Words by: Cristina Govender
We spoke to some phenomenal women running their businesses with flair and tenacity.
Closing that Gap
Business and home often intersect and overlap. For Deborah, this couldn’t be any truer. As a mother of five and CEO of two brands, she has her hands full. Though she finds most of her time being occupied, the moments when she isn’t busy with responsibilities, she spends it painting or capturing art through photography.
According to Deborah, “Life is one big creative exercise. In parenting, business life, home creation and creative relationships.” Being creative is sacred to her. It means that she has a chance to create more in Life. Life is not worth living without a sense of newness, inspiration, joy and excitement. Deborah’s way of resetting and recharging is to switch off all technology and get into nature. Whether going to the beach in Ballito or getting lost in the trees in The Midlands, she feels fresh, available and inspired after engaging with nature.
By compartmentalising her roles, she is able to give her undivided attention to the task in front of her. “When the kids are around, they get all of my attention, and the same goes for the business,” she explains. For her, you have to put one task aside to take on another, “You can’t have your hands full and expect to give your task the focus it requires,” she emphasises.
As a professional, she is a brand developer, “I develop brands around a perceived need,” she explains, “Where I see a gap in the market, I fill it.” Deborah loves branding and working on products, and the combination of these passions culminated in Youthology. She did some investigating into the collagen market and researched the claims about the quality and benefits. This led to sourcing the best ingredients from all over the world and creating a blend that would deliver on its promises. “I had developed a brand campaign for my product, and Youthology has now found its niche in the market,” she tells us proudly. It is a scientifically sound product, backed by statistics and research.
As words of advice for those looking to start businesses of their own, Deborah advises that you should first know every aspect of your business. “Even the parts you don’t like doing, be positive and take on the challenge,” she expresses, “Take on these parts before handing them over to someone else.” She firmly believes that you should first invest in learning what it takes to run a business before bringing anyone else into the picture.
“Entrepreneurs are a special breed. They’re not taking the easy road,” Deborah asserts, “Being creative is the freedom to create from the core of my being, and this is what lights me up and keeps me going.” Remember you are here to bring something unique to the world. Even if you think someone else has done this before, they haven’t done it the way you will!
Dental Care and Passion
Dr Stacey Lock is a dentist with a special interest in orthodontics and paediatric dentistry. She is the owner of the Lock Dental practice situated at The Well Medical and Dental Centre. Stacey is married to David, who has been a source of great strength and encouragement, supporting her in all facets of her dental career. They have a 20-month-old baby boy named Eli, their greatest blessing.
Stacey was raised in Zimbabwe with three other siblings. Her sister, Emma, is an oral hygienist who is an integral part of the Lock Dental practice. Stacey’s two younger brothers are professional tennis players and compete on the ATP Challenger Tour. After attending Pretoria Girls High, Stacey studied at the University of Pretoria and gained her professional experience in Johannesburg. She worked for Dr Mike Holmes, a reputable dentist in Bryanston who has mentored her ever since.
“Any free time I have, I love spending it with my family. I love taking my little boy to the beach and joining my friends for weekly runs,” she shares. Stacey explained that in dentistry, it is challenging to separate work and personal life ethically. She puts her patients first in times of a dental emergency. However, her family is still her highest priority. Living on the Dolphin Coast enables her to achieve a better work-life balance.
Stacey has a rich heritage in Dentistry, with her grandfather being a dentist, her mother an oral hygienist and her cousin a dental technician. Stacey and her sister dreamt of having their own dental practice. After working in Johannesburg for many years together, their dream became a reality when Dr’s Loubser and Perold decided to sell their practice.
“Teamwork and delegation are keys to a successful practice,” she advises. Stacey’s advice for those looking to begin their entrepreneurial journey is to plan well but not get stuck in the planning phase. “Hard work always pays off.” was a phrase her dad always told her, and words from her 102-year-old grandmother are words of encouragement she has kept close to her, “It’s a great life if you don’t weaken.”
Stacey’s vision is to create an environment that provides the best dental care and to make a positive difference in the lives of her patients. She feels incredibly blessed to be working towards that daily, with her sister by her side.
Reception: 032 946 1901
Committed to Health
Dr Kumari Naidoo is a specialist physician, endocrinologist and diabetologist. She is based at Netcare Umhlanga Hospital and is now bringing healthcare to the Ballito community with her new practice at Alberlito Hospital. Her journey to become an endocrinologist began with four years of speciality training in internal medicine, followed by two years of focused study on the endocrine system – a network of hormone-producing glands regulating all the body’s basic functions. Hormonal abnormalities underpin many common ailments, including diabetes, obesity, reproductive and sexual problems, thyroid disease and osteoporosis.
Dr Naidoo explains that our modern way of life – fast foods, poor sleep, more screen time and less physical activity – is driving a global rise in metabolic disease. It is fascinating that diabetes, obesity and many types of cancer share common risk factors, which can be modified through lifestyle changes. Despite the worrying trends, she remains highly positive, “Our understanding of diabetes and obesity is progressing daily. In some patients diagnosed early on, remission of diabetes is possible. Advances in medical treatment and technology are making the lives of people with diabetes easier.”
Her passion lies in managing youth affected by endocrine diseases like Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, PCOS and gender issues. “These conditions often take their toll on our younger patients’ mental health and self-image,” Dr Naidoo believes that taking the time to connect with the individual and explore their needs and concerns is essential.
Lianca Dookran, the winner of the Best of Ballito in the Physiotherapy category, firmly believes in maintaining an active lifestyle and manifesting a positive mindset in all you do. When it comes to separating her work and personal life, “It is challenging to separate work and personal life, and if I have to be honest, I do fall short in that aspect,” she laughs.
Lianca grew up with her mother being her role model, and her goal was always to make her mother proud. “When I had just started in the Physiotherapy industry, my mom gifted me a dangling skeleton and firmly believed that one day I would have my practice from where this gift will hang,” she says proudly. She asserts that the first important lesson anyone must learn is to trust yourself and your instincts. “I’ve learned to be grateful for everything and everyone that walks through my doors and remind myself that what I’m doing is bigger than treating a physical injury,” she explains.
Lianca shares that your best asset when starting an entrepreneurial journey would be to have knowledge and background. “A good place to start is by writing up a business plan which will force you to brainstorm the goals you would like to achieve and the vision you would like to attain,” she assures.
Lastly, she advises, “Always be consistent with the service you are providing – It is easier to keep a client coming back than to get new feet through the doors.” Some words she lives by are, “Work with ambition, but live with passion”. Celebrating ten years in practice this year, she looks forward to many more years in this field she loves.
Everything is Possible
Lauren of Scissor Sisters is a spectacular mix of hard work and passion, driving unimaginable success. From charming hairstylist to earthy wild child, enjoying the outdoors when she’s not working. Her inspiration comes from her family, especially her son Blaize, and her incredible team at work.
Scissor Sisters has been around for 17 years, and Lauren has been the owner for the past six years. “I did my apprenticeship here at 19 years old and told my mentors, the owners at that stage, that I would take it over one day,” she shares.
Lauren explains, “As difficult as it is to picture a glamorous hair stylist camping and fishing, I absolutely love it.” It soothes her soul. Horse-riding is another great passion and she’s been doing it since the age of nine! She is grateful for her hardworking team, which ensures that business runs smoothly at all times – giving her precious family time with Blaize. In any successful business you have a trustworthy and enthusiastic team working their magic.
“Some important things I have learned while running a business is always to have a plan B, a what if? and savings,” she advises, “Consistency is key in all businesses.” Lauren’s tip is that people love the little things, be it a cappuccino, long head massages at the basin or a loyalty programme. You will learn that business is about people. If you’re willing to listen to their needs, you will learn a lot about your business moving forward.
Taking The Best Shot
They say that you’ll never work a day in your life if you do something you love, and that is true on so many levels for Jade Shelton. It seems like she was quite literally born to be a creative, from travel to art, pottery, and home decor to capturing the most incredible images you have had the pleasure of setting your eyes on; there is no lack of creativity from
Over the last five and a half years, she has had the pleasure of capturing so many magnificent moments; choosing just one seems impossible. She finds all the joy in knowing that every time she gets behind a lens, she is able to show the true beauty of her clients that they didn’t even know was there, to represent the real and raw moments and have something to scroll through and remember these memories by.
Photography is such a personal experience, capturing intimate moments in a way that portrays them perfectly is a talent that must be done with so much care and intention. For the person in front of a lens, it’s all about smiling and looking perfect, but to Jade, it’s so much more than that behind the lens. It is a skill to allow someone to be one hundred percent themselves and then to encapsulate their true beauty in the moment and keep the images full of life and joy. As Jade would say, “Don’t rush. Authentic images emerge from real moments.”
When Jade is not looking through the viewfinder, you will find her with her husband, dogs or entertaining and having friends over; however, there is not a single moment where she turns off her creativity. She believes that to do what she does best, she must constantly be inspired by a life full of love, joy and happiness in abundance and balance. That is her secret to capturing such incredible images.
From the creative duo team known as Haze Creatives to the powerhouse of a woman behind the new Jade Shelton Photography brand, Jade is so excited to continue her career, capturing the joy in all the milestones in her clients’ lives as she steps away from wedding photography into all the beautiful moments that come with family photography.