It Runs in the Family

The Ballito MagazineDecember 19, 2023

With so many family-owned businesses in Ballito, it’s time to put a spotlight on those powered by female entrepreneurs. Learn more about how these sisters, daughters and mothers banded together to launch fabulous businesses.


Jane, Megan & Philippa 

Meet the owners of Moove, a wonderful family business located in Ballito. The matriarch, Jane Last (known as Janey), along with her daughter Megan Cilliers and daughter-in-law Philippa, form a strong team. Megan, married to former Springbok rugby player Patric Cilliers, is a proud mom to three sons, Henry (six years old), Charles (four years old), and Robert (five months old). Philippa, who married into the family in 2018, has a son named William (two years old).


Recognising their combined skills, the trio embarked on a learning journey, building a product from scratch. They handled everything from creating prototypes and dealing with manufacturers to setting up a website and social media campaigns. In March 2022, they launched “Moove”, fulfilling their dream of running a small business.


The Moove Bag is a convenient solution for parents on the go with the aim of simplifying outings. No longer do parents need to carry separate bags for toys, towels, and other essentials. The Moove Bag allows everything to be packed together effortlessly. By drawing on their own experiences as parents and conducting extensive market research, they developed the concept of a play mat that transforms into a carry bag with a simple drawstring pull. This innovation makes toy transportation and cleanup a breeze while fostering children’s responsibility in tidying up.


The Moove Bag comes in various prints, but their best-seller is the South African Road Map bag. They wanted the artwork to encourage interactive play and reflect the uniqueness of the South African market. The double-sided, reversible design features a trendy, colourful spot pattern on one side and a road map of South Africa on the other. It includes indigenous wildlife, landmarks, and other distinctive elements of the country.


Photo by Derryn Schmidt

Each family member plays a crucial role in the business. Megan, with a background in marketing and sales, takes care of stockists, sales, packaging, and shipping. Philippa, with expertise in design and marketing, handles marketing, production, and artwork design. Jane, drawing on her background in interior design, manages the accounts and provides valuable business advice. Working together has been seamless for them, and they sometimes have to refrain from discussing work during family gatherings!


Their ultimate goal is to thrive as a family-run business and provide customers with a practical product that simplifies their lives and adapts to their children’s growth from birth to childhood.


Janine & Philippa

After their marriage, Janine and her husband relocated to a farm in Gingindlovu, where they resided for two decades, nurturing their family of four children. During this time, Janine enthusiastically immersed herself in the culinary world, offering catering services for local weddings and events, organising a delightful monthly pop-up restaurant in her own home, and even imparting her cooking expertise to domestic workers.


In 2015, they sold their farm and bought Sage Café in Ballito. It was an exciting adventure that taught Janine valuable lessons about life, managing a team, building customer relationships, handling complaints, and the importance of innovation while meeting customers’ needs. Then, an amazing opportunity arose when they were offered Maroupi Wedding Venue. They sold the café and made the venue their main business. Along with the venue itself, Maroupi offers catering, decorations, and flowers for on-site weddings, as well as for larger off-site events.


Unfortunately, Janine fell ill last year, but her daughters stepped in to help with the previously booked weddings and events. Since then, Janine and her daughter, Philippa, have been working together, sometimes with assistance from Leigh and Kate, Philippa’s sisters. On a day-to-day basis, Janine manages logistics, procurement, ordering, and kitchen operations, while Phill handles advertising, quotes and invoices, oversees setup and coordination, and adds her artistic touch to most functions. They both find joy in making celebrations special, regardless of size.


Philippa gained experience in food styling after completing her degree, working on campaigns for well-known brands. However, due to the pandemic, she returned to Ballito and pursued online work, including copywriting and recipe development. Since joining her mother at Maroupi, she has significantly expanded the external catering aspect of the business, known as The Crooked Fork and Phill’s Food.


They also supply a range of deli products, such as hummus, brownies, pestos and chilli sauces, to select SPARs under the name Sage Kitchen. Additionally, they run a small shop called The Village Shop in Umhlali, offering cakes, biscuits, and frozen meals.


Their ultimate mission is to establish themselves as the top choice for weddings and events on the KZN North Coast. They are resolute in their determination to work hard and fully commit themselves to achieving their goal.

Words by Kai Coates