As any pet-lover will tell you, trying to find the perfect products for those furry friends in our lives that are also aesthetically pleasing to the eye in our homes, can be quite a challenge. However two enterprising women from South Africa have the solution. Benji + Moon is a business that creates beautifully designed, compassionately driven pet products that will make both owners and their beloved pets happy.
LoA chatted to these two enterprising, pet-loving co-founders this month to find out more.
What does your company do?
Benji + Moon is a small collection of locally handcrafted products for much loved tails. We work with local artisans and established designers to bring you beautifully designed pet products that suit your home and aesthetic whilst proudly donating 5% of your purchase to CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare).
"Benji + Moon is a small collection of locally handcrafted products for much loved tails."
What inspired you to start your company?
Our shared love for all things four legged (one three legged) and a mutual peeve of having to hide hideous pet bowls and beds when friends came over, that brought what was already a friendship together to launch Benji + Moon.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Benji + Moon was born out of: a true need for pet products that are functionally designed talking points, rather than an eye sore; true partnerships with local artisans whose craft deserves encouragement, support and pride of place; and true compassion with 5% of every purchase made going to CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare)
"We've learnt a lot about each other and how important your choice of business partner is."
"We've learnt a lot about business, from pricing strategies to wholesale, and to our hearts sometimes being way to big (that will never change)."
Tell us a little about your team
The Benji + Moon team is made up of Hanneke Schutte, Storyteller, Scriptwriter and Director and Karen Carr, Advertising Freelance Fixer. The team also includes seven dogs and a cat between the two of them.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
It all started with a vision board, a shared passion and a Sunday meeting.
We've learnt a lot about each other and how important your choice of business partner is - Hanneke is big picture, and Karen is all about making it happen. We've learnt a lot about e-commerce after being everything from the website builders to packing our customers boxes. We've learnt a lot about business, from pricing strategies to wholesale, and to our hearts sometimes being way to big (that will never change).
We've also learnt that we've taken Benji + Moon as far as we can without help and learnt that we need to ask for it. The learning curve has been steep and continual but we're the total cliche of doing what we love.
"I personally never wanted to be an entrepreneur, the safety of being paid a salary from someone else at the helm was comforting. Having started Benji + Moon, I would now say the total opposite, there's no going back once you've stood in your own vision and your heart felt exposed like it never has before."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
World domination, starting with the U.S., thereby increasing our donation to CLAW (Community Led Animal Welfare).
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Seeing fellow pet lovers’ reactions to our products, and pets in/with our products.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Find the right partners, the ones that are strong where you are weak and visa versa.
Contact or follow Benji + Moon
Why LoA loves it….
So many successful businesses have passion-driven founders at the helm, who love what they do and who create products and services that their customers love too. Benji + Moon is a great example of such a business, and that passion shines through the unique range of products that are created with love for the pets who will use them. Karen Carr and Hanneke Schutte are two founders who love what they do and who deeply understand their customers and their needs, both the human and furry types. This a brand to watch over the coming months and years as it continues to win fans both at home and abroad. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa