Introduce yourself, what is the nature of your business?
I am Chantelle Goliath, I co-own Milli Distributions an imports and distribution company.
What inspired the launch of your business?
Firstly, my family and secondly for as long as I can remember I was told I am not good enough and nothing good can come from me by people close to me. When this opportunity presented itself I wanted to know my own capabilities and what strengths I possess to keep going forward even if there would be challenges and there were.
How did you know there was a market for it?
There was nothing like the Glory sanitary napkin on the market. Now there is a pad with a difference that helps with menstruation cramps, infections, super absorbent, biodegradable free from toxins and chemicals and 100% natural cotton.
How did you raise startup capital?
We applied to all government agencies but were declined each time even with a purchase order as proof. Eventually, 9 months later we went to Absa bank and they approved the loan.
Describe your business model and how you make money?
We do imports of our own products and distribution of other products locally.
What challenges have you faced and how did it overcome them?
Our biggest challenge was getting the funding as we were declined 3 times by the same government institution in a total of 7 months. We kept trying, believing it would happen and to stop trying was not an option. We believed.
What was your first big breakthrough?
When Absa said yes to fund us and Clicks listed us as a small supplier to supply them with the Glory sanitary napkin. When Mother Nature Products also came on board and listed our product with them.
What technology has made the biggest difference to your business?
I would say having the basics such as the internet and telephone was really effective in my starting up phase and got us to this point.
What marketing strategy has proven profitable for your business?
Word of mouth the old fashion way and then Facebook is very effective to what I need it to do including my WhatsApp platform that also allows me to post and engage with friends and family daily.
What remains a challenge for your business today?
That I am not taken seriously enough as a woman in business especially that I am new in this industry. I get tested for this reason I have mentors and they give great support. At the same time I educate myself through business programs that add value to my business growth going forward.
What was your biggest business mistake?
I can’t say I have made big mistakes yet and I really hope I don’t because big mistakes cost money and if you are a small business sometimes it takes a while to recover from it, but I have made mistakes thinking I know enough until I didn’t.