From waiting tables to running a winning company

DURBAN – Balancing your business, personal and home life is essential for any entrepreneur, says Tarryn Tait, founder of the furniture company Colindale Trading and Online Basics Home.

Tait’s own entrepreneurial journey is an inspiring one. She started working at 14 at a Spur restaurant. In the seven years spent there waitressing, manning the tills and eventually managing the outlet, she garnered important business skills.

She moved on to work for an antique shop in Musgrave Centre when she began studying business management, adding to her skill set.

During this period and at the age of just 21, she nearly lost her left leg. Having stopped to assist at the scene of an accident, she was knocked over in the emergency lane by a motorist who swerved to avoid the accident scene.

Her leg was severely injured, and the doctor suggested that it would take at least two years for her to walk again.

That wasn’t an option, and she was back on her feet within eight weeks.

Tait joined a company that did merchandising for large stores. She worked on the Game account with the national buyers and 22 large suppliers – she also managed pricing and in store promotions.

From there, she moved to a supplier of homeware to large retailers and found herself travelling to the likes of China to source merchandise at age 23.

Two years later, a call from the Coventry Group of Companies changed her career path. They wanted to launch and run a homeware company.

Determined not to compete with her previous employer, Tait focused on furniture, building the company into the largest office furniture supplier to Makro in just two years.

She has gone from strength to strength, eventually buying out the Coventry Group and taking on a partner, Wesley Wareham.

Tait credits much of her success to the support she receives from the Durban chapter of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation. As a mother of two, she also values having a supportive husband who can step in when she travels.


108233326 - From waiting tables to running a winning company

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