Bright Sparks

The CheekiFig Brand Visionaries

April 29, 2016

Meet the superbly stylish duo Petrie van der Walt and Irma Du Toit from CheekiFig Brand Visionaries. Responsible for the fabulous OFS Smart Repair style, CheekiFig helps businesses to ensure their staff ‘look, feel and do the part’!

“Instead of forcing all employees into 20th century copy and paste corporate suits, we create freedom of self-expression within a strong brand framework. We establish brand culture. Starting with each individual we work towards the brand. Inside out. We create brand authenticity, personalised. Represented by each individual! CheekiFig start with clothing, but end with brand ambassadors for your business” Cheekifig

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Introducing Pioneering Petrie van der Walt

  • Name: Petrie
  • Surname: van der Walt
  • Age: 28
  • Profession/Life’s work: Founder of Cheekicherri Trendstore, Co-Founder of CheekiFig Brand Visionaries. Visionary by profession, Pioneer by design, Philanthropist at heart

So, what’s your story?

  • Where were you born? Bloem
  • Where did you go to school? Hoerskool Garsfontein, Pretoria
  • Where and what did you study? Advertising at Planet Pixl School of Advertising
  • What was your childhood dream – what did you want to become when you were 6 or 7? A fashion designer or a lawyer, for as long as I can remember I was either dressing up family members to look “prettier”, in my opinion at least, or arguing my convictions about my opinions or theories, in hindsight not much has changed.
  • What was your first job? Since I was 14 years old I would spend school holidays working for my mom, in the insurance industry –juggling from administration tasks to telesales.
  • Advice that shaped you career? When I started my first business at age 20 after being retrenched from my very first job, my mom asked me one question that would essentially shape my future. “If you could choose to do anything, what would that be?”. I remember her saying “you are young enough to take risks, go do it “. Her and my dad invested in my dream by lending the start-up capital, in which they had no guarantee of ever seeing a return on investment. Yet their unconditional belief and support taught me to value people who believe in you. How we should cherish relationships.
  • What gets you out of bed in the morning? The belief that what I am part of has the potential to change lives.
  • What motivates you? The privilege we have to work with extraordinary pioneers in the business world. Being a part of something bigger than myself and seeing the impact that our value proposition has on the businesses we work with. The fortunate role we get to play in assisting these industry innovators to establish their brand culture in a tangible way.  To experience the profound change from a neutral to a highly engaged workforce, when they discover their potential and understand their contribution to their business’ vision. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing this process unfold. It is humbling and fulfilling to be a part of the generation of business people that are busy crafting the future of our country.
  • How do you spend your down time? Down time? Lol! When I’m not working on expanding CheekiFig with my business partner inspiring Irma, I enjoy reading, jogging and drinking coffee. I’m also involved in awareness and prevention projects regarding human trafficking. Being involved in ground level of these dire circumstances, keeps ones the heart’ behind ones vision intact.
  • What does success look like to you? Success to me is the moment you realise who you are, and the reason you are alive. When you relentlessly pursue that purpose. When you recognise that it’s not only a privilege but a responsibility to steward your influence – that to me is success.
  • What sets you apart as an influential woman in business? I have for as long as I can remember always been an advocate for pushing the boundaries in whatever I applied myself to. I started my first business at age 20 with no relevant experience or qualification.  Dubbed pioneering Petrie by my business partner, I believe my mindset is what sets me apart; I believe that wealth is an inner state long before it manifests materially. My “overcoming- never- settling “mentality is my most valued attribute.
  • What are the valuable lessons you have learnt in business? Be strong, yet vulnerable. Be driven, yet feminine. Be determined, yet integrous
  • When I hire I want? What makes a great employee? An individual who recognises how his/her unique skill set could positively attribute to the vision of the business. Somebody that would see the corporate vision as a common goal, worth pursuing.
  • Give me 3 words that describe you best? Pioneering, persevering, purpose-driven
  • What are your 3 biggest accomplishments in your career thus far?
  1. Discovering my purpose, developing it into my career with the result being the founding of two businesses before the age of 28.
  2. Winning the Caxton Magazines national title for the styling of the Get It Free state cover
  3. Finishing second runner up in the Mazars for Good global innovation challenge, for our teams’ platform for social development, CollaborAfrica
  • I wish I could tell my 22-year-old self: It feels like just the other day I was drafting my 5year vision on that A3 paper canvas. If I could sit there on the floor again, I would whisper to my younger self – “dream bigger darling!”
  • Hidden talent: Dancing & painting
  • What other woman in business do you look up to? We are extremely fortunate to call the industry thought leaders, the business women who are truly game changers on the local as well as national business landscape, our clients. Women such as Jeani Meyer from OFS Smart Repair, who is completely reinventing the motor body repair industry in creating a new narrative, Lize Labuschagne from CPI, Anri Powell, Rone Verster to name only but a few. These local influencers are reinventing not only business on a local scale but nationally with international poise. Their thought leadership is impacting our entire community and is sure to have a ripple effect that will transcend borders. Not only are they inspiring but true change agents. They are accomplishing all of this whilst juggling the demands of being moms, wives and business women. It is a profound privilege to be able to work with and look up to these visionary women.
  • What is one characteristic that you believe every entrepreneur should possess? Humility – to always stay grounded regardless of success, to serve the needs of clients first and fore-mostly. Ex CEO of McCarthy, Brand Pretorius writes in his book, In the Driving seat “…buildings are merely a venue from which to serve our customers, but the bricks and mortar play a small role in our business. It’s the people that are important…”
  • What advice would you give someone starting their own business? Your vantage point when starting a business should centre on your vision. When you chase your vision, the rest will follow. Connect with other business owners, invest in a business coach or a mentor and remain focussed.

Petrie’s Favourites:

  • Colour : Current obsession, olive green
  • Food : Sushi
  • Brand or brands: Cheekicherri for trend, Zara for core and Ellie Saab for couture
  • Fashion Icon: Olivia Palermo
  • Signature item: The cape jacket
  • Happy place: Bookshops & markets with acoustic music
  • Band: London Grammar
  • If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be and why? This is a tough one… Probably Steve Jobs, to ask him what the next 10 years of his life would look like…
  • Quote: My business coach Diederik van Niekerk demonstrated the execution of the following well known philosophy to me ; “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” -unknown
  • Book or Magazine: Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill
  • Online inspiration: Ventureburn, http://ventureburn.com Start up News For Emerging Markets

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Introducing Inspiring Irma Du Toit

  • Name: Irma
  • Surname: du Toit
  • Age: 35
  • Profession/Life’s work: Purpose Finder and Enabler aka Visioneering Specialist

So, what’s your story?

  • Where were you born? Bloemfontein
  • Where did you go to school? Oranje Meisieskool
  • Where and what did you study? AAA International School of Advertising in Cape Town
  • What was your childhood dream – what did you want to become when you were 6 or 7? A Barbie Brand Lifestyle Designer
  • What was your first job? Graphic Designer at Artic Circle in Cape Town
  • Advice that shaped your career? Empirical Creativity, Fanatical Discipline, Productive Paranoia
  • What gets you out of bed in the morning? My 8 o’clock appointment with my personal & business coach
  • What motivates you? Play | Purpose and Potential
  • How do you spend your down time? Self Enrichment through studying, art, reflecting, pinning, experimenting, exploring and loving.
  • What does success look like to you? The setting and achieving of goals
  • What sets you apart as an influential woman in business? Integrity | Compassion | Empathy
  • What are the valuable lessons you have learnt in business? To base decisions on facts and the Importance of Principled Centred Leadership.
  • When I hire I want? What makes a great employee? Vision sharing | culture sharing | intentful
  • Give me 3 words that describes you best? Fame | Wealth | Beauty – Eze 16
  • What are your 3 biggest accomplishments in your career thus far? Learning | Loving and Leaving a Legacy
  • I wish I could tell my 22-year-old self: ‘Live with Intent!’
  • Hidden talent: Enablement!
  • What other woman in business do you look up to? God’s model women in Proverbs 31.
  • What is one characteristic that you believe every entrepreneur should possess? En’thu’siasm! – theos is the breath of God.
  • What advice would you give someone starting their own business? To view life with eyes of Faith!

 Irma’s Favourites:

  • Colour: Rose Gold | White | Grey – Especially the combination.
  • Food: Prrrrawns!
  • Brand or brands: Miss Poppy and Cheekicherri Trendstore
  • Fashion Icon: Sienna Miller
  • Signature item: Skinnies
  • Happy place: Brenton on Sea, me and he
  • Band: Mumford & Sons | Bethel
  • If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be and why? Christ my Saviour
  • Quote: Re-awaken Original Intent
  • Book or Magazine: Bible
  • Online inspiration: Pinterest

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