Today I am very excited to introduce you to the very talented and bubbly lady behind DeerlyStudio, Monja.
Designer, creative, painter and photographer with stylish framed glasses and modern, blonde bob to match. Her style is unique and clean, with a touch of romance that I love.
She recently launched her online shop that sells a range of greeting cards, prints, vinyl stickers and stunning hand dyed ribbons. I share some of my personal favorite Deerly Studio works below.
Tell us a bit more about who you are? When did you start your business?
My name is Monja Viljoen, and I recently decided to open Deerly Studio. I have always found inspiration in my surroundings and this has translated directly into my business ethos. I studied Visual Communication at the Open Window, and this also led me to follow my passion for beautiful designs and creations. My husband and I recently had our first son, Jean. The fact that I am a mommy helped me to open Deerly Studio from home, where I can still spend enough time with my son and husband and also create pretty paper goods.
What products and services do you supply?
Deerly Studio is a boutique paper and design studio that focuses on creating unique stationery for events such as weddings, baby showers and bridal parties. We also launched an online store where there are greeting cards and all sorts of paper loveliness that we have lovingly created.
Advice for others wanting to start their own business?
Follow your passion. I know it sounds really clichéd, but with hard work and a strong support network it is possible to start your own business. Be true to yourself.
Prettiest venue in Centurion (or Pretoria) to host a girly party/ get together?
I recently had my own baby shower at River Meadow Manor in Irene. The venue is surrounded by beautiful old trees and they have the most amazing food.
Best little out-of-office spot for meetings, coffee and work?
I recently discovered Die Broodhuijs, located in Brooklyn. The café bakes all their own bread and deli fare.
Highlight since starting your business?
Deerly Studio recently collaborated on a styled shoot with Hanri Human Fotografie and Bride in Bloom for the current Miss World, Rolene Strauss. Deerly Studio created all the beautiful stationery with custom calligraphy that celebrated the bride to be.
It gets difficult to have enough hours in the day to do everything that you want to.
How can people get in contact with you?
Anyone interested in stationery or designs can contact Deerly Studio at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or clients are more than welcome to contact me, Monja, at 082 554 6584 to arrange a cup of tea.
Youngest of four children that are all business owners supported by an entrepreneurial father with a passion for researching various business opportunities. I would describe myself as adventurous and taking calculated risks hence the start of a great journey as managing owner of Blue Elephant Experiences. Although I studied Human Resource Management I always made notes and plans to go and see places and having great life experiences. I am passionate about people from different walks and cultures and really enjoy working with people from different countries, assisting them in planning incredible trips/holidays to Africa.
It was only after I studied Human Resource Management and travelled to USA and Europe that I realized that my passion lies within tourism and travel. When I returned, I searched for opportunities and was very fortunate to have met Hannalie Hattingh, owner of Blue Elephant Collective Group. I started out as reservations manager and Hannalie acknowledges my desire to develop the brand and have more responsibility. I was given the opportunity to start my own branch of Blue Elephant called Blue Elephant Experiences.
Skills needed before I started were how to deliver quotes/itineraries to clients and being able to build relationships with service providers. Knowledge regarding the travel products you offer is essential and this knowledge develops on a daily basis. I also gained precious experience in staring up of a business from business registration to the financial management of it. The most important lesson that I learned was to have a clear marketing strategy and also being willing to experiment with different marketing methods.
Blue Elephant Experienced was launced 1 October 2009 in Somerset West.
Extremely low start-up costs were necessary as I only needed a computer and internet access.
Planning, booking and compiling of travel information
Accommodation in South Africa – corporate and leisure
Safaris in Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya & Tanzania)
Beach Holidays (Cape Town, Garden Route, West Coast, Wild Coast, Kwazulu Natal, Mozambique, Kenya Coast)
Island Holidays (Zanzibar, Pemba Island, Mauritius, Reunion Island, Maldives, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique Islands)
Day trips (Wine tours, Cape Point, Table Mountain, Township Tours)
Activities (Shark cage diving, helicopter trips, hot air ballooning, abseiling, sky diving, horse riding, canopy tours, bungee jumping, river rafting)
The greatest challenge is to be constantly proactive and creative. It is also important to stay focused and positive during quiet periods and keep on searching for business leads.
BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN
To never give up on a great idea.
YOUR BEST TIPS LEARNED
Always be willing to assist a client in any way even if you do not deliver a specific service.
Learn how to outsource in order to still give great service.
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 662 1553
Facebook page: Blue Elephant Experiences
Debra Pietersen is the owner of Bella Fiora, an upmarket wedding & event planning company based in Brooklyn. Here is her story....
Debra Pietersen, small town farm girl from the Free State. Matriculted in Bethlehem,and went on to study at UP. I am married and have two sons.
Nature played a very big part in my upbringing and my father would take us for long walks and teach us about the botanical names of plants, trees and shrubs from a very young age. After studying, I had been dabbling in all sorts of creative projects and craft markets when the love for plants and nature merged with my love for creativity and people.
I studied BHhk at university, which combines so many different study areas ranging from time management and commercial subjects to creative design and even some BSc subjects. I would say that this offered me a good base to work from, but I had to sharpen my knowledge of plant/flower names as well as technical knowledge regarding the care, and use thereof. I used horticultural books for this and asked questions wherever I found myself in the company of experts in the field. I would caution people about just doing any flower course available – I have heard about many courses being offered that really are outdated in terms of trends, equipment and technical information. I don’t believe in too many rules when it comes to being creative.
I started at the deep end, in a time of difficult personal financial circumstances. I really only bought the bare essential tools and equipment needed until I had found my feet a little. Approximately R5000
Event planning services, weddings & event flowers, décor hiring, stationery design and supply
Consistency, consistency, consistency. It really is the most difficult hurdle to overcome.
BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN
If you only do what you know you can do, you will never do very much. Getting out of comfort zones often brings about growth.
YOUR BEST TIPS LEARNED
Listen, listen, listen. If you really listen to the needs of your client, you will not only meet their expectation, but often exceed it.
LOCATION 1038 Duncan (Jan Shoba)Str., Brooklyn, Pretoria
Tel: +27 82 5527684
Copyright 2011 A.LITTLE.BIRDIE....