Women’s Month Entrepreneur #11 – Shiragh Saroop – Seafood Store Owner

In light of August being Women’s Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to promote some hard working mums. You could find the service provider you were looking for or be inspired to take that leap you’ve been dreaming of.

Q&A WITH SHIRAGH

1. Tell me a little about yourself without including details of your family and work (it’s tough I know 😂)

A little about myself, well, I am a bubbly 33 year old who always loves a good laugh and simply enjoys being around people. My hobbies include WATCHING any sport (NO not playing it), fast cars (Which I will one day own) and being around positive, accomplished people.

2. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

I have 2 boys, a quite subdued 6 year old and a feisty 3 year old.

3. What is your side hustle? And when did you start?

Durban Seafoods opened for the first time in Jozi on the 7th of October 2016. Its been something that was discussed at length between hubby and I and in August of 2016 we decided to take the plunge and bring something new and exciting to Gauteng.

4. What did you do before starting your own business AND what made you leave?

Being in the corporate world for over 5 years after coming back from New Zealand, I got a transfer from FNB in Durban to an FNB branch in the West Rand, Gauteng. In 2015 I went on maternity leave and upon returning to work in early 2016, to my shock, not even being back a week we were told that all positions were frozen and we were going through a retrenchment process. I braced myself and we were later told that we all needed to apply for a limited number of jobs. That’s when I decided to take voluntary retrenchment, not knowing what the future holds but hoping for something bigger and better. With our final day being the last day of May 2016, I found myself back in the job market, which wasn’t such a good move on my part as the more I applied for work, the more “Unsuccessful Applications” kept flooding my mail box.

Then, in August 2016, we went to Durban for a little holiday and my cousin, who had been in the seafood industry for over 20 years, said to me that I should start something “small” from home. So hubby and I discussed it and said Gauteng is a very fickle type of market and our mentality was “GO BIG OR GO HOME. We found a premises and told my cousin that this is what we were planning to do and he agreed with how we wanted to go about setting up a seafood shop. He also said he will be my supplier and help out where he can. With hubby being an Electrician by trade, he did everything electrical. The little pension that I received paid for the setup of the shop and my wonderful family came together and bought me 4 glass top freezers to get the business up and running.

5. How do you allocate your time between work and family?

Well, this is the hardest part about being a mum as well as owning a business. Between creche, the nanny’s weekends off (weekends being my busiest times) and running the business, you somehow find the time and also chase after your own tail most days, but you get it done. Since last year November, I have asked my brother to join the business, which gives me more time to spend with the kids. Now I have a Monday & Tuesday off which I spend with the little one and he loves having me there with him on those days.

6. What have been the hardships of running your own business?

This was a plunge like never before, even more intense than committing to marriage, LOL, however for a better life and the sake of my kids, we had to make it work. The biggest hardship is that there is never enough time in a day. Dealing with really quiet periods and the stress that comes with it, having to sacrifice time with the kids just so that you are able to provide. Up until now, its been all about survival and making this concept work but the potential is UNLIMITED.

7. What have been the highlights?

Being your own boss pushes the limits and that’s what makes you successful. Yesterday was one target- target achieved, today the target gets bigger hence the sky is the limit. I have always been a people’s person and doing customer service to drive my brand is a sense of accomplishment. Seeing people visit your shop regularly is also a positive highlight as it shows long term relationships/interaction and its not about the single sale. Meeting people from different walks of life makes you grateful for what you have.

8. What advice do you have for other women who are on the cusp of taking the leap into entrepreneurship?

DO IT, you never know unless you try. If you feel something has potential and you believe in it, why wouldn’t it work? Commit the time and effort and do the best that you can do BUT take all the help you can get, it makes life easier and help relieve the pressure off you.

9. How can we get in touch with you?

Durban Seafoods is based in Sunninghill at The Sunhill Centre on Tana Road, We also have a Facebook page that has called “Durban Seafoods”. To reach the store, the number is 0112341592.

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Disclaimer:

The services or products mentioned in the above post cannot be vouched for by this blog. Please use your discretion when hiring service providers. You can also follow this blog over on Facebook and Instagram.

xox

Nadia

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