Cape Island Suzanne Snowdowne & Karin Wood

- Travels Finders

Startup costs: ‘We started with two people and between R80000 and R100000 worth of investments.’ Turnover: ‘About R6 million annually – so going from nothing to something in a couple of years is certainly possible. We’ve gone from the two of us to about 14 employees over a five-year period and from one fragrance range to five.’ How did you two meet? Suzanne: Before we knew each other, Karin and I both lived in the UK for a while. When we returned to Cape Town, we both had a desire to start a creative business that would empower women and feed into the community. When we met, we realised we had opposite skill sets and talents. It was a match made in heaven.

What made you settle on luxury home and body products? Karin: We knew the feeling of hankering for home. The inspiration and concept behind Cape Island was capturing natural South African beauty and celebrating it in people’s homes. We started with a lot of interior textile stuff and we had one candle – our Clifton Beach fragrance, which is still one of our bestsellers today. It did so well that we decided to focus more on fragrance products. We now have five fragrance lines and each one celebrates a different aspect of South Africa.

You also partner with various charities? Suzanne: Yes, this really excites us. We are working with five charities ...