When Leona Erasmus was asked to tell us more about herself and her business at a meeting of the Helderberg Cape Marketing Meet-up in Somerset West, it was clear that a mere elevator pitch could not convey everything this bundle of energy keeps herself busy with.
There is being a wife and mother. There is her full time position as XS Health’s sales and regional manager for the Western Cape. There is Gift Café, her corporate gifts and clothing company and its off-shoot, Fan Shirts which supplies merchandise to South African musicians and bands. And there is her personal brand, Leona Erasmus the community worker.
“Liefde Wen does exactly what the name says, love does conquer all,” Leona says.
“I immediately felt that my own purpose was aligned to that of Bouwer Bosch and his charity. I knew that it was time to start giving back.”
Leona became responsible for the logistics at the NPO focussing on the corporate market to ensure business viability and profitability.
And then she took the next step.
Leona's desire to give back to the community motivated her to participate in the 2013 Mrs South Africa pageant where her energy and passion ensured her a place as one of the ten finalists.
This fact we only discovered on the day of the shoot but we were not at all surprised. It is clear that when Leona puts her mind to something, she makes a success of it, whatever it is.
It was only later that we learnt what enormous courage it really took for Leona to commit to a year of community work, campaigning and fundraising required for the Mrs South Africa pageant.
As young mother, in her early twenties, Leona had suffered a stroke. While still recovering from this, she fell pregnant again just to develop postnatal depression after the birth of her second daughter. The road to recovery was difficult.
“But I’ve learnt to love my story,” Leona says. “It has brought hope, self-discovery and it has made me more confident. I have learnt to cherish and nurture my body, to love my life and to use it to motivate, inspire.”
“The pageant became a vehicle to work effectively with the charities and to assist them to reach their goals and to make a tangible difference in people’s lives,” she says.
Beauty with a purpose, indeed.
Stylist: Jolandi Barnard, Stellenbosch
Jewellery and Flower Child sunglasses in main image: Wooden Lace Jewellery, Pretoria
Book a Style & Stories Portrait Portfolio photo shoot today