What do you do when the world comes to a complete standstill? You build an online store!
As a result of the success of local retail shops at our Gondwana lodges, and the repeated requests from guests wanting to order something they saw and treasured but didn’t buy, setting up an online store was always in the Gondwana pipeline. In 2020, time was on our side, so we flattened our ears, dug in our heels, and started researching the web with hundreds of YouTube and Shopify tutorials.
Danica Geldenhuys, our youngest Curio Chick, deserves the first mention of Gold Star appreciation. Thanks to her determination and pure grit, she taught herself all the facets of web development and coding and then built our store from scratch. As a former Procurement Officer and Curio Assistant with a background in Fashion & Design, she moved our department to a new sales channel that is more flexible, modern and relevant to the everchanging markets.
With the aid of Mariaan Kellerman, our loyal Curio Administrator and meticulous Stock Controller, all products are carefully categorised and ready to be packed and shipped.
Astrid van Lill, “The General” & Curio Merchandiser, made sure our crazy ideas and impossible wishes were carefully planned and orchestrated. Her OCD characteristics took a serious knock and are slowly but surely being replaced by true leadership qualities.
To our partners in crime at Gondwana Brand & Marketing: Jescey, Daniela, Ndinelao, Elke and Conrad, thank you for making it happen exactly the way we envisaged it and for enduring our pedantic wishes.
To Bernd and Erik at Gondwana IT: without your technical support and wizardry behind the scenes nothing would have plugged in and Namibia would not be ready to be shipped worldwide.
To Iroleen, Tessa and Marco at Gondwana Finance: thank you for making our sums reach the bottom line (and make sense).
To Anja and Angelique at The Warehouse: thank you for being our guinea pigs, sounding board, F&B saviours and psychological back up support.
To Alonso, Elario and Charissa at DHL, thank you for assisting us to bring Namibia across the oceans!
Our main aim was to share our Namibian lifestyle with the rest of the world. This meant portraying our favourite products that best represent our lodges and our way of life, in a photoshoot.
We planned two photoshoots and invited some friends over to have a Namibian sundowner.
It was a magical concoction of creative and inspiring souls!
Melanie (v/d Merwe-Redecker) & Nyasyo (Nangogo-Mwenda), our very own Women Unleashed, your raw creative energy and incredible power complemented Attila Giersch’s chilled but artistic aura and to (Sathy)agulan Thambapilai, our DJ and Taco King: I will make you cinnamon-infused gin & tonics anytime!
Thank you to (Alu)godhi Kanyama, DJ & Club owner, for your calm and steady presence. Next to renowned singer and Female Artist of the Year, Lize Ehlers, Riaan Smit created an awesome atmosphere with his soulful guitar mastery and singing, thereby supported by the forever chilled Richard Redecker, ensuring a balanced vibe in the background. You all rock!
Nadia Engelbrecht, your striking smile will forever be linked to pink gin. Gondwana Brand Ambassador and former Miss Namibia Odile Gertze, you are such a natural and we thank you for your support.
A huge shout out to all our young and cool generation Zs; “Beauty and Brains” Nia Yu, “Sexy Optometrist” Nghifikepunye Shaetonhodi, “Artistic Yoga instructor” Liza van Wyk, “Fitness Influencer” Christiaan Mouton, “A-level student Chem Major” Michelle Petrus, as well as our very own Gondwana diamonds Senobia Sampson as a Tour operator and Jonathan Kashikola from Human Resources. You all shine in your own way and are such a true representation of our Namibian youth!
All these creative personalities had to be tamed and directed by our two photographers “Legal Advocate to be” Alta Strydom and “Future Art Director” Armand Nel. Alta’s chaotic and outspokenly weird but authentic approach was incredibly well balanced by Armand’s open minded, humble, and methodical ways. The result has given us a cool blend of lifestyle shots that are in fact a homage to our products featured.
We hope you will be as proud of our online store as we are, we thank you for your time and pioneer spirit. It is the narrative of your rich lives that tell our story.
Written by: Sonia Noirfalise-Corsini