This Mother’s May I’m putting a focus on Moms at Work in my Women at Work interview series…
Today I’m pleased to have Hendrien Kruger, owner and CEO of Inoar South Africa, sharing her story on how she makes work work for her as a busy mom of 2.
Tell me more about yourself and what you currently do?
I am a wife and mother of 3 heavenly girls. I own Inoar SA. We import luxury hair care from Barzil and distribute to salons throughout the country. Inoar has grown from a “one man show” with one product, totally unknown to the SA market, to where we are today with over 80 products and a girls only, power house team of 15. Inoar is currently sold in over 3500 salons nationwide.
When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
It was never my plan to be in distribution. I prayed for nights on end after having my first daughter for a business that I would love waking up to, that will give me flexibility to be a mother as well and that would allow me to travel. Traveling is such a passion of mine. The very first time that I got to feel Inoar on my hair in London, I knew I had to share this miracle product.
What did you study – was it in this field or something different?
I finished matric with no idea what to study. I took a gap year and travelled/worked in Greece and Israel. The year after I enrolled at Tuks for a Tourism degree. I also studied PR Communications at Pta Tech. I didn’t finish either of the 2 degrees. I was too eager to start earning and working.. which really disappointed my family.
What was your first job in the industry? and what path has your career taken since?
I have grabbed every job that came my way since I was 16. My father died in a car accident in my standard 9 year so we had to help earn and pay our way. My first full time job was as PR manager at Inanda Polo Club. Other jobs before Inoar included waitressing, Rough Diamond Dealer, Promotional work etc
What have been the highlights?
There has been countless highlights in growing Inoar. Moving out of our garage into our new offices, opening our first salon/training centre, winning product of the year, outreach programs that we run in different townships.. but nothing beats the sincere message from a client saying how Inoar has changed their lives.
What’s the best part of your job?
Knowing that what we offer is in a league of its own. Spending time with my team! They have become family.
What is the most challenging part?
Importing and clearing procedures cause immense stress, the Rand/Dollar fluctuations and juggling myself between being a mommy, wife and work responsibilities.
What is your typical day, or maybe week if days are very different?
I wake up to help the girls get ready for school. Then I have quiet time and try to answer as many mails before I hit the office. Every day brings its own challenges and we deal with what’s on the table. There is no script for success in this business so we brainstorm weekly to stay on course and to align our actions with our vision.
What are the “secrets” to your success?
Hahaha if only there was.. bottomline for me is you have to believe in what you do/sell. Be hands on, see the bigger picture(we are here on earth to make a difference). Do what you know you need to do each day. Be honest and reliable. Give 10% away every month.
As a mom how do you get the balance between your family and career life right?
I could never have done it without support at home and work. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is so true! When I work, I work hard and I plan my quality time with my family. I also involve my girls where I can with work because I want them to know that it is part of life. Even my husband knows Inoar inside out.
What do you do for fun in your down time?
I love being home with my husband and girls. We make a fire, chat about everything over a glass of wine. We love going on trips and really enjoy the bush.
What do you still want to achieve?
I have a huge passion for women and would love to have training facilities all over the country and neighboring countries. With Inoar I would love to change the African hair market. Inoar is organic, vegan and cruelty free with a product suitable for every single hair need.