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Strong & successful…

There are very few things that can stop a determined, strong, hard working woman. Meet some of the top female business owners on the North Coast and find out what drives them to succeed.


Described as ‘a light whose positive nature shines brightly’, life coach Sharon has a zest for life that is rare. She dedicates her time to helping people transform their lives, and ‘be the change, we wish to see in the world’. As an inspiring leader and in-demand speaker, trainer and coach, Sharon has helped people all across the globe, from all walks of life to transform their lives and change their brains! A fully accredited Brain Based Life Coach, Sharon has been involved in the personal development industry for 38 years. She is also a wife, mother and grandmother. With over 38 years of experience Sharon has coached thousands of people to create fulfilling lifestyles both in their personal and professional lives. Details: Shop 21, Burnedale Place, Salt Rock Road, Umhlali,
083 449 5670, [email protected], www.sharoncastlecoaching.com, FB: SharonCastleHealingLifeCoach, IG: @coachsharoncastle/

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In August of 2006 a local health shop was put on the market and, armed with very limited knowledge of the retail business but filled with passion for the health industry, Judy Martin took the plunge and Lifestyle Health was born. Fourteen years later, Judy is as passionate as she was then. She has gained loads of knowledge and has loved serving the community through her health shop.” I am as convinced now as I was then that a healthy lifestyle puts us at a distinct advantage when it comes to fighting modern diseases.” Details: Lifestyle Health, Shop 24A Lifestyle Centre Lifestyle Centre in Ballito, 032 946 0441.



Studio Mitchell is an interior design consultancy based in Ballito – home to London-trained principal and creative director Amy Mitchell. Studio Mitchell offers full service interior design solutions for residential and commercial clientele. Having studied and worked in London for a number of years Amy relocated to SA to open her own interior design company. Whilst she has always been interested in all design genres, her passion is to embrace nature, creating authentic, thoughtful and liveable spaces. Her focus is to create a lifestyle for living – with truly comfortable, classic and contemporary pieces. Details: www.studiomitchell.co.za / https://www.instagram.com/studiomitchell/


“Success does not come without hard work or taking a risk. You need to be brave in order to survive in the world of business.” A wife, mother to teenage twins, competitive solo line dancer and client services director for Brunational Vanessa Frances has been involved in the manufacturing of beauty products for the past 17 years. She opened the Brunational Factory shop and distribution centre in Ballito eight years ago with the aim of providing quality skin and body care products to the public and beauty industry at affordable prices. We love our customers and are always willing to go the extra mile to assist with their requirements or new developments. Details: Vanessa 083 600 4211, 032 586 1406, [email protected]


Interior designer Margaret Berichon has completed numerous Interior projects since she opened her business in 2005. Working closely with architects and their clients, her team creates beautiful spaces, often working on numerous projects at the same time. This, she says, is a testament to their service. “We create Interiors that are authentic and spaces that reflect the people that inhabit them.” Margaret specializes in residential renovations and new builds as well as project management, full interior specifications, kitchens, B.I.C’s, cabinetry, and bespoke furniture design. Margaret is one of a few NHBRC registered women in the country. Details: B Design Studio 082 716 6914 [email protected], www.bdesignstudio.co.za


Karien Hunter is a well-known property lawyer and property expert. She is the founder and director of renowned Durban property law firm, AMC Hunter Inc and boasts 30 years’ experience in property law, corporate governance and dispute resolution. She now brings this wealth of expertise and knowledge to real estate agency‘ and body corporate management company, PropDirect. In addition to her skills as a property lawyer, and dealing with large volumes of property sales and transfers, Karien has had hands-on experience in managing an estate agency and has assisted and advised numerous scheme and developer clients. Details: AMC Hunter Inc, 032 946 2337, [email protected], www.amchunter.co.za


Candy Butler, owner of Summa Foods, lives a healthy life and has been a personal trainer for many years. Her passion for healthy eating became a way of life and when she became a mother, caring for the health of her child confirmed to her that one’s happiness and productivity is heavily influenced by what we eat. It was through this journey that her passion for smoothies grew. “My smoothies are healthy and tasty … and so convenient. I started sharing my smoothies with family and friends and realized I could freeze the ingredients and have them ready to blend before school or work, or gym.” Candy recently launched her tasty range of Summa Smoothies through Summa Foods. Details: 072 807 5796 [email protected] www.summafoods.co.za @summa.foods


Lara James is the founder owner of The Ballet Lady dance-wear shop. A woman-lead and run business, Lara and her team pride themselves on delivering great, personalised service. “We are professionally trained to fit dance shoes, especially pointe shoes, so that the dancers get the best possible fit and have an amazing experience in our store.” Lara also provides a customized sewing service to make leotards and dancewear. They stock dance gear and shoes for ballet, modern, tap, contemporary, ballroom and Latin, as well as gymnastics and Spanish dancing. They have two stores. Details: The Ballet Lady, 98 Ferguson road, Glenwood, Durban, 082 826 9922 and Burnedale Farm, Salt Rock, 073 628 3649.


Founder and owner of Ashleigh D Hair, Ashleigh is a strong entrepreneur who started her business in Salt Rock in 2011. A visionary, who steers the business in positive and challenging times (including the COVID-19 crisis), Ashleigh has shown leadership in keeping the business alive and pivoting to create employment and continue serving customers. The salon celebrates their talented committed staff who serve amazing, loyal clients. “A heartfelt thank you to our team, clients, suppliers and community for their ongoing support. We are in business because of you.”
Details: Ashleigh D Hair and Nails Salon, 032 525 5227, WhatsApp: 084 046 8354, [email protected], IG: ashleighdhairnails, FB: Ashleigh D Hair & Nails


Founder and managing director of MATRIARCH, Leanne Pechey is a matriarch in her own right. A past winner of the Businesswomen’s Association (BWA) Regional Business Achiever Awards, which recognises outstanding South African businesswomen, Leanne is passionate about growing the field of cause-related marketing. Her hope is that more money from brands and corporates will be used responsibly to fund programmes and initiatives that make a marked and meaningful difference in the world. A charismatic and nurturing leader, Leanne has headed up her national experiential and marketing business for over 21 years. Amongst their top clients are Woolworths, Standard Bank, Beiersdorf, Illovo Sugar SA, Pioneer Foods and Unilever to name a few.
Details: www.matriarch.co.za, FB:https://www.facebook.com/MatriarchSA/?fref=ts


Inventor, CEO and equality innovator Sarah Collins is best known as the creator of the Wonderbag. Over the past 12 years over 1.5million Wonderbags have been activated and Sarah’s dedication, resilience and determination have earned her numerous international ac-colades. The Wonderbag is a non-electric portable slow cooker that not only saves lives from smoke inhalation but aids in combating deforestation, providing time for women to work and for children to go to school and preventing rape (82% of rapes happen while gathering firewood). Amazingly, Wonderbag now offers appealing investment opportunities for heavy carbon producing businesses to offset hundreds of thousands of carbon credits through Wonderbag’s various mitigation projects.
Details: Twitter and IG:@TheWonderbag FB: Face-book.com/TheWonderbag, www.wonderbagworld.com


Jenny is the founder of Beach and Beyond, one of South Africa’s leading swimwear manufactures and retailers. After spending 12 years in the swimwear industry in London Jenny saw a gap in the SA market for really beautiful swimwear. She launched her business in 2011. Jenny and her team have adapted to the turbulent times, switching from making biki-nis to making silk masks and loungewear as the customer’s needs change. “We are lucky to have our own design studio right here in Ballito so we can offer made-to-measure swim-wear, resortwear and loungewear.” She also empowers local women through job creation in the stores and design studio. Details: Ballito Lifestyle Centre, 032 586 3221 / Ballito Junction, 032 586 0668 / Umhlanga Centre, 031 561 1939 / Gateway, 031 5847423.


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