Honoured to chat to brilliant, loving and supportive mom, and woman of excellence and creativity Ronel Reid. She is proudly mom to SA Olympian Christopher Reid who had his debut Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this August. I recently had the good pleasure of meeting her in Rio where she passionately supported her champion son.
Ronel has a stunning blend of entrepreneurial and family spirit and has found a way to manage her brand of Lycra Wear successfully and still put her children’s needs on the top of the list. Ronel stands strong after the passing of her husband and daily strives to keep her promise to her late husband to raise and support their kids to realise their dreams.
Q: BEFORE RIO OLYMPICS
Your son, Christopher Reid, has just qualified for the Rio Olympics. Congrats! What is on your heart and mind right now concerning this amazing achievement?
I am relieved. It has been a lifelong dream for him. He is so passionate in his goals and I am so happy he has achieved them. It has been a lonely road, but my husband and I have always taught and advised him to stay humble, and simply to do his talking in the water. It’s all about who touches the wall first.
You have your own brand / range of swim suits and dance wear. Congrats! Tell me more about it.
I was actually a qualified teacher, but when I had my children I wanted to be at home. As they grew I started making costumes for them, their friends….and then realized….hold on…. there is a market. Kids always need a costume, they grow, the costumes perish and I can have fun with creativity :-).
When did you first know this is what you wanted to do?
It isn’t something I planned. As my children grew they needed outfits etc. Their 1st costume, their
1st ballet costume, and then their friends wanted the same. That’s when I saw the gap in the market. It started out as fun and grew into a brand.
Tell me about your career journey / (experience) up to this current point.
I started by making costumes for my children; then progressed to selling them at craft markets, and now I have a studio which produces custom designs. I love the originality and customized design and manufacturing of my goods. I am a perfectionist. It must fit perfectly and it must be unique. I don’t ever repeat a design. I love the challenge of making something special.
What have been the highlights?
I love designing for a particular dance studio here in Port Elizabeth. The teacher challenges me to my utmost potential. I just love it as I take the bait and create J Plus making bright, fun speedos for my son, whether he wants them or not. 🙂
What’s the best part of your job / business?
I am my own boss, so can dictate my hours, because my children will always come first.
What is the most Challenging part?
Not reacting negatively when clients think one is available 24/7.
What is your typical day, or maybe week if days are very different?
Now that Christopher is training in the USA, my “Mom’s taxi” schedule has improved tremendously. I still have our youngest daughter, Hannah at school in GR 10. She is in the 1st water polo team at her school, so they train sometimes 5 days a week in high season. So now my work revolves around her schedule. My older daughter is luckily independent of me.
What are your other interests / or do to relax/ have fun?
I love my home, my children and don’t venture out much. I put the needs of my children 1st. Having lost my husband to cancer 2 and half years ago, I am Mom and Dad. I, too am trying to fulfil a promise I made to my precious late husband. Our children are the highlight of our lives. So my immediate family is very precious. A few precious friends have crept into our very private circle, trying to help me. I cannot express enough how much I appreciate them.
As a mom, how do you manage to balance your family and career life. Your tips and tricks: advice for other moms?
My tip: to survive…learn to say NO
My trick: I walk away from negativity. I try to remain positive.
My advice: Keep your private life private
What lessons have you learned from Christopher?J
Determination, the will to succeed and the drive to do well, makes all things possible.
How do you see the journey ahead for your brand / business?
Life is a journey. You never know what tomorrow brings
Contact details for your business?
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Anything else you would like to share?
Darryl and I were blessed with 3 beautiful talented children. Nothing comes easy. What you put in, is what you will reap. So proud that I can call myself their MOM.
Thanks so much for taking the interview! We wish you all the best on the exciting journey ahead. Blessings.