This & That

5 Local women in business

I know I have been totally unicorn bonkers this month, but August is Women’s Month and I have not forgotten. I though to throw in a small series entitled – ‘Women in Business’ about some of the women entrepreneurs that I look up to in the industry. Note that these are in no particular order. There are some other women entrepreneurs that I also look up to, but there was just not quite enough space to share them all #LovileeFTF.


Women entrepreneurs

Women in business - Elli-Nicole profile image1. ELLI-NICOLE SLATER
I don’t even know where to start, this lady has such a special place in my heart. I can’t even remember how Elli and I met, I am just really glad that we did. She has the ability to warm up a room and even more so add sooo much lovilee to a brides’ special day. She is the designer and creative behind the ELLI-NICOLE wedding dress brand and also to owner of the on-line store ELLI-NICOLE SHOES where you can personalise your wedding shoes by literally clicking a few buttons.

I just love looking at her gorgeous creations and am so proud to know this lady seeing how far she has come from where we met. She knows how to make dreams realities. She also managed to win the Best Wedding Dress award at the recent Top Vendor Wedding Awards for the dress she made for her own wedding earlier this year.

Women entrepreneurs - Leandre Abvajee profile image2. LEANDRE ABVAJEE
Leandré Abvajee, is the owner and sole event coordinator at Black Olive Weddings & Events in Quellerina, Johannesburg. I just realised again how amazing this lady is when I visited her recently. She is the queen of style, styling and all things style-worthy. Her attention to detail, passion for what she does and lovilee personality is just some of what you will get to see working with her.

With over 10 years experience in the Telecommunications and ICT sector, she then resigned to pursue her passion for full end-to-end professional eventing and started Black Olive. I have collaborated with her on a few occasions and she taught me so much! My proudest moment was styling an event with her a few years back that literally had some industry experts swooning (view it here)!

Natalie Vice Profile image - women entrepeneur3. NATALIE VAN DIJK
Natalie from Sugar and Vice literally started her business from the ground up. After being retrenched from her marketing position in 2014 she reinvented herself and made her dreams a reality by starting her own business.

Sugar & Vice was started without any funding, handouts or loans. Instead Natalie van Dijk relied on tenacity, hard work and an uncompromising commitment to her vision to build the brand. Her business has grown in leaps and bounds and her portfolio includes a Mr Price Home collaboration! The growth and development of the local creative industry is of key importance to the brand.

Women in business - Carla Seberini Moi Decor Hire profile imageMoi Decor Hire is based in Johannesburg (just around the corner from me in Victory Park). This rental company was born out of the retail stores Moi decor and specialises in dry hiring a collection of vintage inspired, shabby chic and boho decor for tablescapes and certain props that add vintage flair.

Carla comes from an IT background and is one of the most business savvy ladies that I know. Her advice that she shares is sound and mostly she just helps me get my thoughts and process into a logical order. She knows about lovilee, lovilee products and styling and her words of encouragement and being there for people makes her so special! Her constant persuit of all things pretty makes her business so successful and popular.

Nicola Ashe brand consultant profile image5. NICOLA ASHE
I have been following this lovilee lady for some time on-line on and we had been chatting on social media but never met in person. Until we actually got to meet for a coffee date at the Design Jo’burg event earlier this year.

A simple coffee date ended up in a wealth of knowledge shared by this amazing lady who is not only a blogger but an awesome Brand consultant. She knows her stuff, whether it comes to social media engagement, content publishing and client management and interactions. She is also the speaker at quite a lot of events being a Boss Lady and more. I consider her the bees knees and am privileged to now call her – friend!

The women in business list can go on and on and on to include the likes of Creative consultant Nadia van der Mescht who literally revolutionised my business, Marie-Louise Candiotes the mommy behind the Just-a-Mamma blog who is such an inspiration for me at the moment! There are the two photographer ladies that I look up to Carike Ridout and Dominique from Hello Love Photography and my friend Juanita van der Merwe who runs an award winning company Little Green Number in style!

I also can’t leave out my friendy Liezel from Match Set Love in The Netherlands whom I will be visiting soon – how often has she saved lovilee but convincing me not to hit the DELETE button, curated and edited content for me. (know she is not local, but feels like she is still right here.)

Do you know or admire any other women in business? Leave me with their links and names below that all of us can be inspired!

Thumbnail credit of Elli-Nicole on her wedding day by Carike Ridout Photography

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Karen Kelly is the founder and editor of She is a creative at heart and passionate about all things DIY. Learn more about her here and connect with her on social media on the links below.


  1. Thank you for including me, so glad to have you in my life too. You are a LOVILEE inspiration.

    • Kari

      Such a pleasure! Love knowing you!

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