My Second Home: Station Drive

I have been fortunate enough to call Staion Drive my "second home" for over two years already. The changes and community development have been a wonderful thing to be part of and to witness. Recently, Cheapflights chatted to a few local bloggers, including Ask Ashe and I about our favourite things to do in Durban, besides lying on the beach, working within Station Drive was a clear winner. I always suggest it as a must-visit for friends making their way to our city.


“It’s a vibrant, colourful area brought to life by a community of creatives working together to shape an experience that truly showcases a unique side of Durban as a city.”

The Station Drive Precinct is fast becoming one of Durban’s most interesting and inspired destinations for locals and tourists alike. With gentrification being the buzz word the globe over, it offers a prime example of the city working in unison with creatives and independent brands.

From the Morning Trade Food Market through to “First Thursdays” the taste of Durban is served in an authentic, yet truly delicious way. Fashion, food and vintage treasures can be found in amongst creatives hard at work. Offices and interesting shops are spread around the precinct in working pods such as The Loading Bay or The Station, developed to serve and assist small business growth within the area. 

How lucky we are to have such a creative hub within the heart of our city. It makes me so happy to go to work there each day! 

The Business Sessions: Tailor Made to Suit your Brand

A selection of creative sessions to help you build your business and brand.

Last month I launched The Business Sessions, a set of exclusively designed consulting sessions and weekly classes and I am ever so happy with how the introduction and subsequent sessions have gone. It has not only inspired new and existing clients, but been a very firm confirmation for me of why I LOVE my job. Hosting entrepreneurs in my office and via Skype, open discussion, teaching and guiding them and then seeing them grasp and understand concepts is a beautiful thing to witness.

For July and August the sessions continue and are open to a new group of students. I have simplified the process slightly in order to make it as clear as possible how it all works. 

- Type of Sessions -

One on One: When you need a bit of extra TLC.
Fully focused on your business, process and personal requirements.
Booked on a day and date that suits your individual schedule as opposed to fitting in with the timetable. You learn at a pace that suits you.
These are held in person in Durban or via Skype or Facetime for those who aren't based here.
R1200 for three sessions.

Small Group Classes in Durban: When you want to connect with like-minded business owners.
A group of students (no more than three) with a more general business focus.
You will receive individual assistance too, but the group setting allows for further learning from the experience of fellow students and is a great networking opportunity.
The classes are once a week for three consecutive weeks in a row / see timetable.
 Each week follows on from the previous with a clear plan and homework to keep the momentum. The timetable (scroll down) outlines the dates and times at which the group classes run.
R900 for three sessions.


- Session Info -

As you work through the sessions or classes depending on whether you select one on one or group classes, you will receive practical examples and insight that you can implement within your own life and business. Each session is taught by me, personally, no pre-recorded messages, no videos... the real life person version. It ensures you can ask questions directly and we can tackle your individual requirements. If your schedule doesn't allow for you to attend weekly sessions, there is the option to have one on one mentorship to suit your schedule and pace. 




- You can select from the following -

- Social Media Content Creation - 

Tell your story, grow your brand, showcase your business. 

You can attend either in the group class as per timetable or book these sessions one on one to suit your unique schedule.

Always wondering what to say online, how to say it and when? Then these are the sessions for you.
A focused set of three sessions to guide you through the process of creating and writing purposeful content to market your business and creatively build your brand. On offer are focused steps that you can personally implement and test out to see results in action.

"Meaningful content creation is a personal passion of mine. I'm fortunate to have worked on some large scale projects that yielded great success for locally based businesses, both within the creative and corporate spheres." 

Each set of sessions includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement from day one. Not sure if this is the course for you - let's chat.

- Developing a Comprehensive Brand Experience -

You can attend either in the group class as per timetable or book these sessions one on one to suit your unique schedule.

Don't you love that feeling in your heart when you leave your favourite shop, with a prettily wrapped parcel after having received outstanding service? It's time to create that "happy feeling" for your very own customers.

"Our brands have the opportunity to change people's lives in a beautiful, positive and happy way. Who wouldn't want to share that valuable type of sincere joy through their business?"

A focused set of three sessions to guide you through the process of creating your own comprehensive brand experience. Add value to your customers through an authentic and connected offering and ensure it lines up with the mission of your brand.

Each set of sessions includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement from day one.

- Planning for Creative Business -

Developing a plan that suits your business and lifestyle.

You can attend either in the group class as per timetable or book these sessions one on one to suit your unique schedule.

We often hear how consistency is key both online and in achieving our goals. But, first you need to know what you are creating consistency towards. It's time to shape a plan that creates that direction for both your life and business. 
A focused set of three sessions to guide you through the process of understanding what you want to become known for within your industry and creating a plan around it that respects your lifestyle and values. We tackle some of the tough elements like setting boundaries, thinking about the future and what will essentially make you a happier and therefore more successful business owner and all round human.

Each set of sessions includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement from day one.

- Workshop: Style your Brand for Social Media -

Currently Durban Only

Beautiful photos are everywhere we look, but what about your own images that represent your brand? It's easy to use stock imagery, but how about creating and styling a library of images that truly represents your business and in turn creating a brand presence. This half day workshop will take you through the steps to styling your own images that are in line with the vision you are aiming to create. From the practical to the pretty we will work on examples and actionable steps.

"I have lectured on styling at a tertiary level and styled images for a host of local brands with great success for both print and digital. It's time to be inspired, hone your own eye for composition and showcase your brand in style!"

Each workshop includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement immediately.

- Claim your Spot -

Small focused groups, individual attention, direct access to the teacher... these rates are designed to make it affordable for you the business owner. My focus is guidance and adding value. Human to human... good old fashioned communication based on true connection.

One on One: When you need a bit of extra TLC.
Three one on one Sessions: R1200 for all three sessions (R400 each). Included are some lovely items for you to use during the classes to keep you inspired. You and I work one on one so the attention is directly on your business.

.
Small Group Classes in Durban: When you want to connect with like-minded business owners.
Three Group Classes: R900 for all three sessions (R300 each) collectively which includes a host of additional treats and supplies to get you focused. You get direct access to me as I teach the sessions and the groups are limited to only three students.

The Business Sessions

A selection of creative sessions to help you build your business and brand.




Running your own business is the most (MOST) difficult job you will ever have. That can be a particularly depressing thought. Alternatively, it can be the motivation required to educate and equip yourself to tackle the problems that stand in the way of you living your best professional and creative life. 

It is difficult to admit we need help, in fact it is possibly something I battle with most in life. Luckily, functioning within a creative community means you can lose the shame and rather connect with fellow business owners, bloggers and entrepreneurs to realise that you aren’t alone, help is on-hand and we can still believe in the dreams that brought us here, even on the low days, even when it feels somewhat impossible.

These specially designed classes were born from necessity. The necessity to help, guide and lead others towards taking ownership of their dreams and goals, redesigning their thinking and refocusing on what’s important today in order to align with what we hope to achieve in the future.

With my background and experience in luxury fashion, marketing and a blogging career spanning over a nine year period, I feel that a great deal of my work experience has lead me to offering these specialised, professional sessions. To share that knowledge, which encompasses a worldwide perspective through to our own unique local influence brings me great happiness. A honed set of facts, skills and observations both in the creative market and the corporate terrain are brought together in a package that allows for the shared information to take on a discreet, focused and exceptionally detailed delivery to you... my clients.


To kick off the series, there are a selection of options to meet a multitude of personal and unique needs. There are also two ways in which you can participate and receive that much needed assistance to improve your brand and self-confidence at the helm of your own creative business dreams.

- The Process -

  1. Review the sessions or classes below and decide which you will benefit from the most. It might be more than one which means you can join in for more than one series of sessions. Good news!
  2. View the timetable and which student type you are and compare it to your schedule and availability.
  3. Get in touch and book your sessions. Space is limited to only three students per class so don't delay. 






The sessions run for three consecutive weeks to learn more about the subject on hand. As you work through the sessions, you will receive practical examples and insight that you can implement within your own life and business. Each session is taught by me, personally, no recordings, no videos... the real life person version. It ensures you can ask questions directly and we can tackle your individual concerns. If your schedule doesn't allow for you to attend weekly sessions, there is the option to have one on one mentorship to suit your schedule and pace. In addition you will be linked to a small, community of like-minded creatives to further encourage each other. Want to enrol? Click here...

- Student Type: Which are you? -

  1. Enrolled Weekly Student: In attendance at the NvdM office / Durban.
  2. Weekly Skype Mentorship Student: Anywhere in South Africa (or the world – I'd love to have you).

- Session Options - 

Time to dive in and start selecting.

- Option One -

Social Media Content Creation: 

Tell your story, grow your brand, showcase your business. 

Check out the timetable below and register today.

Always wondering what to say online, how to say it and when? Then these are the sessions for you.
A focused set of three sessions to guide you through the process of creating and writing purposeful content to market your business and creatively build your brand. On offer are focused steps that you can personally implement and test out to see results in action.

"Meaningful content creation is a personal passion of mine. I'm fortunate to have worked on some large scale projects that yielded great success for locally based businesses, both within the creative and corporate spheres." 

Each set of sessions includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement from day one.

- Option Two -

Developing a Comprehensive Brand Experience


Don't you love that feeling in your heart when you leave your favourite shop, with a prettily wrapped parcel after having received outstanding service? It's time to create that "happy feeling" for your very own customers.

"Our brands have the opportunity to change people's lives in a beautiful, positive and happy way. Who wouldn't want to share that valuable type of sincere joy through their business?"

A focused set of three sessions to guide you through the process of creating your own comprehensive brand experience. Add value to your customers through an authentic and connected offering and ensure it lines up with the mission of your brand.

Each set of sessions includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement from day one.

- Option Three -

Planning for Creative Business:

Developing a plan that suits your business and lifestyle.

We often hear how consistency is key both online and in achieving our goals. But, first you need to know what you are creating consistency towards. It's time to shape a plan that creates that direction for both your life and business. 
A focused set of three sessions to guide you through the process of understanding what you want to become known for within your industry and creating a plan around it that respects your lifestyle and values. We tackle some of the tough elements like setting boundaries, thinking about the future and what will essentially make you a happier and therefore more successful business owner and all round human.

Each set of sessions includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement from day one.

- Half Day Workshop -

Currently Durban Only

Style your Brand for Social Media

Beautiful photos are everywhere we look, but what about your own images that represent your brand? It's easy to use stock imagery, but how about creating and styling a library of images that truly represents your business and in turn creating a brand presence. This half day workshop will take you through the steps to styling your own images that are in line with the vision you are aiming to create. From the practical to the pretty we will work on examples and actionable steps.

"I have lectured on styling at a tertiary level and styled images for a host of local brands with great success for both print and digital. It's time to be inspired, hone your own eye for composition and showcase your brand in style!"

Each workshop includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement immediately.

- Timetable -

The good news is if you are unable to attend or fit in with these dates, you can be a student in July or book the series of sessions for one on one mentorship that fits your schedule. It’s a win win all round! Isn’t that just lovely news? Ready to enrol? Click here.









- What does it Cost? -

Small focused groups, individual attention, direct access to the teacher... these rates are designed to make it affordable for you the business owner. My focus is guidance and adding value.
Human to human... good old fashioned communication based on true connection.
.
Durban Sessions: Simply put it is R900 for all three sessions (R300 each) collectively which includes a host of additional treats and supplies to get you focused. You get direct access to me as I teach the sessions and the groups are limited to only three students.
.
The one on one mentorship sessions via Skype for the same series of sessions are R1200 because you receive direct, individual attention. 
Or better yet get a group of three and you can pay R900 each instead. Have yourselves a little creative party, make tea, meet up at one friend's house... let the learning commence.
.
Half day workshops are R500 each. Currently in Durban only.

Click here to book your sessions and get working on creating the brand of your dreams.






My New Office Journey

When you run a small, independent business moving your office out of home and into an official space is a damn BIG DEAL. I remember when I first realised I needed to make that move, I was trying to fall asleep, late at night and the next thing I knew I had created a "NvdM Office" Pinterest board as the clock struck 1am (you know creativity... not keeping office hours). The decision worked out better than I could ever have expected. I found the ideal space in Station Drive, Durban's creative hub. It truly became one of my happy places. 


However, towards the end of last year things were changing and my office would no longer be available come 1st of January 2017. Life had already taken on some big changes and so I sort of just absorbed it in amongst the other elements that were in my mind already. 

Affordable office spaces are not aplenty in Durban, I know this from my original office search. I was however very lucky to be updated about a new space that was being developed in Station Drive alongside Con Amore, the beautiful interior design store - The Loading Bay. Upon my first visit there wasn’t much to see (see the above photos), but with some imagination I was able to envision working there. I needed to think and figure out if I was going to take the space, the rent was higher than I was paying and I needed to reassess my direction, goals and business. Questions, so many questions! With the help of a friend I came up with a list of all the things I needed to think through and ask about taking on a new space. 


As you can surely tell by now that “new space” is now my office. It really has been a very different experience to my first office. Finding myself in a challenging chapter of my life really added to it being a great deal more difficult to settle in and embrace change. To do basics like style and arrange all the pretty things and then to form a new habit of actually going to work so to speak. With the support of my parents and friends I am finally utilising the space and getting that spark of joy when I unlock the door.

Want to visit my office for a cup of tea and some creative business insight? Let's chat... send me a digital note.

Want to visit my office for a cup of tea and some creative business insight? Let's chat... send me a digital note.

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