For #WomensMonth we have partnered with a few local artisan brands, these are businesses founded by powerful women and this month gives us a good reason to celebrate each other! The next 3 weeks will be filled with giveaways and business advise, we hope you enjoy this series as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
To end off our month of giveaways we introducing you to Nikki Albertyn and Karmen de Reuck the makers of all things delicious at LionHeart. Born from a love of stealing hearts with sweet, sugary things this powerful duo stops at nothing to produce the most beautiful cakes in Cape Town.
We sat down with Nikki and Karmen,
We love your brand, tell us a little more about how you started…
Karmen and I have been friends since we were in nappies (pretty much) and always spoke about going into business together, never really knowing what we would do though. After we’d ‘grown-up’ it still remained just a dream with each going into different fields, me into graphic design and Karmen trying out law, being an airhostess and finally settling on digital marketing. After some time in the design field I eventually discovered a love for patisserie in 2015 while part-time studying at Silwood School of Cookery and subsequently started Lionheart. Baking a few cakes here and there I realized I had a legit growing business on my hands. After many Skype calls and day-dreaming about building our cake empire, Karmen came back from her steady SEO job in London to join forces with me.
Growing up, who was and today continues to be an inspirational women in your life?
Nikki: My mother is quite possibly the strongest woman I know. What she has done for me and how she continues to love unconditionally inspires me each and every day.
Karmen: My older sisters: my pillars, my best friends, my heroes. My mother: for always putting us first and loving us unconditionally
My aunts: Sharon is prime example of a woman who has thrived as an entrepreneur, she inspires me daily. Elsona, I can only strive to have such a loving heart.
Finally, Nikki, for her Lion Heart.
What has your biggest business challenge been and show have you overcome it?
Well, we haven’t been in business for very long and I’m sure there will be TONS more challenges on a daily basis. For now though, the most challenging part about selling a product has been accepting that not everyone will love what you do. All you can do is to take any feedback and improve on your product or service, but also realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion – whether you agree or not.
What gets you most excited about your job?
Nikki: Frosting and decorating a cake to create a unique experience for someone that has trusted me to do so. Oh and early mornings in the kitchen with Karmen; being able to work with your bestie is probably every girls dream – and I have that!
Karmen: The fact that it doesn’t feel like a “job”. I get to work with my best friend on such exciting projects. Being able to share the excitement just makes a world of difference. Being able to be creative and not have to do the same thing daily, is a massive positive.
Now you could stand a chance to win one of their Lunar cakes! Enter over on our instagram, head on over for entry details.
and you could win a little Zana something (from our new range due to launch next month) over on their instagram account…
If you were to host a dinner party, which three influential women in the world would you invite and what would you cook?
Nikki: Julia (Suzelle DIY) for the laughs; Ellie Goulding because she has some serious girlpower going on; and my grandmother because she says what she thinks.
I’d put together a gorgeous cheese platter with fresh seasonal fruits, nuts, olives, charcuterie and breads. Fresh home-made paste for mains and mini pavlovas with tons of fruit and luxurious whipped cream for dessert.
Malala Yousafzai – Youngest nobel prize winner and female rights activist in Pakistan.
Ellen Degeneres – enough said
Chrissy Teigen – for being a beautiful and hilariously funny woman. Despite recently becoming a mom, (although I applaud them all), her achievements are inspiring and her love for food is so contagious. And uhmmm, WELL, being married to John Legend.
l admire all these women for their tenacity, courage and strength and for being women of substance. I imagine us chattering in the garden lit up by fairy lights. To eat… Tapas, tapas and some more tapas. I get major food envy and the best way to avoid this is to have small plates of everything. Desserts would follow a similar pattern, where there will be a variety of LionHeart’s delicious micro cakes.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start their own business?
“Stop talking about it and just do it” – Nikki and Karmen recited together…
Thank you so much Nikki & Karmen for working with us on this project.
HAPPY WOMEN’S MONTH!