Alet van Zyl - Hartsgoed
I was born in the Northern Cape and had the privilege and pleasure to grow up on a farm amongst strikingly red Kalahari dunes and the soft beautiful blossoms of Black Thorn Trees. I was also blessed with two loving parents who always believed in me and until this day inspires me to give my absolute best in all I endeavour and to be thankful for everything good in my life, no matter how small.
I did not know from an early age what career I wanted to pursue but I remember telling the minister of our local church that although I did not know WHAT I want to do with my life, I did know that my main goal was to be HAPPY in doing it. When it was time to make a decision, I chose to become a winemaker and completed my degree in Viticulture and Oenology as well as a Diploma in Cellar Technology at Elsenburg College. I will always cherish my time at Elsenburg , because it taught me a lot about myself and it was here that I met my husband, Dirk.
After we got married, we settled down on our lovely Karoo farm, Ou Plaas, and I could no longer pursue a career as a winemaker. When I came at the crossroad in my career, I decided to follow in my mother’s footsteps. My mother, Nerina, is such a talented and creative seamstress that can design and conjure up any dress pattern you can dream of in the twinkling of an eye. When I was a little girl I loved to help her sew with my own little sewing machine. And that is how the idea of my own business, Hartsgoed (all things dear to your heart), came about.
Hartsgoed started small with with a stall at Upington Agricultural Expo in 2010. After the Expo, I supplied stock to gift shops in Upington and Olifantshoek and later expanded selling at festivals like KKNK and Aardklop, Nampo and Stellenberg Market in Durbanville, Cape Town. The first official Harstgoed shop opened its doors in June 2011 in Swellendam and recently moved to the BP Garage at Buffeljagsriver, 10 kilometres outside Swellendam alongside the N2 highway.
To run a business from the farm is not always as easy as it seems and presents a lot of challenges. Because we are more than 50 kilometres away from, Richmond, our nearest town, I am very grateful in this respect to all my neighbours and friends who regularly volunteer to collect and send parcels. Despite the challenges, I LOVE my job. It is fulfilling and most importantly it allows me to work from home and therefore have the freedom to raise and enjoy my son Janus en his soon to be born little sister, Nerina.
Hartsgoed consists currently of 3 main branches namely: Décor and gifts, Children’s décor and our recent Baby Clothing line. We use only the finest quality of natural textiles for all Hartsgoed ranges. Therefor all our our products and garments are handmade using only 100% cotton and linen. Where possible we also try to support proudly South African textiles. I write all the verses that are printed on my products, myself and this allows me the opportunity to make it more personal and unique. I am thankful to all the workers that contribute to Hartsgoed’s success. The business currently provides jobs for 4 full time and 2 part time workers.
I am so excited about Hartsgoed’s new online shop and the ability to bring what is dear to my heart… to the hearts of women all over South Africa.