What started as a career in the corporate sector as a Facilities Manager was the perfect grounding to the building and success of this national brand.
Ayesha Salwary is energetic and fills a room with energy and laughter. She started Authentic Grass a few years ago. Having been in a busy corporate position and having to have a tutor to assist her children with homework, Ayesha realized that something had to change in her life.
A sad family terminal illness made her leave her senior corporate job and remain at home to care for the family. She first started with a healthy home food business – Authentic Foods which saw her cooking and supplying to many working moms. Whilst this did fulfill an immediate financial need it soon took a toll on her as the stress of doing everything from cooking, buying, marketing and delivery was just too much for a single person to handle.
After a conversation with her father – who was already in the synthetic grass business up in Johannesburg she opened an office for him here in Cape Town. It was not long before her first order came in. Not a small order I might add, but a huge A Grade building’s rooftop. Things just kind of snowballed from there.
Being an A-type personality it was not enough for Ayesha to just run an office in Cape Town for another company. She went of a mission and found out everything that one could about the synthetic grass business and even researched and found an overseas manufacturer. The climate is South Africa is different from other parts of the world and through working directly with the manufacturer it was no surprise that they developed a specific type of synthetic grass to withstand our conditions.
It was almost a natural progression to opening up her own business and keeping with the original name of her first business, the company was called Authentic Grass. This has laid the foundation of building the Authentic brand.
Now a few years later Authentic Grass has a national footprint with their head offices based in Cape Town. Ayesha is very hands on and every client receives her personal attention and then some. Its not just about getting the job and laying the grass, its about keeping that relationship going and staying in touch with clients, offering them a maintenance service.
Authentic Grass has also expanded their client offering from just synthetic grass to additional and cohesive services such as: Rubber Pour, Building & Maintenance, Paving, Drainage to mention a few.
When asked what the key 3 things she has learnt about opening and growing a business Ayesha was quite firm in her response;
Have a plan. Have a brand guide and Empower others – don’t just say you helping actually help. Share and teach skills, create employment and be involved in the growth and development of your own community.
Take a listen to Ayesha as she shares her story in her own words.
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