Meet Bronwyn – Our April 2019 Women In Business
First Name: Bronwyn
Last Name: Van Rensburg
Cell: 083 500 2405
Café Couches Beauty Blogger
Business Owner of Bronwyn Mckeown Photography, Bronwyn Mckeown Make up Artistry ,Belles and Braids (Hair and make up) & Cedarmint Trading (Personalised Gifts)
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a mom of 2 and a step mom of 4, I’m a make up artist, a photographer and I own a small gifting Company with my husband Warren.
We are really excited about a new business we will be starting in the next couple of months.
Let us know more about your Business, How you came into this Line of Biz.:
I qualified as a graphic designer after school and worked in the industry for five years, I then went over to the UK for two years, on a working visa when I was 20.
Once I returned, I battled to get a job in graphic design, as the market was flooded. I ended up doing a secretarial course and worked as a receptionist for two years, I hated every minute of it. I then found a design job and was able to resign and go back into creative work again. I met my first husband and ended up moving to Durban and living on a farm for two years, we had two beautiful children. We moved back to PMB and we ended up getting divorced. I was a single mom and now found myself in a predicament, where I didn’t want to be supported by an Ex. I luckily met a wonderful man four years later and we got married nearly two years ago, this is how I went from being a mom of two to a mom of 6.
I have always loved taking photos, so I decided that I would enrol in a photography course. It took me a year to complete, it was really hard with two young kids. I eventually got my diploma and used a few friends and their children as models, so that I could build up a portfolio. I have had my photography business for 6 years now, I specialise in maternity, new-born, family, boudoir and cake smash photography.
After a year of doing photography, I found that a lot of new mom’s that I was doing new-born shoots for, would often say that it would be awesome if I could work with a make up artist. I love make up and decided to do a course. I have now been doing make up for 5 years. I do make up for school dances, weddings and I have recently started doing make up lessons for young girls. I also partnered with a friend of mine, Joey and we started a business called Belle’s and Braid’s, where we offer a hair and make up service.
I am happiest when doing something creative, I like to be able to see my work, in the form of a photo, a product or the smile on a girl attending her first dance or bride, that I have just applied make up to.
Two years ago, we started a little personalised gifting company, called Cedarmint Trading, We do personalised mugs, shirts, cushions and wall vinyl.
Being a WIB/Mom in Business what are the challenges you face?:
Not having enough time in the day, having to make sure I am there for my husband and children when they need me and as well my clients. Trying to do photoshoots during the holidays and the kids are at home and nagging that they are bored can be super stressful. Having to give up some Saturday’s to do make up for Bride’s and shoots for clients who cant make it during the week. Thankfully I have a very supportive husband who helps out when I need to do this.
Any advice for other Women/Moms wanting to start their own Business.:
Make sure you have support! I have amazing parents who help me out with my kids, if I need to do a shoot or make up during the week or during holidays and I have an awesome husband who helps me on Saturday’s.
Make sure you love what you do, because if you decide to work for yourself then you cant hate the work you do as you wont put your best efforts into it.
Make sure that you give your self “work hours”. I didn’t do this until the end of last year and I really started to resent the work I did. I was editing till 11pm most nights and was constantly tired and I felt like I never had time to just sit with my kids and watch a movie.
Learn to say “No!” and not feel bad about it. I also stopped taking on every client that wanted a shoot on a day that suited them and actually worked times that were suitable to me.
What do you enjoy most about owning your Own Business, and would you recommend other women to take the leap?:
Now that I stick to “work” hours, I am able to spend more time with my kids during the week, weekends and holidays. I love the freedom I have to be able to go away with my family when I want, take my kids out for lunch or to a movie, be able to help them with their homework and studies and attend school functions and watch them play sport. I like that every cent I make, was made doing a job a love.
Cedarmint Trading (Personalised Gifts)