The woman who's made business an art form
Founder & CEO of Carrol Boyes
Country: South Africa
Sector: Homeware and gift products
Carrol Boyes is an iconic South African designer who has built a global brand. She founded Carrol Boyes (Pty) Ltd in 1991 combining her artistic flair and talent in sculpture with her jewellery experience to create an extensive range of distinctive homeware, giftware, flatware and table top products. Today, her company designs and manufactures a meticulously crafted product range of well over 1000 items and sells over a million items every year. Products are always imbued with Carrol's trademark artistic flair and finesse. The brand is available through her 35 branded shops in South Africa and in over 30 other countries around the world.
Carrol has always supported gender empowerment both within and outside her company, constantly investing in her staff to ensure the future growth of the business and to support community upliftment.
Carrol's Startup Story
Since 1991, this incredibly creative designer with a sculptural flair and an eye for the unusual, has taken the global homeware market by storm with her distinctive designs and must-have tableware pieces.
Carrol Boyes’ career path started out in the world of academia, as an English and art teacher - she was an arts graduate with a major in sculpture from the University of Pretoria. However, her dream was always to be an artist and one that could earn enough money to survive from the work she produced. When she turned 35 years old, she realised that she would either have to do something practical to realise her ambitions, or live with regret for the rest of her life. Fortunately for the design world, she chose to do the former. She left her teaching post in 1990 and, ever the pragmatist, paid off her bills and debts leaving her with enough money to survive for six months. During that time, she started her fledgling business, designing products that were not only things that people needed, but which were also unique and fun to use.
At Lionesses of Africa, we love the fact that Carrol Boyes is a real global brand builder, creating beautiful yet practical design pieces that are uniquely hers, and creating fans of her design aesthetic in all corners of the world. She's proof perfect that artists can make great entrepreneurs! --- Melanie Hawken, LoA founder and editor-in-chief
“I wanted to create things that would be accessible to most people, rather than an elite few,....My aim was also to combine sculpture with functionality. It’s easier for people to justify buying an expensive object that they have fallen in love with if they have a practical use for it.”
"My dream was to be an artist and to earn enough money to survive from my art,....I realised that I would have to try to make it at some point, or end up spending the rest of my life wondering whether I could have.”
“I often fall asleep with a potential design playing on my mind and then, in the moment of waking – that space between the sub-conscious and the conscious – it will come to me.”
Awards & Accolades
Carrol's awards and honours include:
2008 - Carrol is awarded SA’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government - Category: Arts & Culture
2008 - Carrol is awarded Rapport/City Press Prestige Women’s Awards - Category: Phenomenal Women
2005 - Carrol wins the TUKS Alumni Board’s Laureate Award
2004 - Carrol is awarded Top Women in Business and Government - Category: Top Women Owned Company
2004 - Carrol is awarded at the SASSDA South African Stainless Steel Awards