Caryn and Kash, the sisters-in-law behind brand-authentic, have spent years in the travel and private banking industries respectively. Last year, the pandemic pushed them to leave their corporate jobs, and pursue their real passion, social entrepreneurship. Joining their skills and resources they set out to build a diverse and inclusive business around women empowerment and entrepreneurship. Intending to uplift our country and economy by providing education to those who need it most; our women, our unemployed and those from underserved communities, they aim to make an income while making an impact. Let’s get to know more:
You have started your new business, brandauthentic_za last year during the pandemic. Please tell us more about it?
As we know, the pandemic resulted in many people losing their jobs. It was (and still is) very important to us to be part of the solution to help the women of South Africa create their own income opportunities. We’ve done this by providing an affordable, accessible and diverse female entrepreneurship platform called the Sisterhood Success Club. We provide resources, tools, information and coaching as well as a supportive community of like-minded women, that empowers members to build their own businesses, create multiple income streams, be self-sufficient and have encouragement along the way.
You are all about women empowerment and entrepreneurship, please tell us what made y’all take this path?
As Gandhi once said, ” You need to be the change you wish to see in the world.” For the longest time, women have been unfairly denied equal pay and equal opportunities based on their gender. As social entrepreneurs, empowering women and creating awareness around inequality is something very close to our hearts. South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world and this is why we believe that there is such a need for entrepreneurship platforms such as ours to help alleviate this problem. For women that are not by the means to afford our coaching or membership, we offer a free empowerment and entrepreneurship Facebook group (that has quickly grown to 5000 members). Within the group, we provide tons of free courses, resources, tools and support.
How does mindset affect what you do? What would you say are the best ways to grow and develop a healthy mindset?
Your mindset can either be your most powerful asset or your biggest hindrance, depending on how you nurture it. We can’t stress enough the importance of developing your mind through knowledge, skills and mentorship. As best-selling author and entrepreneur, Tony Robbins says, ‘in order to be successful, it takes 20% strategy and 80% mindset.’ The best way to grow and develop a healthy mindset is to keep your brain active. We recommend reading books that increase self-development, regularly doing short courses (this can even be about an interest or hobby), and spending time with people who are positive, encouraging and even challenge your thinking. If you are in the entrepreneurship realm consider coaching or mentorship.
What are your top 3 finance/empowerment/marketing tips that you would like to share?
When starting out as an entrepreneur or side hustler, bootstrap as far as possible. Avoid loans until you have tested your market niche and established proof of concept.
More and more, South African women are rising as business owners, CEOs and thought leaders within their respective industries. It is 2021, we no longer need to stay silent and boxed into traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Stand up for yourself. Set boundaries and say no when you need to. Envision the highest version of yourself and then start showing up as her.
Marketing tips for small business owners: make sure you have a story behind the brand. People buy emotions, not things. So, think about how best you can authentically serve your community and ideal client.
What words of encouragement do you believe all women should bear in mind in terms of business and life in general?
You have the power to build the life of your dreams, it is never too early or too late. Never allow your hard circumstances, your past, your mistakes or negative generational cycles to determine your future. The power is in your hands, your dreams are valid, and the future is yours for the taking. Always remain true to yourself and your vision, don’t seek other’s approval and always trust your intuition, it’s more powerful than anyone else’s advice.
Please elaborate more on what financial literacy is and how it is beneficial to know?
Financial literacy is the ability to understand various products, concepts, and methods you need to manage your money effectively. Some of them are very basic, like how to create a budget, spend and save – while others are more complex like risk assessment and making provision for retirement. As women, single, in a partnership or married, it is imperative to be financially independent. This means being able to stand on your own two feet should the need arise. It is never too early or too late to become financially literate.
What advice would you give to everyone trying to build a career for themselves? Where should they start?
Step into your power! If you are in the corporate space, claim your worth and don’t be afraid to ask for that pay raise. Now is not the time to be shy. For entrepreneurs, the journey is a hard one. We admit this. However, the rewards are incredible. Take yourself and your ‘small’ business seriously from the get-go! Once you have established what your purpose is, who you’re meant to serve, and learn how to monetize it, you will wake up every day with a renewed sense of drive and excitement. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks and invest in yourself.
What are your goals for the future regarding brandauthentic_za?
Our goal is to expand our footprint within South Africa first and foremost – before targeting the overseas market. We believe that there is so much work to be done at home.
We want to become the most recognized online community to help women from all races, ages and social backgrounds build profitable businesses and side hustles. Success and abundance are available to absolutely everyone. Diversity and inclusivity will always be at the forefront of what we do. Being front-facing and forming genuine connections with our members and seeing them make real progress is very important to us. We open the doors to our membership for the third time this year! If anyone is keen to join our Sisterhood Success Club tribe, they can visit our website at www.brand-authentic.com/membership.
Words: Thuveshnie Govender | Photography: Courtesy Images