SUPPLIER PROFILE: MARY’S MUSE

Laura Johnston and James Gilmour
Laura Johnston and James Gilmour
Where do you operate from? Cape Town
When did your business start? 2019
Website www.marysmuse.co.za
Name of owners Laura Johnston and James Gilmour
Tell us a bit about where you come from  … Laura: I am a bit of a mongrel in that I am Dutch by blood, was born in the US, lived in New Zealand, then SA then the UK, Canada, and finally settled (well it’s been my longest stint to date) in Cape Town.
I studied Business Science at UCT and am a certified health coach. I am obsessed with health and have been in the industry for over a decade. Before I filled in this form I was doing a  HIIT (high-impact intensity training) class because I am also obsessed with exercise (I am a crazy 5am start kinda girl).
Why did you choose this business? It chose me actually. I had sold my healthy meal delivery company one month prior, was in hospital after the birth of my second son, and got talking to an old varsity friend (whose wife had had twins at the same time) about health and CBD, and the next thing I knew my maternity leave was overtaken by a new business venture. The industry was growing, SA was way behind international trends and I was super excited to get stuck in.
Any special skills/talents in this area? Special skills/talents are that I have a lot of experience in health. From pharmaceuticals to natural supplements, nutrition to CBD, this is my game and I am super passionate about it. My business partner, James, is a marketing and branding whizz so together we were able to build a beautiful brand and bouquet of effective products. I think all entrepreneurs fly by the seat of their pants by the way- apart from hard work, there’s a massive dose of luck and good timing involved in having a successful business.
What’s the best part of your working day? Product development Research. I just LOOOOOOVE researching new ingredients, health benefits and products.
And the worst? Admin. I mean, is there anyone that does like it?
Of all the brands out there, which one is your favourite? Why? Lululemon. The products are beautiful, well made, amazing quality, and it’s one of the only brands where I have a consistent size. I love what the brand stands for- empowering strong independent women to be fit and healthy. And I love their marketing – they just do things well.
Who or what has been your most important inspiration in life? Why? My father. He’s incredibly strong, hard-working, ambitious, and doesn’t take no for an answer. He also knows how to have a good time and lives life to the full.
Choose 3 keywords that best capture the essence of your business/brand. Quality. Innovation. Empathy.
Any jaw-dropping mistakes and/or failures in life/business you’d like to confess to? The first business I ever started was in 2013 and it was a genetic testing company where you could test what lifestyle conditions you were genetically predisposed to and then take supplements and tweak your diet to try prevent the onset of those diseases. It was a great idea, but I was trying to move mountains on my own, with no money and no clout. It was a very expensive fail.
Any standing-ovation awards, achievements, successes you’d care to brag about? I’d love to quote all the school successes but they seem to mean so much when you’re a teen and then nothing once you’re in the real world. So, I guess starting and running my healthy meal delivery company throughout SA and then selling it 5 years later was pretty rewarding.