I started working at the Lavender in Lavender Hill stand at the V & A Waterfront Food Market early 2014. I was hired to work part time as a sales representative. This was a couple of months after the market opened its doors for trading.
A few month later Marcelle, the owner of Lavender in Lavender Hill, asked me if I would like to become a Lavender Ambassador. Being a Lavender Ambassador Marcelle helps you to set up a stand (if you wish to run your own stand) and helps you to set up the business. The stand at the Waterfront market was handed over to me as my very own business. This I have been running ever since.
Prior to Lavender in Lavender Hill I worked in corporate financial services, accounts, finance and stockbroking back-office. Then after being unemployed for a while I decided to become self employed and did freelance sales and marketing on a part-time basis. It was during this process that I found Lavender in Lavender Hill and was given the opportunity to run my own franchise store as a Lavender Ambassador.
What I love most about running a lavender stand is that I love chatting with, meeting and helping people from different walks of life. A lavender stand is a brilliant platform for this. It helps me exercise my passion for helping people, especially those that are disadvantaged. It also gives me the opportunity to run a small business and helps me network for my hand-craft business.
I feel empowered as now I get to "set my own alarm clock" and being a workaholic I can work as hard as I want and get to bear my own fruits, such as additional income. I also have the opportunity to present to people an awesome quality natural product, some hand-crafted by talented ladies in our local communities (which is what I stand for).
The hardest thing for me is to find casual staff who are trustworthy, dedicated, responsible and hardworking enough to earn an income for themselves.
One of my future goals is to source good dedicated staff who I will train and empower to run the store so that I can branch out and open more stores
I have so many special stories to share about my experience so far, but let me share just one. I keep my candle burner filled with lavender essential oil all day long. This creates a tranquil, calming atmosphere around my store. Customers enjoy this and we find ourselves sharing personal experiences, lots of laughter, often prayer-filled moments and others tear-filled moments. Lots of customers around S.A. and abroad will return with " brag stories" about our products and take loads of gifts back home so in turn their friends and families come looking to support Lavender in Lavender Hill. This is the highlight of my business.
Being a Lavender Ambassador affords you the opportunity of earning extra income and playing a part in community upliftment by selling quality natural lavender products. Some of the products are produced by community members while others are produced by small scale entrepreneurs and businesses that support job creation. A great product with a social aim of empowering job creation and entrepreneurship in Cape Town.
Thank you to the V & A Food Market for sponsoring Cherylene's stand and in so doing enhancing entrepreneurship and job creation in Cape Town!