With Women’s Month coming up, and girl power one of the most prominent subjects, it is only right to honor the women who make a difference in their communities.
It’s about time their input is recognised and acknowledged. Our Business Relationship Manager met up with a few businesswomen and asked them some personal and business-related questions that formed them to what they have become.
Meet Elmarie Erasmus, owner of Butterfly Cupcakes in Pretoria.
WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE THE MOST?
My kids. I’m the kind of person that always do and say funny things. And I do it to get reactions from my kids, and their reactions make me smile.
WHAT MUSIC MAKES YOU CRY?
Depends on my mood but I’ll say anything that moves my heart.
WHAT LITTLE THING MAKES YOU THE MOST GRATEFUL TO BE ALIVE?
Hugs and kisses.
ON HARD DAYS, WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO GET UP AND START YOUR DAY?
My kids. Because I strive to be an example for them and I know I cannot preach to them to do things or to be better then they were yesterday if I can’t set that example for them. And I’m not someone to just give up. Never. You get up and you try again. Day after day. If you need to rest, then rest. But you get up!
HOW DO YOU FIND STRENGTH WHEN YOU ARE GOING THROUGH HARDSHIPS?
I pray a lot. But not for a solution or for it to be easy. I pray for strength, to be able to work through it.
WHICH FAMILY MEMBER DO YOU CALL WHEN YOU HAVE GOOD NEWS TO SHARE?
WHO INSPIRES YOU TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE?
WHEN YOU HAVE TO CONFRONT SOMEONE, DO YOU CHOOSE TO STAND STRONG, OR TO NOT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL?
Stand strong for sure, I’m not one to back down easily. But I will also be the first to say I’m sorry or that I was wrong.
IS THERE SOMEONE THAT MADE YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE?
I would not say someone, but rather things that have happened to me.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN FATE AND THAT EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON?
I’m a big believer that everything, the good and even the bad things, happens for a reason. And you always have to find out what good can come from it or what you can learn. That is how you grow and get stronger.
WHEN YOU GOT YOUR HEART BROKEN FOR THE FIRST TIME, WHAT GOT YOU THROUGH IT?
I was lying in bed one night, sobbing and our neighbors were having a party and I heard the song of Lara Fabian “I will love again”. In the song, she sings, “I will love again, even if it takes a lifetime to get over you. Heaven only knows I will love again,” and right there I made the choice that for myself I have to be strong and not let a person break me.
WHAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD OF YOURSELF?
That I didn’t give up when I was kicked to the ground. I kept myself strong and got up. I’m proud of what I have accomplished until now. It was determination and hard work.
WHEN IN A CRISIS, DO YOU ACT CALMLY OR DO YOU AUTOMATICALLY FREAK OUT?
Survival mode kicks in, I’m calm but also act right away.
WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT?
Pain. I’m in chronic pain. I was diagnosed in 2018 with Osteoarthritis, a degenerative bone disease that there is no cure for. And it is causing so much pain in my bones.
IF THERE WAS ONE CHARITY YOU COULD DONATE TO, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Animals, kids and old people. All who don’t have a voice, especially animals. I’m a softy for animals.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN WHO WANT TO SUCCEED IN THE WORKPLACE?
Stand up for yourself. Believe in yourself. Trust your gut feeling. And most of all look after yourself. You can’t help others if you are not strong enough yourself. Get as much experience as you can get. Work hard and when you get knocked down, rest for a while, but get up again. Be better than you were yesterday and do better than the last project you were working on. Improve and evolve. And don’t lose yourself or your values along the way.
AFTER ALL THIS SUCCESS, WHAT DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH NOW?
That I may have to give it up. That I have to give up my passion and love for my work. Because of my illness and the fact that I work with my hands, it is getting harder to do my work.
DO YOU THINK WOMEN FEEL INTIMIDATED IN BUSINESS?
Yes, I think women do feel intimidated in business.
HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
Sometimes it is difficult to keep all the balls in the air. But first comes my family and then my work.
HOW DID YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY AND WHO/WHAT HELPED YOU ALONG THE WAY?
Blood, sweat and a lot of tears. Hard work and to keep on going no matter what happens or how I feel. My husband and mother are my biggest fans and their faith in me boosts me to do better.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT LEADERSHIP, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND MENTORING OTHERS?
You have to believe in yourself. That you don’t say no, even if you don’t know how. You can always learn and be better. You need to set the example and be a doer
WHAT HAS BEEN THE ROLE OF LUCK IN YOUR SUCCESS?
I don’t think I will call it luck. Rather using the opportunities wisely, and where there were none, I made them myself.
“An empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description.”