Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Lizl Naude.
Lizl is a passionate designer and the owner of Lilly Loompa, a company that creates beautiful and usable products made with recycled material.
Lizl’s story is just so inspiring to me and it’s a complete honour to share her story on Hayley’s Joys.
If you or your child has a burning desire to be an entrepreneur, then the story behind Lilly Loompa may just give you the boost you need to take the next step.
Lilly Loompa manufactures a variety of products, from storage holders, lamps, to dinner table accessories, among others. They create their homeware through a process of hipcycling, which is essentially upcycling discarded waste and transforming it into desirable products that would complement your home. Eco-friendly, handcrafted and 100% South African, each Lilly Loompa piece, once trash, is now a meaningful piece of treasure!
I interviewed Lizl recently about the history behind it all and here’s what she had to say:
Tell me a bit about yourself and how Lilly Loompa was born.
I am a wife to Ashley and a mother to Chelsea (11) and Kirsten (8). We have been married for almost 16 years and have moved over 40 times as a couple! Naturally this makes me an explorer and a scavenger. I started Lilly Loompa in 2004 and since then I have run different businesses under that label, including jewelry-making and interior decorating. Lilly Loompa Hipcycled Homeware was born in 2016 out of necessity and sheer determination. My family and I suffered a few financial setbacks and I had to think of creative ways to generate income. I looked to my environment and saw there was value in waste. Initially I started building furniture and sharing my projects on my blog. It was only in 2017 that I started developing smaller products, more suited to the tourist and local markets. People are always intrigued by my company name. When I started the company in 2004 I knew I wanted to build a brand with longevity so I took my time to come up with the perfect name. I decided to build the name around my teenage years as it was then that I realised I was a creative. My cousins couldn’t pronounce my name at the time and called me Lilly. Loompa comes from the Oompa Loompa’s from Charlie and the Chocolate factory, my favourite book as a child!
Where do you find inspiration to spark your creativity?
I am inspired by many things. The purple mountains of my home-town, Paarl, the wide expanse of the night sky and the smell of the vineyards after a rainstorm. South Africa is such a beaut of a country…how can I not be inspired! The wildlife, the landscapes, the diverse people and their stories and travelling…these all inspire me to create!
What is your favourite Lilly Loompa product and why?
Honestly, I love each of my products. Each design carries a piece of me. If I really had to choose, it would be the Pixar lamp as well as the Bell lamp. They are signature pieces and exclusive to my brand. The Toona Can is my most selling product. People love it because it’s different, upcycled and practical!
I was absolutely drawn to your stand at Kamers as your products made me think of Alyssa, who absolutely loves building objects from boxes, bottles or whatever else she can get her hands on. What advice can you give me to encourage and mentor that curiosity?
I would tell you to allow your kids to experiment on their own. Don’t necessarily buy them a ready-made kit for DIY projects. Allow them to rummage through the house to look for alternatives to the materials they need to complete projects. The holidays are a great time to start with this. My greatest learnings and spikes of creativity are when I force myself to look at objects differently as well as the uses for it.
What is your Business goal for next 2 years?
My greatest goal is to start creating meaningful employment. I believe we can eradicate poverty through creating opportunities for people, especially young people to learn skills and knowledge that they can eventually use to start their own businesses. I believe mentorship is a key element to this. I also see hope to expand my business to other regions in South Africa, as well as internationally. Also hoping to launch a new range of products in 2019!
If you had one piece of advice to someone wanting to starting their own business, what would it be?
Firstly, have a plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Scale down on your monthly expenses and start living more frugally so you don’t have such pressure for a high salary. Many entrepreneurs start their businesses with unrealistic expectations and call it quits after only a few months of not making profit. Then they head back to full-time employment because their financial obligations are just too overwhelming. South Africans are really resilient but we need that resilience to transfer to the small business owners so we can stimulate our country’s economy and create meaningful employment. Entrepreneurs have a key role to play in securing our future.
Thank you for sharing, Lizl!
Lilly Loompa is sharing the love with Hayley’s Joys readers. One lucky reader will win a beautiful bell lamp and a toona can. To enter, follow the easy steps below:
- Like Hayleys Joys and Lilly Loompa on Facebook
- Like and Share the competition post on Facebook
- Tag 2 or more friends in the comments of the Facebook thread
- For an extra entry, do the same on the Instagram post.
- The winner will need to follow all steps in order to qualify
- Competition ends Monday 1 July 2018.
- Winner will be selected via random.org and the decision is final.
- Prize cannot be sold or redeemed for cash.