The evolution of Huis Bru started on the 18th of March 2020 when we lost our jobs. We had both worked for a reputable and well-known event design company and had formed a tight bond during that time. We were always the least competitive and were both keen on encouraging our team mates to excel- we were keen on having a more collaborative and less “department” driven experience. Anyway, long story short, we became good friends. We were accustomed to working hard over the season period and having dry winter’s… it was the events industry. The owner would even refer to the industry as something that was “seasonal”. Considering it was March, we were in the hustle of things and then suddenly, with no warning or red flags and coming from the best financial year we had had- we were called in to a meeting and the company had gone into liquidation with immediate effect. We were to hand in our goods and leave. As you can imagine, we were totally gob-smacked. The team and family that we had worked hours and hours with, was just instantly gone and everything we had dedicated ourselves to was just…nothing.
Two weeks later, the country went into a harsh lockdown and the entire events industry went into total dismay. So many of our friends and industry colleagues were losing their jobs, while others were finding ways to keep their businesses alive. Some were downscaling, some were evolving with the times and others were extending their services and getting creative with their resources. It was this part of Covid that gave us a small glimmer of hope, that maybe we’d be okay. As time went by and we watched the owner play the victim, we realised that we (as a team) were responsible for her success. This ultimately fuelled the spark… knowing that we were fully capable and competent enough to quote, source, project manage and style some of the top events in the industry.
During the lockdown, we spoke for hours about our goals and aspirations and we soon realised that they were aligned and that we needed to do something with it. We both love transforming spaces and that was the crucial element of our passion; Styling and watching things evolve, we love bringing imagination to life and being extraordinary at it.
Huis Bru was born. Hours and hours of hard work and learning in every single step of the way, led us to soft launching in August and then soon after, opening up our design studio in September. Huis Bru was not only about our passion though, it was also about the will to be able to be successful business women. We wanted to be empowered to be our own boss and pay our own salaries, defining how we want to work and making the balance of career and family life easier. Specifically, we wanted to be able to close the pay gap and rise to leadership positions, on our own terms.
Running our company also offers the opportunity for us to collaborate with and hire other ambitious, like-minded women, fostering a new generation of women in leadership roles. With the youth unemployment rate of over 63% in South Africa, it feels only necessary that we take initiative and create not only jobs for ourselves but also for others.
Another crucial motivation in our journey to finding our feet and creating a mark for ourselves is being able to inspire others to do the same. We have had so many inspiring conversations with business owners sharing their stories on how they started and contrary, having conversations with people who want to start but haven’t yet.
If we could give any advice to a young person looking to become an entrepreneur it’s that you just have to start by starting - break the steps down in to manageable to-do lists. The harder you work for something the greater you will feel when you achieve it because at the end of the day you will make it, and it’ll all be worth it.