We are celebrating this Women’s Month by showcasing a few of our young local female entrepreneurs! We caught up with some of the busiest and most successful young entrepreneurial ladies in Ballito.
Crystin Parnell is beautiful and bold, with endless pools of blue for eyes, and a bare-faced innocence that can only come from being a 19 year old dream-chaser. She sports long, beautiful hair and exudes a unique charisma, wearing a dainty nose-ring that adds to her already adventurous persona. Crystin has lived in Ballito for all of her life, leaving SA only once (so far) to tread the shores of Thailand. When probed about the details of her journey into singing, Crystin tells me that she enjoyed humble beginnings, singing at The Animal Farm (where she worked), showcasing her craft with the sound system that her Dad bought her. After leaving traditional school in grade eleven, and completing her studies through home-schooling, Crystin found herself with extra time on her hand. It was then that she began to focus deeply on her career as a songstress. “I have always wanted to be a singer, I just didn’t know if it was possible – it was like a fantasy type dream. I didn’t choose it, this path chose me, to be honest.” Crystin started singing at The Lifestyle Centre’s Market (where she still performs) and people began to take notice of her considerable talent, some even going as far as to book her for private gigs. She plans to travel abroad, furthering her career in music by exploring the options available internationally. Crystin enjoyed success singing in several resort restaurants and bars when she was on holiday in Thailand. Crystin also plans to record her music more formally. For self-improvement and personal growth, this young wonder woman engages in meditation, reading self-help books (The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a favourite) and listening to the stories and personal journeys of other recording artists.”There is always going to be someone that is trying to bring you down – just focus on the ones that are trying to build you up. And never give up on yourself.”
Courtney Braine is a petite brunette with flawless makeup and rose-gold eye-shadow that highlights her beautiful eyes. At the tender age of 19, Courtney already has her foot in the door of a challenging industry: Make-Up Artistry. However, this young woman has already made quite the impression on the local community. With the help of her endlessly supportive parents, Courtney secured the Kohl Makeup franchise and opened its doors at the elite Zimbali Wedge earlier this year. Having moved to Ballito from Johannesburg late last year, her steps are as bold as her vision is, “My future plans are to grow and expand the business and to open up a few more branches here in KZN. I also want to help individuals grow and connect with their creative sides through the art of makeup, and help them see that being different is GREAT!” Having been bullied through her school years, investing in the art of makeup helped Courtney to re-build her self-confidence, and she aspires to help others do the same. Part of her social responsibility lies in visiting schools and speaking about her ordeal, as well as encouraging students to fight through the trauma of bullying by embracing themselves fully. Courtney is passionate about her career path, and even engages in creating fresh makeup looks in her spare time – now that is the mark of an entrepreneur invested in themselves and the growth of their business. With the close support of her parents, and the best friend that she finds in her younger brother, Courtney is set to change the course of the makeup industry along the coast, “Be who you are as a person and never change for anyone else!”
Kate Theunissen’s aura creates a quiet yet magnetic enigma. Her sheer willingness to improve things by creating and materializing mental visualizations is evident as she gives valuable input during the photo shoot, helping to create the perfect picture through placement. Having grown up on her family’s farm, Kate has been surrounded by all things natural since she was very young. “I have always been exposed to indigenous landscaping and my parents’ passion for what they do rubbed off on me! This led me to the unique business that I run now. I love the privilege of working outdoors with natural beauty and creating gardens which compliment the built environment.” Kate’s company is called KT Gardens and she focuses on landscape designs, garden maintenance for homeowners, as well as the implementation of indigenous plants from the family nursery on Farm Theunissen in Umhlali. KT Gardens currently works with clients in Simbithi Eco Estate, Zimbali, as well as Brettenwood Estate, and ensures that each client enjoys a top-quality garden year-round thanks to her dedicated maintenance division. The 21 year old fitness fanatic enjoys reading, keeping up with current affairs and expanding her industry knowledge through research. Kate credits her parents, as well as her boyfriend and his parents, for their ongoing support and encouragement through the challenging path of entrepreneurship. “Building relationships and being kind (rather than right) will get you far in life. And in terms of business, discipline and consistency is really the key to growth!”
Roxann Scott is tall, blue-eyed and confident as she gets seated with her laptop, cup of almond-milk coffee and her cell phone – the essentials for a woman in her industry. The 19 year old powerhouse began her research at an early age. Her commitment to her current line of work was established at the tender age of 14, when she began working for her parents. Working alongside them, she was exposed to multiple short and long term projects thus igniting a passion for media and marketing. “I started working in the industry when I was16, and I was running ThinkCreative by myself by the time I was 17.” ThinkCreative, Roxy’s company, is a digital marketing agency, where the self-confessed workaholic handles her clients’ entire digital footprint. Roxy specializes in social media marketing: a platform where the greatest businesses engage with their clients and are able to keep their finger on the pulse of what their clients need. The Pretoria-born businesswoman moved to Ballito when she was 4 years old, and has loved it ever since. With the support of her family and friends, she has grown her business in leaps and bounds, and her vision is one of expansion and growth. “I had the privilege of visiting Facebook on a trip to America, and it has completely shifted my idea of how a business is run. Ultimately, I would love my business to have the same culture as I experienced during my hours there.” A self-improvement addict, Roxy explains that the best way for her to absorb new knowledge is through listening to many podcasts – at the gym, at work or in the car. To the women focused on being an entrepreneur, Roxy shares the following bits of wisdom: “Just be consistent and realize that this is a full-time job. Don’t expect to get paid for not doing the work or for giving the bare minimum. I love what I get to do everyday and even more so, the wonderful people I do it for!”