Being creative has been ‘who I am’ & what I always seemed to naturally gravitate to since I was a child. I took art throughout my school career & studied Interior Design at Natal Technikon for 3 years after matric. After I graduated, I got my first 'real' job up in Johannesburg as a junior interior designer. About a year later, the travel bug bit & off I went to the UK, and ended up staying for 4 years. Upon my return to SA I started up my own interior design business & had FNB as a major client. Shortly after this I had my first child, my daughter Roxy, & being new to motherhood, thought I could continue working as per usual with a baby....how wrong I was! So I stopped working full time & picked up working 5 years later when my 2nd child, my son Reece was almost 2 years old. This venture came about by chance...we heard about a concrete paving & tile manufacturing factory that was up for sale & thought it would be a good way to generate an extra income & give me something to keep busy with. Little did I realise at the time just how big an impact buying that concrete factory would be. This is where I was introduced to mosaics & the idea of making them myself.
Fast forward to the 2008/9 recession and things were not looking good for any development & not great either for a business relying on the building industry. I tried a joint venture which ended as fast as it began, and I was left wondering, "so where to from here"?
I tried to figure what I thought was worth investing my time, energy & soul into. I certainly didn't intend or ever dream of owning a mosaic company when I was younger. Life happens, and I found myself at a cross road in my life. I was being strongly urged to 'get a proper job' and I knew if I did I would also be giving up my desire to be alongside my kids as they journeyed through childhood. I wanted to have an active part in their lives, witnessing their triumphs & achievements and being there for them for the bumps along the way. So I made a choice to make a go of what I thought could work & what I had been playing around with (the mosaics) while I had the concrete business.
I started in my garage, with my loyal & trusted staff member Tangi, who was an employee at the concrete business. Many of you will know Tangi and what a great person he is if you have ever visited my shop. He is always the friendliest, happiest person, nothing is too much for him. What a blessing to me & this business he is. We have journeyed together, coming up with recipes & formulas for making our tiles, starting with a small selection of tiles, selling through other retail stores, to getting my own shop at Ngwenya, to going online & moving this year to a bigger shop.
Having recently acquired a laser cutter I can see things moving in an exciting and new direction too...incorporating the tiles and laser cut items, lets see where we go.
And that, friends, is my story so far.
- Kim -