If Claire Du Preez does not motivate you to stand up and finally go after what you are most passionate about, then we don’t know what will! As Co-founder of Colour Me Healthy & Impressed Stores – a juice and smoothie bar that has soured in popularity in and around Johannesburg – Claire has worked as a cabin crew member on a cruise ship, an au pair and even as an office manager before realizing that her true calling lay in educating people on the importance of healthy food habits and incorporating them into your daily life. Her story below is one of passion, determination, dealing with obstacles and finding the courage to follow your dreams…
Full Name: Claire Kristy Du Preez
Current Title/Position: Co – Founder: Colour Me Healthy & Impressed Stores
Educational Background: BSc (Law and Political Science) – Rhodes University
Current City: Johannesburg, Gauteng
Claire, you are the co-founder of popular juice and smoothie bar, Colour Me Healthy, which can be seen at Joburg & Pretoria’s most prevalent markets such as The Sheds @ 1 Fox; The Tin Factory; The Fourways Farmers Market and Pretoria’s Market on Main to name a few. Take us through this brilliant and unique journey of co-founding your very own health juice and smoothie bar?
On completion of my undergrad degree, I decided that I needed a bit of adventure in my life. I loved different foods, cultures and countries so I joined a cruise ship as a housekeeper and travelled the world. After a year of country cruising, I moved back to Joburg where the real world reality hit me fast. I was in need of an opportunity to have a constant flow of income and settled on the first job that I could find – an au-pair. I swiftly decided that children are tolerable but only if they are yours. I then moved on and took a position as an office manager for a property company. I learnt a lot there, but there was still something missing! I always had a burning desire for food preparation and after surfing a few food lifestyle blogs and a visit to local food market I found a gap. At the end of my first year at the property company I was given a 13th cheque through the sweat, blood and tears I put into someone else’s business and used this to purchase my first juicer and some basic equipment. This tempted me to move on from the property world and throw my hands into retailing juices from food markets (any market that would take me). I always wanted to make a difference in a fulfilling an honest way and introducing juicing of fresh raw fruits and vegetables into people’s lives was the way to do it. The initial start did not yield financially so I took up an offer of a flexible position as a scent consultant, this way I could focus more on expanding Colour Me Healthy with the benefit of a stable income. My partner (Craig Herholdt) invested money into my vision coupled with the minor profits I saved with my presence at the food markets. Our first permanent store was born, ‘Impressed Store’ Melville. This was a revolution in the juicing field. Our juice bar was dark and different; based inside a shipping container, had challenging recipes and was unconventional in almost every way. We then needed to build a presence around the brand and make it available at every alternative spot in Joburg. ‘Impressed Store’ Maboneng materialized with a funky following making juicing and health acceptable and recreational to the youth and influential. We have recently looked to take our brand commercial and just this week ‘Impressed Store’ @ the Sandton Gautrain opened its doors. Our next step in colonizing an unhealthy world with a juice revolution and making it more accessible to all.
Colour Me Healthy incorporates unique cleansing juice recipes by using pure, raw fruits and vegetables. The business prides itself in improving the efficiency of the body’s natural “house-keeping system”. Where does your passion for educating and influencing others to lead a healthy lifestyle come from?
I wasn’t always fascinated by health; as a chubby youngster I much preferred hamburgers and chocolate milkshake. In high school I had Home Economics as a subject and my passion for food, cooking and recipe development was ignited. As I obsessed over watching The Food Network I realized just how fascinating and creative healthy food could be, this paired with my love for learning sparked something inside. I learn something new every day and love passing this on to other people. I recently started a Facebook page called Claire Kristy SA, on this page I share all of the wonderful things that I learn about healthy and natural living. My latest obsession is lavender essential oil, last month it was rose water.
Juicing and the habit of smoothie-making has become a phenomenon, yet you have managed to stand out and distinguish yourselves amongst many other businesses similar to yours. What do you think has been the main contributing factor towards Colour Me Healthy’s success?
From the onset, my business partner (Craig) and I decided that we wanted to be authentic; we wanted to do things the right way – no short cuts! This is what sets us apart. Just to name a few; we serve our products in glass bottles only, we cold press our juices one by one, we use raw fruit and vegetables only, our recipes are unique and perfectly balanced and probably most importantly – we value customer experience. We focus on educating the customer on recreational juicing, and why not educate the customer in a “cool” environment. That is why our store designs are unique and creative yet completely alternative and a great place to hang around. Not only will you walk out of the store with a healthy beverage, but you will walk out with some valuable information and an experience too!
As an entrepreneur and health enthusiast, how do you balance the need to purchase fresh produce on a daily or regular basis, with the need to make a profit?
After 2 years I am still working on perfecting this process. It involves lots of spreadsheets and giveaways to staff and friends! I used to wake up at 5am to move through the bustling farmers depots at City Deep bargaining and buying. I finally found a great company called ‘Lifestyle’ – they purchase from the JHB farmers market and deliver right to our doorstep now. We will never compromise on our fresh produce for profits. Customers are smart and should never be underestimated; any compromises in freshness will compromise our profits and return business. We look to perfect our buying process so minimal wastage is incurred , even though we have found a great balance we find that the produce no longer deemed fresh enough for our stores is still consumable by people who might need it the most.
What health habits do you believe the busy millennial woman should prioritise
– Don’t skip breakfast
– Include lots of RAW fruit and vegetables in your daily diet
– Avoid processed foods as much as possible
– Drink enough water
– Crash diets don’t work
– Moderation is the new modern
Colour Me Healthy’s juices are cold pressed and made from 100% fruit and vegetables. Could you kindly explain the term and importance of “cold pressed” to customers out there who aren’t familiar with it?
There are two main types of juicers; the centrifugal juicer and the cold press juicer. Centrifugal juicers are typically found in the kitchen cupboard. This type of juicer uses a fast spinning blade to finely chop up the ingredients which are then pushed through a sieve. The spinning of the blade causes friction and heat which destroys some of the valuable nutrients. Also, this process does not yield as much juice i.e. you have to use much more fruit and vegetables to get the desired amount of juice. The cold press juicer uses an auger to slowly crush fruit and vegetables, pushing them juice through a sieve. No heat is generated during this process and the yield is much higher. It does not denature the juice and contains more nutrients with a longer life span of 72 hours. It is the best was to extract juice from raw fruit and vegetables!
You currently offer juice delivery services and detox packages. Could you take us through the various packages Colour Me Healthy offers for prospective customers?
We offer a delivery service in Melville, Maboneng and Sandton. The ordering process is very casual and easy to do – send through a WhatsApp message to our number with your order and address and it will be delivered. We also offer a 3 or 5 day juice cleanse. This involves drinking cold pressed juice only for either 3 or 5 days. This is a great way to give your digestive tract a much needed break as well as the perfect way to get an influx of vitamins and minerals. All information is available on www.colourmehealthy.co.za
As an entrepreneur and co-founder of Colour Me Healthy, what have been your biggest obstacles and how have you overcome them?
Funding!! Craig and I have funded everything ourselves and that has definitely been the most challenging part. Having to inspire someone to invest in your business and be as passionate as you is incredibly difficult. Not to mention the amount of ‘’potential investor’’ time – wasters and lack of mentors out there willing to guide you in the right direction. Cut backs and sacrifices were made in our personal life to achieve our goal. As an entrepreneur, ensure that you have another source of income to cover your basic expenses because you need to re-invest and build the business up before you pay yourself a salary. Upon month end first pay staff, rentals and suppliers and only then myself and there’s usually not much left at the end in the start – up phase. Being young you are not taken seriously as an entrepreneur sometimes. Entrepreneurs are risk takers and generally taking risks at young age is the best time to do so as responsibilities are limited depending on your situation.
Creating all these delicious juices on the daily must be exhausting! Take us through what a typical work day looks like for you?
- Waking up with a self – forced and motivated plan of action
Store visits to check on our store standards
Meeting with Suppliers to try and test fresh ingredients and stock ordering
Stock dispatching to all our stores from our central hub
Staff meetings for trainings and motivation
A brief juice break
Strategy meetings with my business partner on all things juice and retail
Acting on all leads and developments I might come across that day
I then have to make my way home and focus on my home life with my life partner and business partner which is just as challenging as the work day itself
Time management is essential in order to get ahead of the chaos.
I generally prep for the weekends during the week as that is our peak trading days. Days off are non-existent in your own business. I love to spend time in my stores and the actual art of juicing within my stores becomes more of a therapeutic release as it is the only time I get to take my mind off the world around me and reflect a little.
Persistence is key, no matter how over-whelming and un-achievable a specific goal might feel at times.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and health enthusiasts?
As cliché as it might sound, find something that you love and pursue it. Passion will always provide. South Africa is a hungry platform for innovative ideas with receptive people so never stop testing, growing and learning .You need to be humble and realise that you don’t and may never know everything and that opens you up to thinking differently. Find a mentor and draw as much information you can from that person. Think quick on your feet and adapt. It is a trait that makes us a superior being on this planet and we are all born with it, so use it. Become as self-disciplined as possible with your daily routines and take the time to meditate, knowing thyself is key to growing thyself. Lastly life is your heaven and you can control it, do what you can to make heaven worthwhile.
Morning or night? Good Morning!
If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and what would you order? Ellen DeGeneres – Aubergine Parmigiana.
I wish I knew how to… do my own accounting.
South Africa is… a cultural melting pot of beautiful and diverse people with plenty to teach and learn
Worst money mistake… Thinking it is more important than passion
Best investment… Myself
Motivation in 3 words… You determine destinations!
Need a health kick? Contact Claire:
Email: [email protected]colourmehealthy.co.za
All images taken from http://colourmehealthy.co.za or provided by Claire Du Preez