Balancing your business, personal and home life is essential for any entrepreneur, according to Tarryn Tait, founder of furniture company Colindale Trading and Online Basics Home.
Tait’s own entrepreneurial journey is certainly an inspiring one.
She started working at 14 at a Spur restaurant. During the seven years spent there waitressing, manning the tills and even managing the outlet, she garnered important business skills.
She moved on to work for an antique shop in Musgrave Centre when she began studying business management, again adding to the skills set on which she relies to this day.
During this period and at the age of just 21, she nearly lost her left leg. Having stopped to assist at the scene of an accident, she was knocked over in the emergency lane by a motorist who swerved to avoid ploughing into the accident scene. Her leg was severely damaged, and the doctor suggested that it would take at least two years for her to walk again. That simply wasn’t an option, and she was back on her feet within eight weeks.
After a painful but determined recovery, Tait joined a company that did merchandising for large stores such as Game and Makro. She worked on the Game account with the National buyers and 22 large suppliers – she also managed pricing and in store promotions.
From there, she moved to a supplier of homeware to large retailers and found herself travelling to the likes of China to source merchandise at the age of just 23.
Two years later, a call from the Coventry Group of Companies changed her career path again. They wanted to launch a homewares company and wanted her to run it. Not prepared to take no for an answer, Tait says they called her three times a day every day for six months.
With nothing to lose, she resigned. But, determined not to compete with her previous employer, she focused on furniture, building the company into the largest office furniture supplier to Makro in just two years.
Tait has gone from strength to strength, eventually buying out the Coventry Group of Companies and taking on partner, Wesley Wareham, who plays a hands-on role in the business.
Tait is a mother of two and values having a supportive husband who can step in when she travels.
For her, discovering and working with factories in faraway places and supporting local families at home through her 22 employees are highlights of what she has achieved so far.
“It is not just about the bottom line. That is very important for me,” she says.
While 2018 was all about restructuring and stabilizing the business, 2019 will definitely be about growth.
Tait says she tributes much of her success to the support she receives from her group of informed and experienced members in the Durban chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation (EO).
She is on a self-development journey and EO is a catalyst for learning and growth through peer to peer learning, once in a lifetime experiences and connections to experts.
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