Engel & Völkers Southern Africa believes that property is more than just the actual houses for sale, it is about the people and the lifestyle. With a love for people and a passion for property, we enjoy a moment on the red couch with some of South Africa’s high profile personalities, to gain some insight into their lives on both a professional and personal level, and by delving into their property insights and preferences.
“This week we are kicking off our Women’s Month and focusing on some of SA’s powerful ladies. We had the privilege to sit down with Jacqueline Grobler,
South African Gin Maker (Ginifer) and entrepreneur. Here is what she shared with us…” noted Chantalle Bell, feature writer of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. “
A woman seldom daunted by the unknown, Jaqueline Grobler took each new challenge to heart, embracing the learnings and the education afforded by the school of life. Building a distillery from scratch, managing contractors, planning layouts with engineers was all in a day’s work and while at times intimidating, she still found it incredibly fun. Not someone who can be contained - this vibrant entrepreneur loved every moment of her journey to launching - believing boredom to be the real killer.
When talking about the tough days, she says that everyday made her realise just how deep she could dig for strength,always finding the resolve she needed to press on and retaining her sense of humour through the small setbacks along the way. Her first delivery of glass bottles came in two containers and she didn’t have a forklift operator to assist her. She laughs when she recalls single handed offloading 30 000 glass bottles with her little 3 ton forklift – a process that took five hours and left her unable to move her shoulders the next day.
Q> If you were to wake up tomorrow and find that you are a man? What would be the first thing you would do?
A> I would take full advantage of having a wife;I’ve always said I want my own supportive, loving wife. I would also be unapologetically bossy and enjoy telling people what to do without feeling guilty.
Q> What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
A> I don’t wear a wedding ring – I haven’t for years – and I was proposed to by a customer who was sampling our cocktails. I think he believed that any woman who can make alcohol must be the perfect woman.
Q> What is the best advice you have ever been given in business and who gave it to you?
A> That no degree or age will ever prepare you for what your own business will throw at you. You should always celebrate the small successes. It was my mother - a very wise woman indeed – who shared this sage advice with me.
Q> Any exciting new future plans on the horizon?
A> We have a few very exciting new products in the pipeline that are fun and light hearted. To be honest I am enthusiastic about every new product we launch; it’s like I’m growing our family. We have - Luvoa - a Craft Vodka and Venom - an African Moonshine – both of which are launching soon. Without sounding arrogant - these products are master pieces –truly exquisite; from their bottles to their unique taste profiles they are exceptional. We are confident that like our other brands, they will be well received by the market.
Q> You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
A> I would most definitely learn to ride the elephant and go ahead and cause chaos in the Sandton traffic; I’m not so keen on cleaning up after this animal though.
Q> What is the most important room in your home?
A> The kitchen is the centre of my home; I find creative expression through my love of cooking and baking.
Q> Could you tell us a bit about your own home?
A> I own a very old farmhouse in the centre of Sandton with thick stone walls fashioned in the shape of a Rondawel with a thatched roof. It’s quirky and odd, but it suits our family perfectly. We are surrounded by large trees; it’s our sanctuary.
Q> Do you have any interior style tips you can share with our readers?
A> I studied interior design and my favourite type of house is eclectic and individual. Style cannot be bought or imported.It comes from within and it comes from being you.