every day.
We also know that men have been at the top of the leaderboard for years, dominating the world of business and many other industries for reasons that are as complex as they are deep-rooted. But with changes in gender policies and norms and the rise of so many influential women came the launch of a whole new era for businesswomen around the world. Today, women sit side by side with their male counterparts and establish their businesses as household names in a variety of industries, including publishing and broadcasting, science and technology, design, engineering, fashion and beauty.
As a tribute to our local women changing their industries, we’ve put together some of our top female entrepreneurs in Woodstock and surrounds who are making waves. Let’s show our support for our women leaders.
Theonista is an independent, female-owned small craft beverage company located in Woodstock, Cape Town.
The name “Theonista” is a feminine, assertive twist on the Greek word “Theobroma” meaning “food of the gods.”
Most of the products they produce are fermented and alive. All of them are made with whole ingredients, brewed in small batches with processes that rely on manual (wo)manpower over mechanisation, and are deeply inspired by both nature and the connection between gut ecology and overall well being.
Theonista’s mantra is ‘Follow Your Gut’, and that’s exactly what founder and brewmistress Meghan Werner did when she founded the craft beverage company. While their product range spans Rooibos ginger beer and Rooibos chai, Theonista is best known for its kombucha. When she moved to Cape Town from the States, Meghan couldn’t find her fizzy, fermented fix anywhere, which is when she decided to make her own kombucha. Her experiments have led to a variety of flavours made in a microbrewery in Woodstock. Theonista’s first stockist was Lyndall Maunder, the owner of Cape Town’s much-loved Clarke’s and Hail Pizza on Bree Street, and a fierce champion of fellow women-run food businesses.
Visit the website for more information https://theonista.co.za
Coupe et Couture
Coupe et Couture is a bag-making company based in Woodstock, Cape Town.
We caught up with founder Prisca Kloot to find out more.
“I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. My mother was always making, buying and selling things. She is a very talented seamstress and our house was often filled with beautiful fabrics. Back then I loved having things made for me by my mother but I never thought that I would end up in the fashion industry!” says Prisca.
“After Matric I took a gap year and I started knitting and sewing clothes and bags, learning what I could from YouTube. I started selling these items during my gap year but I reached a stage where I felt like I couldn’t go any further because I struggled with pattern making. I applied to Northlink College where I learned all the skills I needed,” she continued.
“After graduating, I decided to specialise in bag making. The gift of creating something beautiful is what motivates me. I’m passionate about making bags and wallets and sharing these creations in the online space with people all around the world.”
We asked Prisca what it means to her, to be A WOMAN:
“For me, what it means to be a woman is captured beautifully in one of my favourite sayings: ‘A woman is the foundation of the family’ – which means that we have to take our responsibility and be positive examples to inspire the younger generation.”
Coupe et Couture offers clients the opportunity to create their own quality bespoke item by customising its design, size, style and colour!
Head to the website to see more https://coupecouture.co.za
The PICHULIK team is a pan-African group of spirited women who create every piece by hand in their flagship studio at the centre of Cape Town’s creative East City Precinct.
Led by Founder and Creative Director Katherine-Mary Pichulik, every jewellery piece is made by a single artist, imbued with her own unique design skill and creative magic.
PICHULIK employs women, collaborates with women and outsources to local women-owned small businesses, to promote job creation and economic activity in local communities, and champion and augment women’s earning capacity.
Shop all available products on their website https://www.pichulik.com
Ross & Co Studio
Need your hair DID to dull the lockdown blues? Ross & Co is the answer.
Ross & Co is a woman’s-only hair salon based in Salt River, run by Adele Ross.
Adele has been in the hair and beauty industry since 2002, having worked for salons like Carlton Hair International, Scar Hair and Spoilt Hair as well as an in-house trainer and lecturer at the Carlton Hair Academy.
We chat to Adele about her inspirations, aspirations and her commitment and contribution to society.
“I have always wanted to be a hairstylist – it has been my childhood dream job. And what’s more, I get to own my own hair salon as well!” says Adele.
“I was inspired to start my own salon through my love for the ‘50s – when hair salons became a space where women were allowed to share their lives and their stories with other women freely and in a safe environment. I wanted to recreate a space where women can reconnect with their femininity and womanhood. A space where they could share ideas, comfort each other and make new friends,” she continues.
“In today’s society – with a major influence from social media – there’s been a shift in the way women interact with each other and how they perceive themselves, which has created such a negative impact. My goal is to give women around me the opportunity to feel that kind of freedom again – the freedom to be who they really are. I want them to feel like they can freely and openly ask all the questions and have the conversations they need to, to be able to reconnect with themselves and each other.”
“I am also a big ambassador of education amongst women and through this journey I hope to continue educating women about their freedom to express themselves and to help them discover and reach their full potential through basic education. Style has become as important as community, and my salon is a hub for both. As long as it continues to connect people and to turn strangers into friends I feel like I am on the right path,” says Adele.
Her services include tape extensions, keratin extensions, make-up and wedding packages too.
Get in touch using the following links:
The Top Tech Tools for Women in Business programme, conceptualised and presented by the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi), aims to create an empowering atmosphere for women who are eager to infuse technology into their businesses.
We take a look at how programme alumni Stacey Jane Smith turned a hobby into a business empire.
The female founder is the brains behind African Secret, a female-owned business based in Cape Town that produces wellness personal care products to relieve common ailments and uplift both physical and emotional well-being.
“I registered the business in 2008 with a dear friend, who has since gone back to thrive in corporate. In 2017 I launched my range of wellness products,” shares Stacey.
Her interest in natural ingredients and natural remedies for common ailments sparked when she was pregnant.
“I became aware of the many harmful ingredients found in commercial products, and that’s when I started developing personal care products using natural ingredients. What started as a hobby, and a way to protect my child from harmful ingredients, soon sparked interest from friends, family and neighbours with the irresistible natural aromas of my concoctions, and that interest soon turned into sales.”
She adds that her passion for business could be traced to when she was much younger.
“I have always been passionate about creating and selling quality products. Back in high school, I used to make jewellery with leather and pendants, and black rubber bangles (called zombies). I was fortunate to be part of a programme called Junior Achievement, which taught high school kids different aspects of running a business. I guess that’s where it all began.”
Since her business journey started, Stacey has enjoyed many successes, one highlight being a runner-up in the CANSA Women In Business Awards – Western Cape.
Another highlight was joining the Women in Business programme.
“The Women In Business programme has accelerated my business to be able to thrive in this digital era, which has allowed me to be more efficient and in turn – more productive and creative.
“I highly recommend this programme for female entrepreneurs who are already in business. Besides the invaluable lessons from top-class facilitators, our group of female entrepreneurs continues to learn from and inspire each other.”
And although she has experienced challenges on her journey, she believes it’s how we choose to overcome them that either will turn them into obstacles or valuable lessons.
“I am grateful that my business has managed to thrive during this pandemic. I was able to reintroduce my Hand and Surface Sanitiser (which I launched during the last Western Cape Water Crisis) with a new and improved look, feel and formula. I’ve partnered up with a local clothing factory to produce my own range of fabric face masks. I’ve also managed to be able to donate to a few charities and homes.”
Going forward, she would like to grow her business and expand her offering.
“I would like to expand my offering to incorporate indigenous plants and natural supplements, as we have an abundant plant kingdom and wealth of knowledge in the Western Cape.”
Shop African Secret products here.
Upcoming events in Cape Town in celebration of our queens
Hustle Mary presents Ain’t life a drag
Where: Cape Town – The Raptor Room
When: 24th August
Hustle Mary events are queer-inclusive, themed celebrations, and this month’s edition celebrates all things drag. Ain’t Life A Drag will turn the Raptor Room into a drag and burlesque extravaganza, with live performances and DJs to keep the night going. Hustle Mary identifies itself as a space for all queers, gender non conformers and allies.
Women Empowerment Initiatives in Cape Town
Women4Women is a non-profit (NPO) organisation based in Epping, focused on female empowerment, community upliftment and youth education. The main goal is to improve the lives of the less fortunate and previously disadvantaged girls of South Africa by providing access to life skills and education.
Our mission is to ultimately empower “The Girl Child” to have a brighter future and to make the right decisions for a better life. This will decrease teenage pregnancy and increase educated females in underprivileged communities which will allow them to improve their circumstances.
Find out more at https://women4women.co.za.
Daughters of Destiny
Daughters of Destiny is a Non-Profit organisation based in Kensington and Factreton, Cape Town – in the heart of where gangsterism, alcohol and drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and unemployment are key issues faced by young people. Daughters of Destiny (also known as DOD) therefore seeks to empower women and girls with needed life skills to positively impact on their homes, community and future.
For more information of how you can get involved, go tohttp://daughtersdod.co.za.