Julia Weisensee


Where do you operate from? Cape Town
When did your business start? 2009
Name of owners Julia Weisensee and Allison Smith
Tell us a bit about where you come from, where you were educated and what you were doing before you landed up filling in this form … Julia: I was born in Switzerland in the Seventies and I was in Cape Town as an exchange student in 88/89 which was a very emotional and political time and made me fall in love with the Mother City. I returned a few years later to study at UCT and to find my now deceased husband and father of my 2 sons here. After some travels and living in Switzerland for some years we returned with our first born in 2004 to Cape Town. I got very involved in designing and producing the first soft structure buckle Baby Carrier – the African Baby Carrier. I also started dropping Amber in all sorts of Health shops and Baby shops I could find. Since then my Amber sales have grown and grown and Amber as a natural pain remedy for teething pain is now quiet widely known. While Amber is my mainstay my interest and energy is moving more towards my menstrual range and the production and distribution of reusable pads by stay at home township mums. I can’t wait until it is the norm to have reusable pads on every supermarket shelves. Let’s be the change we want to see.
Why did you choose this business? I love working with women and babies. I love finding natural solutions for their practical needs.
Any special skills/talents in this area? I have something very simple but very effective – I have endurance and patience. I started my business with R500 and I worked on it every morning for a few hours and the hours got slowly longer. And I never took a cent of money out for myself for 7 years.
What’s the best part of your working day? Getting a big order.
And the worst? Admin – resolving VAT issues is the worst.
Of all the brands out there, which one is your favourite? Why? Soaring Free Superfoods – I like what they sell but I absolutely adore their packaging – their artwork is so beautiful it makes me feel priviledged every time I have a packet standing in my kitchen.
Who or what has been your most important inspiration in life? Why? The father of my children – he was a survivor and kept his poetic heart through everything. And to my spiritual teacher Byron Katie for giving me a tool to let go of my own negative thought patterns.
Choose 3 keywords that best capture the essence of your brand. Natural – eco-conscious – Baby and Women friendly
Any jaw-dropping mistakes you’d like to confess to? Realising 6 months in that I had neglected to redo the costing on the latest import of Sea Sponges and had been selling them for below cost.
Any standing-ovation awards, achievements, successes you’d care to brag about? A snail leaves a trail of slime and I leave trail of smiling babies that feel carried and held by their mums. Or so I hope.