Candid with Reese & Candice

Words: Carla Gailey

 

Four successful stores, three wedding dates, two gorgeous sons and one beautiful endless and adventurous journey…

Reese and Candice had known each other on a professional level for years before they ever considered dating. In 1992, they were provincial water-skiers for Transvaal (as it was previously known), and they were both part of the ‘Showstars Showski team’. “We only really started getting to know each other on a more personal level from 1995. Reese was part of the ‘wilder crowd’ and I was a single, recently divorced mom with a young son”, explains Candice.
It was their first night show that the two of them were putting on in Christiana at the local boat club. Reese and Candice were partnered up for the show. After the show, Reese took Candice for a walk along the bridge and sat beneath a tree on the way back. “I remember Candice leaning in for that first kiss and simultaneously poked her eye out on an offshoot of a tree branch, not quite romantic, but it stands as a funny story”, Reese laughs.

From that moment, their relationship materialized. Reese who was a dive master for a school in Edenvale suggested that Candice put together a group that would be interested in doing a Scuba Diving course. Candice jumped at the opportunity. Reese helped Candice build her Scuba Diver levels and from there it was a love story built to last. Before they knew it, they were running their own freelance diving operation, Reese would instruct the group and Candice assisted as his dive master. At the time Reese also worked for SAA, so the pair were fortunate to travel a great deal and take short holiday’s around the world.

A few years later, the couple decided it was time to tie the knot. The date was set for the 1st February in 1998, however, Candice got cold feet and cancelled it. They reset the date for later that year, and the day before the wedding, Candice cancelled again. “Runaway bride had nothing on me”, she laughs. After the second time she cancelled the wedding, Candice confided in her Minister to work through her fears of re-marrying.
Finally, the date was set for the third time for 1st February 1999. Although it was a Monday, Reese and Candice wanted to be married on that specific date as it was Reese’s late mother’s birthday and they wanted to honour her memory by making their special day a part of hers. “Reese left for the month of January on a work assignment with SAA down the coast and only came back just in time for the wedding. “I think he was worried I would cancel it again. Third time is definitely the charm!” she laughs. They were married in the Benoni Methodist church, and celebrated in a small ceremony at Candice’s parent’s house around the pool which was beautifully decorated and made for a lovely, romantic and intimate evening.

Fast forward a few years later, on a trip down to visit friends in Zinkwazi in 2004, the happily married couples’ car broke down and it was decided in that moment that this wasn’t the lifestyle the two of them wanted. The Hendrikz’s both left their stressful corporate jobs, searched far and wide, sold everything they owned and found Surfers, that was for sale in Ballito. Candice tells me, “Our parents thought we had lost the plot!”

“I’m not going to tell you it is easy, because it’s not. Retail is difficult”, she explains. Their Surfers stores stocks surf branded apparel, and they run a school where they teach surfing, bodyboarding, stand-up paddle boarding and kite surfing. “Running a business as a couple can be both challenging and rewarding”, the Hendrikz tell me. “We split our responsibilities, so that we don’t step on each other’s toes”, Candice explains. While being your own boss proves to be more difficult than working for someone else, it is extremely rewarding for Reese and Candice.

Candice tells me she is extremely grateful to have such a wonderful family. They have two sons, Cameron who is 25 years old, he is a front-end web designer and Jarred who is in Grade 10 at Maritzburg College and is one of their kitesurfing instructors.

One of the best things they love about being in business together, is that they can take time off together to watch their boys play sport or to go on a getaway. Each year, they take turns to plan their two nights anniversary. They only tell the other the day before so that they can pack the correct clothing for the trip. “We have seen so much of our beautiful country this way, it’s almost like going on a mini-honeymoon every year. It’s important to take the time away from your business and your kids, to recharge and reconnect as a couple”, she explains. “One of our favourite things to do is to take a good bottle of wine to Salt Café and share a pizza or two and enjoy a quiet evening out together.”

In 2014, their lives came to a halt as Candice was diagnosed with cancer. Reese, stepped up and was her pillar of strength through a very tough period and secured in her mind that their relationship was for life. Reese stood by her every step of the way. With the help of their son, Cameron, who came home from Cape Town to assist his father in the store, they managed to overcome their obstacles.

“Learn it, Love it, Live it, has become our by-line”, she tells me. Candice continues, “Reese’s father taught us a very valuable lesson many years ago. ‘Never live with regrets’. We learn from every action we take, whether it is the right or wrong decision, that is what shapes who we are today!”

The couple’s risk paid off and today they have three successful Surfers stores and a Trappers store.

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