Naledi Mabuse


Risk taker, game-changer and Ardmore’s marketing MVP, Naledi Mabuse tells us what she has learnt…

Take the leap when the opportunity presents itself.

My first job was in financial services and banking – I knew that one day I would work in the creative industry but didn’t know how to get there. I’d worked in corporate for sometime so when the opportunity to work with this iconic South African brand presented itself, I opened the door.

Look after your relationships.

My current role entails working with members of the design and lifestyle press and getting the products –and the stories behind them – out there. Whenever we launch something new or have an in-store activation there are always key people I know that I can rely on. In life relationships make or break you. 

Be a team player.

The success of Ardmore’s Zambezi range was due to the collaborative effort of a small team that worked closely together, ensuring that the product went from inspiration to market. Being a part of the process – and watching it all come together – has been both fulfilling and inspiring. The success of the project, and of the launch of Ardmore textiles, is down to that team work. 

Be open to learning new things – always!

Coming from a financial services background, I have become acquainted with the exciting world of start-ups, the complexities of retail and I’ve been exposed to a whole new world of design –it’s been a fantastic journey.  You’ve got to be willing to learn on the job (with great support of course). Nothing is off limits – I’ve attempted coding, assisted on the set of our first major shoot and written press releases 100 times over. There is so much that the South African and global creative and design industry has to offer as long as you’re willing to let it grow you.

Your input has value.

I’ve had to learn to value and trust my ideas and opinions as I grow in this space. Looking back, I can see that my input has mattered wherever I have participated. That’s the lesson here: each year, celebrate the milestones achieved in your contribution and encourage myself to find new ways to add value.  

Be authentic in your work.

Ardmore has always stood out and, over time, has remained true to the brand’s DNA – this is a major key to its success. It was ‘discovered’ at a trade show, Les Journées de la Céramique Paris, where Hermès was also showing. Our founder, Fee Halsted, met with the French fashion house and the result was a landmark collaboration. 

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Photograph Annalize Nel