MY STORY – Ingrid Michau de Klerk
My story began many years ago when I was offered the opportunity by a friend to sell her beautiful decorative photo frames which she had started importing.
I received literally a shoe box of samples – I was passionate about the frames and knew that the shoe box was the start of an exciting journey !
Approaching interior & gift stores we received an overwhelming response and I soon established a regular retail customer base in Gauteng.
Life happens – a few years later I found myself a single mom and breadwinner , and Alison needed to spend more time with her young children.
I needed to earn more and made the brave decision to start my own business.
Taking a huge leap of faith I sold our home , using the small profit made to import my first shipment of mirrors and lamps.
It was initially a nail biting time, as the rand was depreciating daily whilst my shipment was on the water .
The currency fortunately regained strength , the economy was again buoyant and my hard work was well rewarded over the years.
I travelled internationally visiting trade expos in India, China and Europe sourcing new décor items – it was a really wonderful chapter in my life.
The only constant in life is change – the massive depreciation of the rand in recent years impacted on importing and I also needed a change of direction .
Whilst I loved overseas travel , I have always been amazed by the wonderful standards of accommodation offered in South Africa.
Travelling around SA visiting customers I stayed in some superb guest houses which inspired me to look into launching a range of hospitality products for the travel and tourism industry.
I exhibited at two local trade expos early in 2020 and made wonderful inroads into the hospitality industry….. when … Covid and hard lockdown happened !
Orders were cancelled and it was a case of ‘ sink or swim ‘ .
I chose to swim.
I was not entirely happy with the artwork which a designer had produced for my products and decided to use hard lockdown whilst business was non- existent , to get creative !
I spent hours and hours learning how to design and re- designed the artwork for my brand which was so fulfilling and rewarding.
Aside from the new artwork and branding , I also built a website from scratch and set up a functioning online shopping portal.
Our products are manufactured by a cosmetics supplier in Jhb using fragrance oils imported from the south of France.
They are beautifully packaged in round glass bottles which are unique and elegant.
I was recently approached to supply industrial -type candles and décor for a wedding, and I recalled stunning concrete candles which I had seen at the last international expo I attended.
The customer was thrilled with what we supplied and word of mouth soon spread .
Orders for these beautiful candles are increasing daily enabling us to start creating much needed employment one small step at a time.
Our product range now consists of premium body care and home fragrance collections , concrete candles and hospitality products.
We offer personalised branding and new artwork for hospitality products for hotels , guest houses and B and B establishments .
Small orders are welcome.
Our body care, home fragrance products and concrete candles are available online : https://5e9030d93d5c0.site123.me or via e mail :
Please direct hospitality enquiries to : [email protected]
Support local and help us to create desperately needed employment !
Once again many thanks for the exposure for my business !
Ingrid Michau de Klerk
Ph : +27 63 340 6211 ( Whats App only )
Website : https://5e9030d93d5c0.site123.me/
Email : [email protected]
Facebook Signature : @hamptoncollective
Twitter 1 : @hamptonhousecollective