Hey everyone,

If you’re in South Africa, it’s officially Spring time. September is my favourite month, not only because I was born during it but also because I’m a lover of the outdoors and nature. So I thought I’d give you an update on the wonderful things I’ve been up to BUT also what I’m most looking forward to.

What have I been up to?

I’ve been away for a little while trying to set up other avenues and trying to focus on giving the business some direction. Last week we participated in the Small Business Expo at the Ticketpro Dome. It was three weeks of intensive planning and work. This was my first expo ever and I felt so overwhelmed. I’m pretty much a loner in my business, something I hope to change next year. My family and partner help me often, but I try not to punish them for being in my life. So when I accepted the invite to exhibit my pieces, I worked tirelessly on my own: more to prove to myself that I could, but also because I was quite excited to create something I had never done before.

Needless to say, expos are a post on their own. It’s Wednesday today and I’m still exhausted from the weekend. It involved a lot of speaking, showing my pieces and talking about my services. I also took it upon myself to ask those who came to my stand, lots of questions about their own business and interests.

My stand at the Small Business Expo. Our first range of products: the Nakhesa range. Named after my grandmother.

Take home

It was a worthwhile, albeit challenging, experience. I saw the importance of having uniformity across my website (which I really need to work on consciously) and social media. People want your services and your products to tell a story and although I’m growing and ever evolving, I don’t think I’ve sat down and really taken the time to ask “what story do I wish to tell?” and to tell it unapologetically and without fear.

Another important lesson for me to learn this week/end was to be more forgiving with myself. To stop belittling myself and my work, but instead to keep working. Not take holidays when it gets tough but to force myself to look for ways to become better and sooner. A lot of those exhibiting had been in business for years more than I had. I’m proud that I bet on myself. And I need to keep pushing because people need my voice, my design style etc.

The final thing I learnt is that although I am super woman, but even I need help and lots of it. I am waiting, praying and hoping for the right team. I know that in time a lot more will fall into place. I am ready for that moment. I am ready for super supportive and knowledgeable people in my space. And for more people who say they’ll show up to the table, and mean it.

I’m also so grateful to the handful of people I can always rely on. Having a familiar face in the crowd is one of the most calming feelings and I feel so blessed to have a few people who came to see my stand.

Ottomans in genuine leather and ankara print as part of the Nakhesa range from Buhle Bendalo Designs.

Looking forward to:

  1. Trying new restaurants
  2. Showing my legs, and arms … Oh gosh, just no covers please
  3. Showers that aren’t piping hot
  4. Easy hairstyles for the heat (less headwear too)
  5. Cocktails on rooftops
  6. Chilled drinks
  7. Bright coloured clothing (bye black!)
  8. A different, somewhat fresh perspective as well as more endurance and willingness to shoot in the open
  9. Hiking
  10. Fabric sales 🙂
  11. New plants for my bathroom
  12. A holiday away with friends or family
  13. Shoots, product design and self (and business) investment

I’ll make sure to share this wonderful spring and summer with you.



Posted by:Buyi Joy

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