Jana Leonard is the founder of decor brand, Baskiti – a range of hanging handwoven storage baskets for your home!
Baskiti was born during the initial 21 day lockdown in South Africa when Jana’s son, Axel, embraced his love for sports by throwing their veggies around the home.
“I knew there had to be another solution.” adds Jana. Baskiti was born within 1 week!
Here, she shares her entrepreneurial journey as owner of PR Agency, Jack & Jill Communications and owner of Baskiti.
1. Please can you tell us a little more about yourself, your career and what you are doing right now?
I am a wife, mom and entrepreneur! I have a BTech degree in PR and have been in the PR Industry for more than 10 years, running my own PR Agency for just over 3 years. Over the past few years I have realised my true passion – apart from PR that is – entrepreneurship! I have a huge passion for educating, mentoring and assisting small businesses with entrepreneurial endeavours and advice, as well as PR for small businesses so it wasn’t a huge surprise when I launched Baskiti as a second business.
When we sold out of our Baskiti hanging baskets in one week, I knew I needed some help and quickly brought someone on to join the Baskiti team.
Right now I am fully invested in both my businesses – making sure all our clients are very happy – while being a mom to my 18 month old, the inspiration to Baskiti.
2. What has been your biggest challenge during lockdown and to follow up on that, your biggest lesson?
I have always run a business that is focussed on billable hours and not actual product with (loads) of overheads and expenses and it was a huge shock to the system.
Throw in lockdown, money invested into product which you cannot actual get due to suppliers being closed etc., clients wanting to pre-order and you have huge challenges on your hands.
My biggest lesson from this is: be honest with your suppliers and your customers, people are more understanding than you think. We are all navigating through this pandemic and no-one really knows what they’re doing, but we are all doing our best.
3. As an entrepreneur and business owner, what has been the one piece of advice you have ever received which you’d like to pass on to the person reading this right now?
Save your money, spend what is needed and don’t spend unnecessarily.
At the end of the day, all entrepreneurs want to turn a profit in order to further grow their businesses and by not spending unnecessarily, you make it just a little easier to do so.
4. What has – without a doubt – been your proudest moment?
Launching Baskiti with no outside investment, it is fully self-funded.
It hasn’t been easy and a lot of hard work and long hours went into building up my savings.
5. What is the one thing you know now, which you would tell your 16 year old self, and why?
Enjoy the ride. Life isn’t that serious! Learn from your mistakes, cherish great memories and embrace your failures (but always learn from them).
6. Where can people get hold of you?
Instagram: @janavdspuy // @baskiti_cpt // @jackandjillcommunications