The story behind the scenes:
So why the name Obsidian?
– My former business partner and I were brainstorming about possible names, Obsidian was one of the favourites. I wanted to run the options by a good friend who is a hotshot in marketing. Before I could she said: What about Obsidian? So, it was just confirmation for me. Obsidian sounds like Obsession, and I think jewellery is a great obsession to have.
What is Obsidian built on?
– I recently had a session with my oldest employees about what our unique company values are. We came up with the following:
Affordable: that can be afforded; believed to be within one’s financial means:
Quality: character with respect to fineness, or grade of excellence
A kindly greeting or reception, as to one whose arrival gives pleasure
Distinctive: having a special quality, style, attractiveness, notable.
Having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable
Pertaining to or characterized by energy or effective action; vigorously active or forceful; energetic
Customer Centric: pertaining to or situated at the center; central.
Excellence: the fact or state of excelling; superiority; eminence an excellent quality or feature
Loyal: faithful to one’s oath, commitments, or obligations faithful to any leader, party, or cause, or to any person or thing conceived as deserving fidelity
Team: a number of persons forming one of the sides in a game or contest a number of persons associated in some joint action two or more horses, oxen, or other animals harnessed together to draw a vehicle, plow
What inspired you to start a business?
– The idea of being in charge of my own destiny has appealed to me from a young age. As a teen I worked hard and always tried to find new ways to make money to be able to buy clothes and shoes and be on trend with fashion. I was a young single mother of my 2 year old son when I was put on half time at my job at the time. The economy was tough and I was the last in. They had to cut costs. I couldn’t survive on the salary and as they say: “Necessity is the mother of invention”.
What was your vision for the business? Has it changed?
– My vision was to become a leader in the industry, to think outside the box and to be a problem solver rather than a problem stater. My dream is to expand the company and offer young jewellery designers who want to run their own businesses a chance to own a franchise, building on the successful recipe I have developed over the last 13 years.
When did the dream become a reality?
– We landed our first corporate contract with a leading short term insurance company shortly after starting the business. We were immediately so inundated with work that we had to appoint our goldsmith Wesley van Staden while we went out to clients with a suitcase of jewellery to discuss what they would like to replace their jewellery with. When I met my husband – a carpenter by trade who previously owned a shopfitting company he built me a showroom in my home studio within a couple of weeks of knowing me. We later took the step to move to a small convenience centre where we traded from for 9 years. A highlight was when I took the step to open our store in Tygervalley Centre. Having been tucked away in a small local centre, you tend to get stuck in a comfort zone. It was a giant leap of faith, but whom doesn’t dare doesn’t win.
Looking back now would you have done anything differently?
– I don’t think so… Even when you think you did something wrong, there are always a lesson to be learned. Making mistakes and learning from them is more valuable than faking perfection.
What does the future for Obsidian look like?
Well, there is that franchising dream…
How do you manage being a mother of 5? and owning a business?
– For starters I have a wonderful supporting husband – also a businessman, who roots for me every step of the way. It’s certainly not easy to run two businesses, a home with five children and then still have time for hobbies, friends, family and, of course, each other. But with hard work, focus, dedication, passion and grace in abundance, we manage just fine.
What makes Obsidian different from other Jewellery stores?
– We don’t take ourselves too seriously and try to create a fun environment for our staff, and to develop their natural talents. They are our most valuable asset. Happy staff makes for happy clients. Teamwork makes the dream work
What would you say to young Jewellery graduates who are dreaming of starting their own businesses?
– Let yourself dream without restraint. Your life may never fully match up with your wildest dreams – but allowing yourself to engage in them can help you realize what you want in life, and what you should work towards.
Where did the slogan “Grand obsession” come from/ What does it mean?
– When we celebrated 10 years of being in business, we got a marketing company to do a brand positioning for us and develop a tagline for us. After many attempts I insisted that it should contain the word obsession – as that was what inspired our company name. They eventually came up with: A grand Obsession. And it means just that.