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I never thought I’d write about this again but I realize now that it’s a huge part of my story to becoming an entrepreneur that actually (finally) pays herself a salary as well as a team who supports me.

In December 2004 I returned from my 9 month short (was meant to be 2 years!) working trip to Ireland and on the first day back I went straight down to Muizenberg beach, my local surf spot – I was so excited to get back into our ‘warm’ Cape Town water as I was a really keen surfer back then. I was only away for 9 months, but the increase of long sun-bleached blonde hair in the water was noticeable. Girls were everywhere. And they were ripping!

I was so excited – never had I seen so many girls in the water with me. How cool. After my surf I ran down to the surf shop to buy myself a copy of our local surf mag, expecting to see at least some photos of these local girls surfing, but alas, not one. My heart literally sank. Why were these girls being ignored?

With all the passion in the world at 22 years of age, I decided that I would make my own girls surfing magazine and ‘show these men what these young girls could do’ – I think I literally said that. And I did. 4 awesome issues, 12,000 copies and R150,000 worth of self-sourced advertising revenue later – and I was broke…

I won’t go into detail here, but industry politics and the big guns took me down. They were kuk about it too. They broke my spirit and I felt like an absolute failure to the core. A failure to all these beautiful surfers who deserved to be seen.

Looking back now though, I can see that it all happened exactly as it should have.

Every experience I’ve ever had, good or bad, has served me well. It’s helped me gain a sense of self and to know when to back down, when to stay silent and went to push forward.

So on this New Year’s eve of 2018, I’m silently thanking life for bringing me to here. This experience, which you’ll find out about soon enough, isn’t going to kill me.

I still cannot fathom the situation I am in, but I know that everything that has brought me to here has prepared me to be in this situation and I trust that something good will come out of it.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.”

~ Seth Godin

So watch this space coz I’m about to tell you one hell of a story! Please send me good energy, because my anxiety levels are through the roof.


  • Beth says:

    Reading this after the Woolworths post, and it is in perspective. WW has indeed been scaly. And you know what? I am voting with my feet and I will boycott them, for life. I swear Shannon, if my mother even buys vegetables on special from them, I will not eat them… One of the biggest issues I have with this whole debacle, second only to hurting entrepreneurship and job creation in a country that needs jobs, is their blatant “greenwashing”. How can a company that says they are “going green” continue to source products from China and made with textiles that hurt the environment?

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