In a time when things are tough, we are feeling inspired by these go-getting, young male entrepreneurs. Not only are they local, but they have some amazing products and services to offer Ballito residents. We caught up with them to find out more about their businesses, what they have learned and what they love about being local!
Trystan Hobart – From the Woods
Originally from Zimbabwe, Trystan moved to South Africa a little over eight years ago and completed Matric at Ashton International College. He worked part-time for his father’s company, AfriDecks, where he gained a lot of carpentry experience. In February 2019, Trystan decided to take the leap and open his own business, From the Woods. As the name suggests, this company is all about carpentry, and Trystan creates all kinds of furniture, including steel and timber shelving units, leisure coffee tables, drinks servers, etc. In addition to wood, he uses multiple other materials to create his pieces, such as exotic timbers, steel, resin and even copper.
After spending so much time working with his father and the other carpenters at AfriDecks, Trystan felt inspired to venture off on his own and start his own business with a focus on creating more customised furniture pieces. He initially started by working on small furniture items from ideas on Pinterest, and then built up to the larger projects, and this is how From the Woods began! When asked what he loves about being a local business owner in Ballito, Trystan says, “It creates a lot of room for business and loyal clientele. So far, a lot of my projects have been supported by the locals of Ballito – for that I am very thankful.” He enjoys being part of such an authentic community.
Being your own boss comes with many challenges, but also some rewarding lessons, too! For Trystan, he has learned the importance of planning and the value of proper time management. “Planning is vital when it comes to furniture, especially custom furniture because you are trying to recreate what is in someone else’s head and every detail is essential. I use time management to maximise every second of the day so that at the end of the day, I know I have finished what I set out to do. Without these principles in place I would never be where I am today.” When he’s not working, he spends time interning at a church and pursuing other hobbies such as gym. as well as enjoying new married life.
When it comes to Trystan’s hopes and dreams for the future of his business, he has both short-term and long-term goals. His short-term goal is to increase his factory size and upgrade all of his machinery. His long-term goal is to have a shop full of custom-built furniture with a From the Woods logo on every single item in there. We look forward to seeing Trystan achieve his goals!
Travis Strydom – Four Bros Company Limited
Travis is a third year Corporate Communications student at Varsity College, a health and fitness enthusiast, a part-time sports coach at Ashton College and a budding entrepreneur. His passion for health and fitness, helping others get active and grow in the health and fitness industry, and helping those at younger ages develop their sporting skills and abilities is what led him to his current business venture. Travis holds the exclusive agency for PTS Nutrition (Performance Through Science), covering Durban and the KZN North Coast, offering a range of excellent, scientifically formulated sports supplement products, the UK award-winning (best home fitness product) Wattbike and highly stylish, Swiss developed and revolutionary On Cloud range of running shoes.
During his final year at Ashton International College, Travis was very positively involved with PTS’s product supplement development program. After school, this grew into a full business that Travis is very passionate about! Between this initial program and the successful development of the PTS brand, Travis has developed a great relationship with the brand which has ultimately become the amazing business undertaking that it is today.
When asked what he loves about being a local business owner in Ballito, Travis says that he really enjoys it! “Support from Ballito locals and the wider Dolphin Coast has been highly rewarding, especially the willingness to embrace a great new brand such as PTS Supplementation with its excellent quality product range. Furthermore, the interest and demand for our Swiss engineered On Cloud running and workout shoes has been incredible,” he says. Travis’s products are currently stocked in six outlets in Ballito. One of the skills he has developed since running his business is how to select the right products to offer, making sure that he chooses products that people will enjoy and that will help them.
As Travis is still studying, one of the most important lessons he has learned since starting his own business is time management. He has a lot on his plate, but aims to maintain a balanced lifestyle with business, training, studying, as well as socially and spiritually. His family’s support, guidance and mentoring have played a huge role in getting his business successfully up and running. Travis has some exciting goals for the future of his business. He would like to start by expanding his outlets to Umhlanga and Durban. “Thereafter, I hope to expand my range of health and fitness products and services to cater for a wider audience and help everyone from aspiring young athletes, hardcore fitness fanatics and social or part-time exercisers to achieve their fitness goals and enjoy a balanced healthy lifestyle.” We look forward to watching him achieve these!
Keegan Marsden – Launch Functional Fitness
Keegan has always had a passion for fitness, and coupled with a love for the anatomy and the mechanics of the human body, he has created a career for himself doing what he truly enjoys. Keegan first had the idea of running a fitness regime with the name Launch Functional Fitness in 2017. He had the amazing opportunity of taking over Bob’s Bootcamp, which then became Launch Functional Fitness and continues to grow and develop. What exactly is Launch, you may ask? It is functional fitness, a fun and healthy alternative way to exercise. It’s an outdoor, thrilling and effective training routine, where there is no pressure and you start where you are and progressively improve.
One of the awesome things about living on the North Coast is being able to enjoy the outdoors for most of the year, which has created a lifestyle that encourages people to be fit and healthy. As a business owner in Ballito, Keegan says that he gets lots of support from the locals. “I run my sessions on the Umhlali school field. Many parents and people between Umhlali and Ballito attend my group classes and it’s been mostly word of mouth that has got me to where I am.” He finds owning his own business fulfilling, as he is able to put his own personal spin on exercise. “My clientele have always been open to the intense and strenuous exercises I give them.” As many entrepreneurs know, owning your own business is not always easy, but Keegan’s passion for what he does is what drives him to succeed!
“The most important lesson that I have learnt from running my own business is being faithful with little, and you’ll grow from good morals and integrity. There have been times when only one person has come for a class, and I had set up all my equipment – it took me 30 minutes to set up – and I had to run the class as per normal, if not better than a big class. I learnt to treat that one client as if they were as important as if I had a full class! Although there were moments of disappointment, I learnt that the faithfulness in the small classes made me even better in the bigger classes. You realise how important each and every single client is.” When it comes to his hopes and dreams for the future, Keegan wants to keep learning, keep improving and grow his company. He dreams of Launch Functional Fitness being a well-known family name, and with his passion and determination, we’d back him any day!