We are very proud to announce that local glossy Get it is featuring our very own Jeani Meyer, Executive director of OFS Smart Repair and founder of Hello Smart Blog, and her family on their April 2016 cover. Herewith the article as it appears in Get it Magazine:
Glamorous Jeani Meyer
Business, family and smartlife are part of Jeani Meyer’s mandate. Executive director of OFS Smart Repair is both elegant, humorous and a great inspirational force for any working woman. Get It’s Thandi Xaba had a chat with her about all things family, business and inner and outer-beauty.
”I think what is important, is having balance in life. Also, to always have a good sense of humour and don’t take yourself too seriously. For a good life, also give credit where it’s due. You need to own up and tell people their value in your life,” she says.
This stylish mom of two co-runs their family business, OFS Smart Repair (started by their father 32 years ago), with brother Gysie. “My dad studied to be an accountant but he was always an entrepreneur and he is the founding director of our business. His first business was a truck-business, with him being the truck driver. He taught me to have an entrepreneurial spirit, he taught me to dream big, to put in the work and commitment and make it happen. He taught me there are no short cuts and if it’s too good to be true, then it is too good to be true,” she enthuses.
The day is warm and Jeani‘s home radiates an eclectic style, with beautiful décor, a pop of colour, detailed walls and interesting bold and eccentric patterns. Her two sons bring a glimmer to her eyes. “Jean is five, turning six this year and started Gr R at Grey College this year. He is such a sweetheart. He is the guy who first checks something out and sees if he is okay with it. Then he will go for it. He takes calculated risks, is very witty and into cars. He is also into drawing and writes me letters every evening, it’s very cute,” she beams.
Jeani speaks with great fondness about her kids. Her youngest is a ball of energy, a bubbly three-year-old, who runs around the wooden-floored kitchen with great enthusiasm.
“Jacques has the more fiery personality. He’s had us rushing to the emergency room on the odd occasion, but he is a little cutie pie, one moment joking and laughing and the next angry and not talking,” she says.
She feels each child deserves her full attention. “Remember, I have a demanding career and I feel I can handle two kids. I don’t want to be an absent mother. What I do for the one, I have to do for the other as well. If I bake cookies for a bake sale for the one, I need to bake cookies for the other… that’s the reason why two are enough for me,” she explains.
The interior of her home is greatly inspired by American potter and designer, Jonathan Adler, and carries a deep, warm and inviting ambience that leaves any visitor wishing to stay a while.
“Family to me, without sounding cliché, is my world. It’s intertwined and weaved into all aspects of my life. It’s not just a big part of who I am but also a major part of what I do. What I like about it, especially from a personal and professional prospective, is that there is a different level of love, trust, honour and respect. I think you are very fortunate if you can have that in your professional and private life.
“My hubby is Riaan Meyer, a physiotherapist who shares a practice, Boonzaier Meyer & Wentzel physiotherapists with two partners. I met him at varsity 16 years ago while I was in my first year and he in his 5th… so that was quite a ‘scandal’ and the seniors were not too happy! We both resided in hostels. He was in JBM Hertzog and I was in Wag-‘n-Bietjie and the thing about him – and I feel this is important to say – he really is my person, he is the yin to my yang, he is my best friend.
“I am very lucky, he is not just sexy but really smart and my favourite part of him is he that has an excellent sense of humour. Laughter is good for me. And he made me fall in love with his heart and his mind, which I think is important in a partner; that you get someone who challenges you and keeps you on your toes,” Jeani says.
The driven mother and businesswoman attributes her eccentric and stylish flare to her mother. “My mom was a teacher and after my brother, Gysie, was born she became a stay-at-home mom, like most women of her generation. She is an artist and paints professionally and she is one of the most creative and talented people I know. She raised us in an environment of colour, creativity, music, culture and laughter – things I think had a big influence on me because I am a very creative person.
“She taught me to think in pictures and colours but what I love about her is that even though she is arty, she is a very solid, “agtermekaar-vrou”. She taught me a lot about being an individual, standing up for myself and fighting my own battles. That, if I have an opinion, I should speak up.”
Jeani’s fondest memories are sewn together with fun holidays with family, visits to Dewetsdorp – where her parents are from and where some of her cousins still reside – and days when she and Gysie would create their own version of Wimbledon because they both loved tennis.
“My favourite time of the year is December. It’s the silly season but the 16th is also my birthday, so I associate that with a great time of the year and going on family holidays and getting to spend time with family and friends I love.”
In a moment of nostalgia, Jeani smiles: “I was very fortunate that I never felt I was wanting of anything and my mom and dad allowed us to make our own mistakes. I think that is very important. I read somewhere: When you become a parent, your kids are like an empty box given to you. You decide what you put into the box; it is your responsibility.
And when you think about that, it’s enough to freak anyone out because that is a LOT of responsibility. I was fortunate to get some pretty good stuff put into my box by my parents.”
“I’m a feminist. I’ve been a female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side,” she quotes one of her favourites by Maya Angelou.
- We went to: Get it cover shoot • Get it magazine
- We drank: Sparkling mineral water
- We wore: Jeani Topshop denim dress, Steve Madden sandals • Riaan Country road shirt, Kingsley Heath pants, Superdry flops • Jean Cotton on for kids Star Wars vintage T, Naartjie shorts • Jacques Cotton on for kids Star Wars vintage T, Sticky Fudge jeans
- Photography: Loren Battersby for Get It Magazine • Loren B Photography
- Hair: Rudi for Le studio Coiff • Le Studio Coiff
- Make-up: Annamarie Smith for MUD • Annamarie MUD