Women’s Month Series – Carla Erasmus
Carla and I met in a dog park, we we see each other at our worst every day at 7am (before showers and make-up and decent clothing – well at least in my case).
What has been your biggest challenge in starting your own business?
Keeping the balance. Having your own business, you never completely pause or stop working – and you end up working weekends, long hours and not taking a break from work.
What is your one piece of advice for small business owners?
Ask your friends and colleagues for advice and guidance. Knowing what resources to trust, because they have been tried and tested by your peers, really help.
Can you explain to us a little bit about your creative process? How does the thought behind a new collection begin and how does it grow?
We always focus on creating much needed interior products and then draw our inspiration from art, sculpture and colour. We design for ourselves, for others to enjoy. We design and discuss our way through problems, by working until things feel right. Our response to a new design is instant we either love it or hate it.
Is there a particular design or collection that you have created that is just without a doubt your absolute favourite?
We have launched three collections, The Moa Collection, The Clay Collection and the recent Homestead Mohair Rug Collection. They are all our favourites! But if I can shine a light on products, then it would be our Alberto Chair and Arch Table Lamp that we love the most!
How do you feel being a female in South Africa and more specifically, a female business owner in South Africa?
I feel being a female business owner in South Africa gives us the cutting edge. It set us apart, and we should all embrace this!
What are you most proud of in your business?
That we started Bofred with very little savings. So we had to work very hard and hit the ground running from day one! We are still running!
What tools or resources have been most helpful for you in the development of yourself and your business?
Friends and colleagues that have small businesses or that are in the creative industry have been the most valuable tool for us! Collaborations and sharing ideas and skills have helped our business grow and become what it is.
Which strong females have a major influence on your life and work?
We both have very strong bonds with your sisters and mothers, so they shape our lives and we are very thankful for that. Workwise, we draw great inspiration from local and international female artists – but there are so many to mention!
I know you also spend a lot of time helping stray dogs, can you tell us more about that?
I have been actively working in animal welfare and rescue for the last ten years. It’s a passion and a real-life interest. It’s a very draining and emotional “hobby” I have chosen, but fulfilling every day. I am part of numerous organisations raising funds, awareness, sterilisation projects and feeding programmes.
When the going gets tough, what is your go-to self-love ritual to get yourself back on track? Or what rituals do you keep in place to stay motivated and focused?
As much as I don’t want to admit this, I do well with lists and routines and an early morning start makes for a great start to my day! This includes Morning walks and music. I also get my energy from people, so a good laugh and great company usually do the trick!
When do you feel the best version of yourself?
After a swim in the ocean!
What do you think the world needs more of?
I can only think of what the worlds needs less of? Does that make me a glass half empty person? Oh dear, let’s think..The world needs more forgiveness.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We live in such a diverse country, having an awareness of what is happening on an international platform, but staying faithful to our roots is essential. That is what sets us apart from the rest of the world is when our products have a sense of place. South African designers should remember that!
For more #FavouriteFemale interview, go here.