Meet the founder of Ramina Creatives, Tess Chauke. Through her creative spirit, Tess has managed to turn her hobby & passion into a growing business. Instead of arranging events for friends and helping them come up with ideas on what to gift their loved ones for free, she saw an opportunity and Ramina Creatives was born.
Many people can relate to the challenges of having a day job and running a business on the side, which is known to be a very time-consuming feat! Below I speak to Tess on how she manages to juggle all three…
Interviewer: Bombeleni Maswanganyi
Tess, the year 2017 saw you start your first job, and additionally, you also founded Ramina creatives. What has been the greatest experience about working a job while running a business?
Working under a business man like my boss teaches me so much about running my own business professionally. My biggest experience with doing the two at once is learning to manage my time, along with respecting my time and my client’s time. I have also learnt to take care of my clients and meet their needs in the best way possible.
Gifting people or organising small gatherings such as a colleagues farewell or birthday party is the norm, but you seem to take it a step further and have actually turned this into your passion. Could you tell us about the journey that led to the formation of Ramina Creatives?
My business was greatly influenced by my love for creating things and my innate gifting nature. I had to gift a friend, so I combined objects I had in the house and made a gift, and it came out perfectly – the receiver actually thought it had been purchased! And on many occasions I had friends asking me what to get for a gift and my ideas were always sentimental because those are the kind of gifts I love receiving. It’s always gifts that say, “I know you and I knew you would love this” that do the trick. From there I thought ‘why not turn this into a business?’
How do you balance your day job, studying and doing work for Ramina?
Just reading the word “balance” makes me lose balance all together, jokes aside!
Let me start by telling you my daily routine for all three. I wake up, go to work, and leave work at lunch time to go to school; come back from school and work on my business. Now to explain the balance in simple terms: I never take work home and I never take my business to work. School happens during school hours and in between my personal “business” hours. My business doesn’t require much of me having to be up and down or let me rather say it hasn’t gotten to that level as much.
You have managed to expand and reach a very large client base in just a year, exactly how or what are you doing?
So my business runs on about three platforms currently, Instagram with the biggest audience, then twitter and WhatsApp. Actually part of the reasons why I started my business came from the huge network that I have, I know so many people and when I was thinking of how the marketing for my business was going to be like I already had a picture of where my support system would come from.
A special shout out to my friends, family and acquaintances, as they are the biggest support for my business. I’ve gotten calls from people requesting that I organize something for them just as a form of support, and I appreciate that so much and people who find out about my business on any platform, I appreciate the support as it gets me going.
What is most fulfilling about what you do?
I do everything with passion so it does not feel like effort at all; I think that is very fulfilling for me. Moreover, seeing the smiles on my client’s faces after using Ramina services and taking it to lengths of recommending our services to show the satisfaction they got from the service delivery.
We live in a world where social media can be the greatest marketing tool, how has it helped you in your business?
From a very young age, I have always been a very technology inclined person so I move with the times. On all the social media platforms that I have, I have a relatively big following so introducing my business to my followers was a very easy job because I had already laid a foundation.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your business or as a young professional running a business?
Having to do my best in all three elements of my life is currently a big challenge. I am a student, an employee and a business woman and all these require my full commitment and best results.
Initially when the business started, I had a pricing challenge. Everything happened so fast and I never had time to really do an expense vs income task with the work I was getting , so I would find myself under-pricing clients and having to use my own money to cover up for the promises I made and end up with no profit at the end. But it’s a sacrifice I am proud of because it drove the marketing for my brand very well. Because with all that I still delivered on time and as per the client requirements.
Currently I am facing a challenge with delivery time. Some orders have had to be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances but I have made sure to make it up to my clients so we keep our business relationship and that has worked so far.
What are you hoping for as an entrepreneur?
I am looking into growing further by providing more convenient systems through having an online store where people can place orders and make bookings for the other services through an online system. I am also looking forward to more partnerships. Furthermore, I am also hoping one day I can be part of the positive drive to the economy by creating jobs in the business for the unemployed and empowering young females to work for what they want and let go of the fear of failing.
The biggest sacrifice I’ve ever made is…? Doing work free of charge for a client because I was feeling generous
The greatest self-marketing/branding tool is…? “You are never too important to be nice to people” That is my branding strategy. Technology wise: Instagram, twitter and WhatsApp
Women are…..? The future
Best investment….? My time into the things I love and am passionate about
Worst money mistake…? Using my business money for everyday use
Motivation in 3 words…? If you can dream it, you can achieve it. You said three words but the sky is the limit
Connect with Tess:
Instagram: Ramina_Creatives / Tess1s
Twitter: Ramina_Creatives / @Tess1s
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