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Strong and successful

Powerful, hard-working women are at the heart of our community.
In celebration of Women’s Month, we meet some of the most driven women on the North Coast, and find out what keeps them inspired.

For 23 years, PR and Communications consultant and ex-Sandton resident, Ali Cockburn chased deadlines, sat in airport lounges writing media releases, worked 15-hour days, most weekends and once even woke up at 3am, whilst on holiday in Palm Beach, Florida to do a media interview on behalf of a client! “I was on the verge of burnout when my doctor told me to get another interest or hobby or face the inevitable. That hobby turned out to be painting. Two years later I was in New York exhibiting my work where I broke the gallery record when one of my paintings was sold within 20 minutes of the exhibition opening to the public!”
A year later, Ali launched ACA – Ali Cockburn Atelier, a home décor range, featuring her artwork. The range includes scatter cushion covers, tablecloths, runners, napkins and aprons in cotton and linen. Wallpaper, greeting cards and handmade resin platters and bowls complete the ACA range.
“My advice to all women in their 50’s who are perhaps facing burnout or who are at a crossroads in their careers or personal life… it’s never too late to try something new, be successful, but more importantly, be happy! Details: 083 4567 144, [email protected], www.alicockburn.com, IG: @alicockburnatelier, FB: ACA – Ali Cockburn Atelier

For Cara, running her own business and being a full time mom is the biggest challenge she has ever faced – but, it’s also the most rewarding thing she’s ever done. “Watching both grow and develop each day inspires me to keeping going no matter what hurdles we face. I find doing what works for me and my family without being afraid to make changes as their and my needs change. We live in a world that is constantly changing, but keeping myself focused on what is happening in the present helps me not miss out on life.” Details: www.rainfarm.co.za, www.yembenilodge.com,

Changing your life sometimes isn’t easy and you need a guide. That’s what Sharon does at Mindfit Coaching Academy! Her and her team guide individuals from all walks of life, including couples, teens and professionals, as well as corporates and businesses to transform their lives and achieve success and peace with personal and group coaching programs. “Helping people transform through our coaches training is open to anyone who feels called to serve. If you are on a journey of self-discovery and seeking inner peace, this is for you! Registration is now open for The Awakening, an exclusive group coaching program designed to help you uncover your wisdom, find your purpose and live a life of peace and contentment.”
Details: Sharon [email protected], Dee [email protected], www.mindfitlifecoaching.com, FB: Mindfit Coaching Academy

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Anna is the founder of the well-known sleepwear brand, The Sleep House. The Sleep House is the ultimate self-care shop. Whether you are waking up, or calling it a night, items from the store serve as a reminder to find beauty in the everyday. Although Anna spends much of her time thinking about rest, she has had to learn to balance her jam-packed work schedule with the right amount of family and personal time so that she can actually get enough of each. She always says that becoming a mother has made her value time in a whole new way, and keeps her inspired daily.
Details: [email protected],
IG: @alsleepwear


Owner and principal instructor at TashB Pilates, Tash stays in a healthy routine with a 4:30am rise, when she starts her day with her favourite collagen coffee and a ‘let’s go’ attitude. “My heart’s deepest desire is to educate people about the great benefits of good physical posture, and also to encourage everyone to have a good posture of the heart.” TashB Pilates was launched in 2007, and offers a clear, kind and consistent approach to educating clients about
the wellbeing of their bodies and minds. “I am grateful for the people in my life that encourage me and hold me accountable to continue serving in my field of favour.”
Details: [email protected], www.tashbpilates.co.za,
IG: pilatestash,
FB: TashB Pilates


Jane is the owner and designer at McCarthyWolff, a Durban-based company that specialises in fairytale-inspired wedding gowns and vintage corsetry. She is also an artist that creates textural floral artworks. All of her work is incredibly feminine and unique. Each art piece, be it wedding gown or painting, stands alone and becomes an artistic showpiece. Jane has a natural flair for adding a poetic and dreamy touch to her creations.
This unique combination often results in fantastically decadent pieces that wouldn’t be out of place in a fairy tale.
Details: [email protected], www.mccarthywolff.co.za,
IG: @mccarthywolff @jane_wolff_art



Dancing professionally in Paris for five years, living in Asia for three, working as a freelancer in-between and now setting roots as a working mom in South Africa have all played a role in the way Kayla hustles. She has had a career shift since COVID and the birth of her first-born twins – from a life on the stage, to real estate and most recently exercising interest in interior design, she has always loved the creative and design side of life and work! During COVID, Kayla and her husband created Earth & Ice Smoothies. “It honestly excites me to hear the positive health influences our smoothie packs have in the lives of our customers!”
Details: 079 088 5134, IG: @kaylarick_property and @earth.and.ice.smoothies


‘Coffee Queen’ Viki Ferreira is the hands-on owner of the Bike and Bean Group, which she started in 2013. One shop at Country Club beach soon became four, with B&B coffee shops now in Umhlanga (Forest Café), and On Point and the Bean & Bistro, both at the Waterfront. Each of the shops offers an eccentric, vibrant destination for Durban residents and visitors to the city, to meet and mingle over the perfectly brewed cup of coffee, fresh baked goods or a simple, delicious meal. While coffee is at the centre of what they do, the community is at the heart of the business. Details: www.bikebeandurban.com, FB: Bike & Bean Durban

Susie started her independent travel agency over 10 years ago. Fast-forward to post-pandemic and Daniella jumped on board, making them a mother-daughter duo. With a combined 42 years within the industry, travel is their passion! “No itinerary is too big or too small; we are dedicated to providing holidays for any destination, occasion, interest or budget and are on-call for our clients 24/7. With ever-changing regulations and schedules, the need for a personal agent is more important now than ever. Travel is back and it is booming!”
Details: Daniella 0721094851 / Susie 079 068 3181, IG: @travel_tyme_sa, www.traveltymesa.co.za

As the event director of Bosse Events, Catherine has continuously pursued her ambitions with unwavering determination. Her passion for creating extraordinary experiences and bringing people together has been the driving force behind her journey. Her journey began with a deep desire to empower women, which led her to establish a women’s social club that fostered connections and personal growth. Through this endeavour, she realised her love for event management and founded Bosse Events. The opportunity to craft unique and impactful experiences keeps her inspired. Bosse Events specialises in team building and corporate event planning with a difference, and was a recent top ten finalist in the Standard Bank EmpowerHer Awards. Details: 063 877 6570, [email protected], www.bosseevents.co.za

Carol has over twenty years of experience in the property industry. With degrees in Law, Psychology, and Management, Carol brings a wealth of expertise to the real estate industry and defies the blonde stereotype! Her passion for property runs in her blood, hailing from a family of conveyancing attorneys and developers. She believes that real estate provides women with the flexibility to balance their dual roles of parenting and career. Carol manages multiple award-winning offices and has a keen interest in property developments. She values her family, is a qualified yoga teacher and advocates for more women in leadership roles. Details: Shop 12 Lighthouse Quarter, Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga, 031 561 5300, [email protected]


Strength and performance coach and founder of OTG Method, Lil specialises in human movement, bridging the gap between muscular skeletal rehab and strength and conditioning. Covid shut her facility in the heart of Umhlanga down after seven years and Lil used this as an opportunity to take her skills and experience online and internationally. She now coaches clients and athletes in over 26 counties worldwide via her digital platforms. Developing physical strength transfers into not just great athleticism but mental resilience, confidence and building an unbreakable resolve in everyone who trains for it. Visit www.otgmethod.com 076 494 5253, [email protected],


A strong woman who understands that gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition, and emotional connections – this is Dr Michelle Blom. A devoted wife, mother and doctor who worked her way to the top of the medical aesthetic world after her maternal instincts kicked in, and her need to be more present as a mom, took priority. This is a decision she is always grateful for as it opened up the world of patient relationships and beautification, as well as personal and business growth. Her goals have materialised in the form of The Good Skin Co, a place for finding the best of yourself. Details: 066 4798565, [email protected], IG: @drmichelle_blom



Caryn is the owner of Dandelion Designs, a full-service interior design company. The company specialises in creating cohesive designs and issuing plans and schedules for all interior finishes and fittings for both residential and commercial spaces that require renovation or new-build construction. Being a mom of two beautiful girls is what drives Caryn to achieve and succeed in business. “I want to be a great example to my girls. Whatever they set their hearts and minds to can be achieved with hard work and dedication. I want to empower them to never limit themselves. Positive self-talk, work/life balance and time planning are my greatest challenges, and I hope to teach them these skills.”
Details: 072 707 7016, [email protected], IG: dandeliondesignssa


The power of collaboration, and witnessing the transformative impact of her designs on her clients’ lives, is what keeps Tarryn inspired. She loves creating a harmonious blend of functionality and aesthetic beauty; and the unwavering support of a diverse and talented team fuels her creativity. She is dedicated to her craft and passionate about empowering women in the industry. Tarryn is grateful for the opportunities, challenges, and triumphs that shape her journey as an interior designer and business owner.
Details: [email protected], www.callaandtaia.com, IG: @callaandtaia


Casey Jeanne is a visionary when it comes to custom bridal pieces, offering a contemporary take on what it means to be a bride today. While designing gowns, Casey started her fourth business – Lumiére by Casey Jeanne, designing, making and selling luxury candles. She is inspired by travel, learning new things, regularly reviewing goals and progress and other leading women in business. “I believe ‘creating’ keeps me inspired in whatever form; the more I create, the more I am inspired.”
Details: www.caseyjeanne.com, www.lumierebycaseyjeanne.com,
IG: designer_casey_jeanne and lumiere_by_casey_jeanne


Kim Woods is the co-owner of Tyson Properties Durban and has worked in the property industry for over 26 years. With a focus on people and service excellence, Kim leads her team of estate agents with integrity and care and lives by the motto: “Treat everybody like family.” She has curated a dynamic and formidable team who are committed to assisting clients with all their buying, selling and rental property needs. Kim is inspired by people who continually go out of their way to help others and have an inordinate ability to keep smiling through every adversity.
Details: 082 772 0335 / 031 3129500,
IG: @tysonpropertiesdurban



If there was ever a woman to move against the grain and fully immerse herself in her passion, it would be Sharon Khuzwayo from Take Your Seat Events. Creative and professional, Sharon moved from a corporate career to her creative calling – floral design and event planning and coordination. Her inspiration comes from God; she is constantly intrigued by how He created the world and nature. She also finds inspiration in mundane things that escape the ordinary eye – things like texture, fabrics, colour or even evoking emotions. “What inspires me the most is to find out how far I can go, how I can push myself, improve and learn while creating and building my business.” Details: www.takeyourseatevents.co.za, IG: takeyourseat_eventsplanning

You may have seen her running the streets of Durban or in a coffee shop before the sunrise making friends with baristas or a stranger’s dog. Donna Small is 28 years old and the owner and founder of Double Tap Studio. For six years, the Double Tap team has been providing marketing services and creative solutions to SMEs. Donna is inspired by a change in scenery; whether it’s a flight across an ocean or a simple adjustment in routine. She loves a good book, preferably non-fiction and printed in hard copy. People are where her passion lies as she explains; “I am inspired by people who are passionate about what they do and those that generously share their time and knowledge with the world.”
Details: www.double-tap.co.za, IG: doubletap_studio



Daniela d’Hotman de Villiers is the 30-year-old powerhouse behind Savvy Social, a thriving social media agency dedicated to helping businesses grow through the savvy use of social media. With over eight years in digital marketing, she’s the CEO and founder of the company, a top10 finalist for the recent Standard Bank Top Women Awards, and head tutor for Red & Yellow’s Social Media Marketing Online course. With her savvy entrepreneur spirit, Daniela believes in the power of action – taking just one positive step forward every day towards your goal and that “your only competition is the person you were yesterday.”
Details: [email protected], 083 268 7094, www.savvysocial.co.za


Kiki has always loved the allure of the beach. “It goes beyond sun, sand and surf; it’s a lifestyle captivating our hearts and minds. Embracing the essence of this, I created Kiki Beach Concept Store in Umhlanga Rocks.” Kiki wanted to offer more than a beach shop, but rather a store encompassing daily feel-good and holiday needs. The store is a one-stop shop, offering a range of tanning solutions with a unique retail experience. “We offer the much-loved Collagen Tan Can, which is my personal go-to, professional spray tans, as well as a variety of tanning products and a carefully curated selection of beach and resort essentials. Every store item reflects both style and sustainability, all from my favourite local and international brands.”
Details: 062 037 8379, [email protected], IG: kikibeach_conceptstore, FB: Kiki Beach Concept Store


Denise Sonny is the founder of DENISE SONNY, an executive search consultancy operating throughout EMEA. Her strong marketing background together with exposure to organisational effectiveness, transition and transformation is the foundation to her success as a strategic advisor to C-Suite executives on identifying, attracting, and onboarding high-potential leaders globally. For her empowerment efforts, she was recognised as a finalist at the Standard Bank Top Women EmpowHER Conference. Her personal motto is: “If you do not believe in your brand, do not expect anyone else to believe in it”. Denise is also a worship leader, loves to travel, and her super power is resilience.
Details: 010 592 0944, [email protected], www.denisesonny.com

64-year-old wife, mother and property consultant Jean believes that you’re never too old to chase your dreams. Having spent 30 years in the sales industry, Jean always dreamt of being in the property field. She joined Wakefields Durban North in 2019, and amidst the Covid 19 pandemic and personal health issues, she overcame the odds and is now thriving in the property industry. Jean quotes Michelle Obama, “There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish.” She truly believes that age is really just a number and if you want to achieve your goals, you have to persevere and never give up! Details: Wakefields Durban North, 24 Swapo Road, Durban North, 031 571 1200 / 076 500 7794, [email protected]

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