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Mom-owned Businesses We Love >> Punky’s Box

Living in South Africa, we know the mix pot of cultures and colours and customs and clothes we all call home. But this brand is taking it to a new level by adding her amazing French flare to our beautiful country and children’s wear.

Punky’s box combines our beautiful culture with her home country, creating matching sets for babies that reflects her love for South Africa as well as love for fashion and pretty things. She understands what our babies need, being a mom herself.

We love this mompreneur because she is fearless, creative, strong and a great example for our daughters (and sons). Read more about our latest Mom-run Business We Love and the woman behind this amazing brand >>

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what motivated and inspired you to start Punky’s Box.

My name is Blandine. I’m French and I have a daughter, Zoe, 1 year old. I left my home country 6 years ago to follow my South African partner and we decided together to settle in Cape Town. I took sewing lessons when I was pregnant and decided to create my own brand. My biggest source of inspiration is my grandmother, Bernadette. For me, being a mother is synonymous with heritage.

2. How did you come up with/ decide on the name for your business?

It wasn’t easy to find a name for my business! I started brainstorming with my closest friends. My ideal name was meant to recall a hero I had during my childhood. Being born in the 80s, I was a huge fan of Punky Brewster. Do you remember the TV show? Punky was a little tomboy.

3. What type of products do you sell?

Punky’s Box is an original giftbox for babies. With its range of carefully selected fabrics and matching accessories, it offers a full trendy set for newborns. I designed two different sizes. The mini box includes a dummy clip, a blanket, baby shoes, and a giftcard. I added a bunting and a bib in the big box. I select all my fabrics based on the inspiration I get from my home country (French style) and my country of adoption (African Wax).

4. What was the first thing you did to make your business dream a reality?

I told my grandmother that I created my own brand and that I owed it to her!

5. Does being a Mom change the way you do business?

Absolutely. I started my business just after giving birth, so it’s like I discovered two new roles (being a mum, being an entrepreneur) at the same time!

6. Tell us about how your daughter has inspired you.

When I was pregnant, it was quite difficult for me to realize what was growing inside my belly. To make it less abstract, I decided to take up sewing lessons to create my own baby stuff and prepare Zoe’s bedroom. My daughter is half French and half South African. She therefore is the perfect incarnation of my brand: a mix of Liberty fabrics from France and Wax fabrics from South Africa !

7. What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?

Getting my work permit is the biggest challenge I had to face! You can’t imagine how proud I am to be able to stay in South Africa thanks to my skills! It’s proof that my business is welcome and that South Africa opens its doors to my brand, my creativity, and my inspiration.

8. What is your go-to social media platform for your brand?

Communication is not my biggest strength. I’m using Instagram and Facebook to communicate about my brand, my products, my workshop, and my sources of inspiration.

9. Who are some of your own Mom-run Business you love?

I support my friend Elise with her brand We All Share Roots  and WEWEWE from Cristina.

10. What are you currently working on?

I’m getting ready to participate in my first big event on October the 5th! It’s called Cape Kids Collab and takes place in the Waterfront. I’m so eager to interact with potential customers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Where do you see Punky’s Box in 5 years?

I can’t really project myself, I have rather a « step by step » way of working. Ideally, I would like to have a shop where customers can design their own boxes, selecting their favourite fabrics and items among a huge range of choices. I’m also thinking about creating a monthly subscription: Punky’s boxes would evolve with the babies / children to adapt to their needs.

12. Since you’ve been through it, what advice would you give someone thinking (dreaming about!) starting their own business?

Always follow your instinct and rely on your closest people (family, friends): they are by your side to help you see things differently and make decisions.

QUICK FIRE:

My favourite superhero is … Punky Brewster or Marry Poppins
I love receiving … flowers
When I’m alone in the car, I … listen french music
The app I use most on my phone is …Word reference!
In my bag, you’ll always find … Wipes and lipstick = Mompreneur!
What did you want to be when you grew up? Indiana Jones
You’d never expect this from me, but … I love trans music!
The words I live by … YOLO!

Finally, take us through a normal day in the life of… (From wake-up to lights out)

Every morning, Zoé wakes me up at 6.00, and she finishes her night in our bed until 7.00. It’s early, but it’s probably the best moment of the day!! Breakfast, bottle and egg and then go to her creche in Hout bay. It’s a beautiful place in the nature, very simple and lots of love!

I come back home and work in my office until 2.30pm, and then I (or my husband) go to fetch Zoé. She usually sleeps on the way back up until 4pm. I’m fortunate to live in Camps Bay, so when she wakes up, we like to go for walks with our 2 dogs (Wolf and India) to the beach for playing and walking on the sand. From 5.30pm, the marathon starts –  bath, pyjama, dinner. And from 6.30 to 7.30, we play or read a book in the rv room, close to the fireplace! At 7.30, Zoé goes to sleep. So I have lots of time to call some friends or family in France, or watch TV. 🙂

 

Find these and much more on Punky’s Box Facebook page and Instagram. Or email her directly – punkysbox@gmail.com

 

 

Mom-owned Businesses We Love >> His Heart Wear

Introducing the next Mom-owned business we love, His Heart Wear. The one you need and didn’t even know! You have to take a look at this “New Kid on the Block” brand, as they are certainly at the right place, at the right time. “For such a time as this.”

** To follow or know more about this brand, follow their social media links at the bottom of the page.

 

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what motivated and inspired you to start His Heart Wear.

I studied graphic design and always knew I’d want to work from home when I had kids one day. A friend sent me a picture of a printed babyvest a year and a half ago and asked if I could make something like that, which got me thinking… why not? I had the skills and it would create a way to do something good, which could be done from home! (A few months later I fell pregnant… all the more motivation!) I believe words are very powerful and what we say is what we speak over people. So the idea to create a range for babies with a positive word was something I really wanted to do. Each design is prayerfully inspired and reflects, what I feel, God’s heart for children is.

 

  1. What type of products do you sell?

It started with the baby vests, locally manufactured and screen printed, but slowly but surely I’m adding other products too, like baby clothes dividers, muslin blankets and nursery decor. Mostly aimed at babyshower gifts, but great for any new-mom-shopping!

  1. What steps did you take to get things going in the beginning?

The beginning wasn’t easy, as I was still working a 9 to 5 job too. It took long hours of research, planning and designing, looking for manufacturers, printers etc. in the evenings and weekends. I made the labels and swing tags myself, to keep costs down. It took commitment (and lots of coffee!)

 

  1. How has being a Mom changed the way you think about your business?

I think most people like to plan ahead; thinking of the future. But becoming a mom accelerated that for me! You suddenly have this tiny human entrusted to you, to care and provide for. Now it’s not just a business anymore. It’s part of a legacy.

 

  1. Tell us about how your children have inspired you.

Having a baby, when owning a baby brand, is great! You have your own guinea pig! I wouldn’t design/sell anything I wouldn’t want to buy for James myself. I now also have an even better understanding of what works for babies and what doesn’t.

  1. Tips on keeping the spark alive in your marriage with your own business and family?

I’m pretty new to this still. It can get overwhelming to juggle everything… but I’d say having a schedule helps. Put down times in your diary for just the two of you, and stick to it.

 

  1. What types of marketing strategies have worked best for you?

I find Instagram to work the best so far. It has a great reach. And of course giveaways are also a great way to advertise and get your name out.

 

  1. We love your packaging! Why do you think packaging is half the product? What do new business need to look at concerning packaging.

Thank you! I wanted to keep it simple, but pretty enough to give as a gift (saving you time on wrapping), with a handwritten note to make it extra special. Just like your products, your packaging also reflects your brand and style. When receiving an order, the packaging is the first thing your customer sees. It has to announce your brand! Give a good first impression and be remembered. Also keeping it green is a great idea!

 

  1. Who are 3 of your own Mom-run Business you love?

My friend at Nerize Raath Photography is amazing, such a talented and cool human being! Rethea Jewellery Design is another funky momma who can make any jewellery your heart desires, and a small upcoming business called Love Struck. I know has big things planned for the year!

 

  1. What are you currently working on?

Fresh designs for my baby vests (bringing some colour in…ooooh!), adding bigger sizes, and another nursery decor project… 😉 Also chatting to a couple of shops about stocking some of my products.

 

  1. Where do you see His Heart Wear in 5 years?

I’d like to see us having loads more products, and becoming a one stop shop for baby / new mommy / and babyshower gifts. Having my own full time seamstress would be amazing (for job creation too) and designing my own fabric, to make us even more exclusive. But it all depends on what God’s plan for the business is.

 

  1. Do you have any advice for other moms who run their own business?

I’ve realised how many of the same types of businesses are out there… it’s not always easy to stand out. Your products and ideas need to be unique. And excellent customer service is a must!

COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES:

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done as an entrepreneur is… Quitting my day job, becoming a full time mom and starting my own business, virtually all at the same time!  
If I could go back in time to when I started my business, I would tell myself… Rather get bigger vest sizes 🙂
My favourite business tool/resource/book/podcast is… Wave apps, great for keeping track of income and expenses, sending invoices, etc.
My favourite quote is… “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
My greatest fear is… Losing more loved ones.
Myself in one word… creative.
Something few people know about me is… I might suffer slightly (to moderately) of insectophobia. (Entomophobia) haha
My very first job was… working in my grandmother’s shop during holidays, counting and packing sweets 🙂
My biggest pet peeve is… people interrupting each other during conversations.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be… Nigella, to give me some tips on cooking good food, fast; oh and meal prep, please… (so I can have more time for work in the evenings!)

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