21 Entrepreneurs Series: No. 12 Giselle Hon, HON Luxury Curated

I had the privilege many years ago (sorry Giselle showing our age now) to intern at Marie Claire Magazine. Giselle was one of my mentors there! As Giselle notes below, the value of surrounding yourself by those better than you and wiser than you is the best way to learn & grow! I learnt so much through her guidance. Giselle was always meticulously focused and passionate when it came to her styling work, but I loved her fun spirit and eagerness to laugh on the side!

TITLE: Giselle Hon, HON Luxury Curated 

1. ) How did your business/blog/website come about? How was this idea born and what lead you to do what you’re doing now? 

I started my career as an Internal Auditor at Woolworths and Truworths. Then worked at House of Fraser’s Auditing department in the UK, and finally after 3 years, decided to return to SA, where I chose a passion career over money. The only opportunity I could get to break into the magazine industry was through Huisgenoot / You. I worked in their fashion office for just over a year, free of charge. (I had to waitress at night and on weekends)

After working at couple of other titles, I finally got my dream job as fashion assistant at Marie Claire. A couple of promotions and a retrenchment followed, and it was clear the time to move on had arrived. I spent the best 5 years at Rooi Rose as their fashion editor, pushing boundaries in the Afrikaans market. Fortunately, having the best boss who believed in me, allowed me to soar and win awards.

Then, a new challenge and opportunity presented itself; to become the Press Relations Manager for Louis Vuitton in South Africa. Spending 5 years with the leading luxury brand in the world changed my life and educated me in ways that no other could. I believe all this combined life experience led to the next step.

Realising early on that luxury brands in South Africa do not always have the magic mix correct when it came to communication: combining international luxury and the local market. I heard many complaints about PR’s, so I knew I could help other luxury brands grow. With a clear understanding of how a luxury brand operates and what it’s expectations are, I guide them in the local market. South African media and consumer are unlike any other.  

Before committing to starting the agency, I first needed time away. I spent a month living in Bali, and travelled to Singapore, Jordan and Israel.

2.) Tell us about your morning routine. Any specific rituals / productivity aspects etc 

The alarm goes off at 5am daily. 

First up I drink a huge glass of warm water and lemon, with a pinch of tumeric and cayenne pepper added. It’s great for gut health. Then it’s time to move. I see a trainer twice a week and on other days I cycle,  swim, run and do yoga. The day has not started properly for me if I have not done some form of exercise. I’m trying meditation too, but still struggling.

I’m ready by 8am to go in search of the fantastic one; the great coffee of the day. If I’m not having a first meeting, I’ll catch up on Instagram (I’m addicted!) and the newspaper. 

By 9am, work must start.

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3.) What inspires you? 

Walking through Cape Town city and seeing new cafe’s and boutiques pop up. To me it means another person has had the courage to go for their dreams! I just love that. 

4.) Biggest lesson you’ve learnt?

People do not always do the right thing

5.) Biggest failure so far?

Trusting the wrong people

6.) Biggest Success so far?

Deciding to step away from my comfort zone and going for it.

And, getting the luxury client I really wanted. 

7.) Your work space? Clean & Minimal or Eclectic and colourful – what would we find on your desk?

Clean and minimal. 

I’ve a simple raw oak trestle from LIM, a selection of notebooks, magazines, a silver holder filled with a mixture of pens, pencils and a mini Crabtree & Evelyn hand therapy, MacBook Pro, magic mouse, earphones, sunglasses and a collection of loose papers. I love beautiful paper and pens.

8.) Top 3 entrepreneurial tips?

If you overthink it too much, you’ll never do it.

Surround yourself with great people, preferably older, to guide and help you. This is crucial.

The toughest one, well for me, is to completely believe in yourself. Do not listen to the ‘mean girl’ voice in your head. She’s not real.

9.) Who are you currently listening to? 

The iheartradio app. My best!

10.) Your best marketing tool? 

Word of mouth.

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11.) Dream Big Right? What’s next for you?

I’m only learning to dream big now! There’s so many things I’d like to do. 

For more Info:

Website / Twitter / FB / Instagram / Pinterest 

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