I think I’ve mentioned it before, but, I am NOT a city girl. I may live in South Africa’s largest city, but I grew up a “bush girl”. Literally barefoot and hunting down snakes in the long grass on our plot in Botswana. It drives my husband crazy, I still walk around barefoot whenever I am at home and I hate being cooped up inside the house. I need to be outdoors, in fresh air, and I want the same for my children. I see “city” “tweens” walking around the big malls with their hair slicked back at the age of 12, and it send shivers down my spine. Children should be outside, getting dirty, playing and learning.
Some of the fondest memories I have growing up, are spending the weekends with my dad in our vegetable garden. Harvesting organic, fresh carrots, spinach or radishes and then going to sell them directly to our local grocer. In fact, when we moved into our townhouse in Johannesburg the first thing I did with the boys was plant our own carrots 🙂
When I came across”My Eco Sprout” and what they stand for, I knew I had to feature them in the “Love Local” series. With today being “Plant A Flower Day”, it’s the perfect day to introduce you to a product that encourages our children to “get greener” and get in the garden. Fellow mama and founder of “My Eco Sprout”, Copeland Koorts, chats to me a little bit more about how it came about.
Tell me more about yourself and what you currently do?
I grew up on a farm close to a small town called Lady Grey in the Eastern Cape. I am part of a big family of six. We are a close family and treasure every minute we spend with one another.
Most of my school years were spent in Bloemfontein and I completed my tertiary education in Stellenbosch. I am the mother of two beautiful girls and spouse to a lovely husband. I have been quite busy during the past year building the My Eco Sprout range that launched in November 2018.
How did “My Eco Sprout” come about?
My love for children and passion for gardening married and from there My Eco Sprout was born. Although I grew up on a farm, I lived in an urban environment since I was 16 years old. Our urban environment is threatening the ‘growing culture’ since there is a misperception of how much space is needed to grow your own edible food. My Eco Sprout would like to change this and give families and children the tools and information, by making growing kits available that would spark an interest in growing your own food, whether it be on a balcony, indoors, on a windowsill or in a garden bed.
What did you study – was it in this field or something different?
It was definitely quite different. I studied Fashion Design and have a Bachelors in Consumer Science.
What was your first job and how did you progress to this?
My very first job was being a waitress. From there I started as a sales assistant for Burberry in the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Shortly after I was the Head of Visual Merchandising for Burberry South Africa in JHB. I relocated back to CT in 2014 and started working for The Foschini Group as a Visual Coordinator. In 2015 I had my first little girl and became a full-time stay at home Mommy? Since I had my little girl, I always wanted to start my own business.
What have been the highlights of starting your own business?
The highlights are endless, but the ones most significant are the realisation of how much opportunity there is to grow your own business and the noticeable change it makes in the lives of families.
What’s the best part of your job?
Receiving photos and feedback about how much fun children are having growing their kits.
What is the most challenging part?
Living up to my own expectations of the vision I have for My Eco Sprout.
Describe a typical day in your life.
Mornings start off with breakfast and taking the kids to daycare. Once back at home/office;) , all deliveries need to go out and new ones needs to be booked. There is quite a bit of admin and new product/program development happening now and it keeps me tied in meetings, research and bookkeeping. I pick the girls up just before one and then head home for lunch. The afternoons are quite random, as they are still very young, but it includes some gardening, sleeping, grocery shopping and chilling. When it comes to 19:00 the bed time routine starts, and I usually end up working a bit after they have gone to bed.
What are the “secrets” to your success?
Being positive gives me the energy to see things through during the tough times.
How do you balance having a family and starting your own business?
It is a challenge! I have learnt to utilise those 5-minute breaks between feedings, parenting and everything else. They add up quickly and before I know it, I have completed one more thing on the to do list. Try it! ?
What is your dream for My Eco Sprout?
My dream of My Eco Spout is to GET KIDS GROWING. One of the most wonderful aspects of home-grown food is creating engrained food connection memories with children, amongst many others. Most children have no idea where their food comes from, other than the grocery store. My Eco Sprout wishes to change this as the further removed we get from our food the less we understand it and would like to eat. There is another dream of My Eco Sprout and this is to enable families to spend quality time and making memories with one another whilst growing their own edible plants. The benefits of growing your own food is endless but the most rewarding is the tangible benefits, like picking cherry tomatoes for lunchboxes from plants grown by yourself.
Any tips for people wanting to take the leap and start their own business?
Do not postpone! Start today! It takes a lot of baby steps to eventually launch your own business; Every step, is a step closer to your dream.
Visit My Eco Sprout on their website to order your very own “Grow Kits” and to see the full product line. PS, they also do the most fantastic “Kids Part favours”, so if you are looking for an alternative to sugary sweets for your guests, these are the perfect giveaway!
Win your own My Eco Sprout growing kit hamper!
My Eco Sprout wants to spoil one lucky little gardener with their own growing kits.
The hamper includes:
- A 2019 Calendar
- 1 Sprout House
- 1x Strawberry Popcorn Kit
- 1x Cherry Tomatoes Party Favour Kit
- The Wheatgrass Kit
How to enter:
- Comment below and tell us what you would have the most fun growing?
- Follow @Inthesestilettos and @my_eco_sprout on Instagram AND / OR
- Like @Inthesestilettos and @MyEcoSprout on Facebook.
- Entries are via Instagram, Facebook or comments left below.
- Instagram and Facebook are in no way associated with this giveaway.
- You need to follow both @Inthesestilettos and @my_eco_sprout on Instagram and / or Facebook to qualify.
- Competition only open to South African residents residing in South Africa.
- The winner is picked at random and competition closes Friday 22 March 2019.
- This prize is not exchangeable or refundable.
- Winner will have 48 hours to respond with their details, failing which a new winner will be drawn.