How many of us struggle on a daily basis to organize their lives and businesses efficiently, removing the extraneous clutter that holds us back from achieving goals and full potential? Well, help is at hand from entrepreneur Londeka Mlawuza, founder of LV & Co, the organizing specialists.
LoA found out more this month about this unique company putting organization at the heart of it’s clients’ lives and businesses.
What does your company do?
LV and Co: The Organizing Specialists offers professional organizing services ranging from Decluttering and Organizing, Virtual Assistance and Events Management.
"People tend to overcompensate and over-crowd their lives with stuff and thus increasing their stress and anxiety level. So, I just want to assist them to clear their clutter and let go of things that do not serve them and their lives."
What inspired you to start your company?
To be honest, it was really inevitable for me to start my own business. It has always been a dream of mine. I registered a company back in 2009 even though I was not quite sure what I wanted to do. I thought it was going to be events management because I absolutely loving creating experiences for people. I'm glad I waited till now - I've learnt a lot over the years which has helped me to get here. The real progression being independent this time around started about 4 years ago when I decided to take a break from Ad Agency life. I move to TV and Film Production where I ended up being a freelancer and from there I realized that I didn't really want to go back to work for someone. So that was that decision made.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
There are so many benefits, firstly on the Virtual Assistant side - you have so many small businesses that hire and pay people full-time who "work" part-time. Or you find that the business owner or entrepreneurs are so bogged down by unnecessary administration that their business growth gets affected or delayed. We simply afford them the time to be productive. I always say as well, using a Virtual Assistant is very cost effective - you pay for what you get and you don't have to worry about the overheads involved with having someone in-house. I actually published an article on LinkedIn recently on the benefits of having a VA. Here is the link to the article. As for the decluttering, I really love promoting the Minimalistic Lifestyle. People tend to overcompensate and over-crowd their lives with stuff and thus increasing their stress and anxiety level. So, I just want to assist them to clear their clutter and let go of things that do not serve them and their lives. I know how great it is, as I have done it in my own life. Plus, having spoken to a lot of people, I've learnt that people do not know that this service actually exists and it is needed. I just love events and creating experiences and memories for people.
"I have always wanted to start my own business. I knew that at some point in this lifetime I would take the plunge."
Tell us a little about your team
I am currently running the whole operation myself with the huge support from my business coach. The nature of my business allows me to pull the resources I need on a project basis. I actually want to adopt the "freelance support" model for my business where the company operates purely with freelance teams on a project basis. My vision is to have a core team of Project Managers who will be permanently contracted with us and oversee projects.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I have always wanted to start my own business. I knew that at some point in this lifetime I would take the plunge. I realized early on in my career working for a PR firm in Durban that I had really great organizational skills, as well as interpersonal skills. After two years of being with the company, I decided to move on and approached Ogilvy Durban for a post as an Account Executive. I learned a huge deal from here. In retrospect, my "decluttering self" was very much born around this time when I found myself having to do a "virtual spring clean" of an account I inherited. I didn't learn this aspect of my job until the time I used to watch the "Home Channel" in between job searches. I thought..."wait a minute, I can definitely do that." It was actually even more fascinating for me to see how happy (and relieved!) people were once their home was cleared of all the clutter. It felt like a new lease on life for them. It was a joy to see. Being in the Project Management space in advertising, I always just want to get things done and make sure those things were done with care and utter efficiency. I remember one time a senior copywriter said to me (when I was saying my goodbye after resigning), "It was really great working with you, before you came on this account everyone dreaded it but you just made it that much better." That was great validation that my path was also leading towards helping people be more productive and to provide them with the support they need to get on with their jobs. So I started researching and I realized that I can actually build a business based on this need. I registered a business in 2009 called "eklektik koncepts" - it never really took off as I never really invested in it. In 2017 I decided to change the name to LV and Co: The Organising Specialists. And it just instantly felt so much better. I felt more ownership. You see, "LV" represents my initials, and the "Co. (short for company)" represents all the freelancers and suppliers I will be working with over the years. Do I come from an entrepreneurial background? Does selling sweets in school as a young girl count? If it does, then yes!
"I have always been surrounded by strong, determined, ambitious women and I want to play my role in empowering women who will, in turn, be an example to young girls."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I am really excited to branch out in a few years and empower women through employment. Throughout my career, I have always had female managers starting with the owner of the PR firm that gave me my first job and helped me open my first bank account. I have always been surrounded by strong, determined, ambitious women and I want to play my role in empowering women who will, in turn, be an example to young girls. Speaking of young girls, I am developing an initiative called #OwnYourAwesome which basically aims to encourage young females to own their awesome and ignore society's whispers about their worth. I dream of creating a similar platform as Lionesses Of Africa but specifically for the young African girls. Within the next 3 years, I will host the 1st Camp For Girls where they shall all unite, learn and exchange ideas on how we can build a better life for Mother Africa.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Working on different projects with different people. I enjoy being able to manage my output. One of the things that hindered me when I was working full-time, was always having to run the smallest things via a channel of people thus hampering progress and productivity. I also enjoy being able to navigate myself and my journey.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Start when you are ready, you'll know when you are. Don't Worry, you'll be fine. Don't wait for opportunities, create them for yourself. And "Go Forth and Conquer.”
Contact or follow LV and Co
Why LoA loves it….
Often for startup entrepreneurs, the inspiration for creating a new business comes from seeing a opportunity in the marketplace. In the case of Londeka Mlawuza, founder of LV & Co, she saw a gap to help other people to organize their lives and their businesses, making them more efficient and less stressed in the process. Her ability to create calm where others create clutter is what is winning her fans and clients alike in her new business. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa