It’s funny how you sometimes start in a direction, take a few detours and end up where you were supposed to be. I sometimes wonder if I took a different path if I would would end up here. Here is a quick rundown of my profesional story.
After finishing school in 1995 at Framesby in PE I did a gap year with Service year for Christ in 1996 doing youth development all over South Africa. In 1997 I enrolled with the Institute of Marketing Management for three years finishing my Higher Diploma in International trade
As most other South Africans at the time I could not resist going overseas on a working holiday and “travel the world”.
Returning to South Africa, I slotted into the corporate world for 10 years. I have learn’t valuable skills under some amazing mentors. In the meantime my photography “side-business” really started taking off. Evenings and weekends didn’t allow for much social time but just growing my business was the only fuel I needed.
On 3 March 2007, I did a wedding in the Riebeek Valley. As I entered the bride’s dressing room I saw a girl in the corner. She was breathtaking. I immediately took a picture. The hair and make-up artist were busy applying her make-up. I soon figured out she was the bride’s sister, Iza.
Nothing came of it but we did become friends over time. We then started dating and I soon realised she is THE ONE
We got engaged on a plot of land that I owned at the time. I built a house made from fairy lights. I’ve been known to be a romantic sometimes… I had help from a friend and, granted, it was not architecturally speaking the MANSION OF LIGHTS I had envisioned but it wowed Iza enough for her to say yes. So our journey together truly began!
We got married in December 2009 on a Wednesday. It was and still is one of the highlights of my life and a day that I will NEVER forget. We did it our way, on our own terms.
My good friend Greg Lumley did our photos and to this day I treasure them immensely.
Not only did Iza’s make-up and hair business flourish but we were fortunate enough to travel a bit. We drove old cars, lived in a small flat, and had flimsy furniture but we happily spent all our money on the “next trip”. It was like a drug!
This included:Bangkok, Koh Samui , Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, Edinburgh
On 13 February 2014, our lives changed irrevocably. Wilhelm Hendrik Cloete was born.
Words cannot describe the extreme emotions that a baby brings to your home. Ranging from absolute frustration to a joy that is incomprehensible, and a love that is endless.
This was also a career defining year for me as I realized soon that I can’t have a full time corporate career, an expanding business on the side as well as a quality family life. I made the huge leap to give it a go full time. The next 4 years were spent growing and building my business focusing on Commercial photography. Educating myself, growing, testing, failing, succeeding but most importantly learning.
Jan Frederick Cloete was born on the 21st June 2018. He was a breath of fresh air. Our sunshine child as Iza calls him. Finally our puzzle was complete. It seems that whenever we get new kids I also make big changes career wise.
This again happened.
Taking 15 years of of business, marketing, Digital marketing, Media, Design, Social media and Consumer behaviour experience I finally decided to make the leap to start my own Digital marketing agency.
Whats going to happen this year…. I don’t know. The only thing I know as that I want to empower people to grow their businesses and provide a better future for them and their kids.
I always wondered how I could really make a difference. Finally I know now.