When Miranda Isaakidis “retired”, she didn’t really retire at all. She just moved from one high-powered business environment to another. “I worked at a high level in the corporate world for many years. I loved it, but I found that the long hours and the travel were interfering with my family life. So I decided to continue working, but in my own business, in my own time, at home.”
Creating a career niche
Miranda’s business, Indulgence Spa Products, a wholesale distribution and manufacturing company specialising in the supply of high-end products for the spa and hospitality industry, is flying. “I co-founded this company in 2005 and ran it with a partner on a part-time basis. Five years ago, I left the corporate world, bought out my partner and ran the business from home. I am very proud of what we have achieved. We have created a successful niche business with our products, which include luxury microfibre robes, soy and gel candles, room diffusers and other products for the high-end spa market.”
She loves what she does. “What I like about my life now is the flexibility. Early on, I was able to devote much more time to my family, but now that both my boys have left home to pursue careers overseas, there is something of an empty-nest feeling here. So I can dive into my business and keep really busy and still enjoy the flexibility of being my own boss.”
“Indulgence” is not Miranda’s only activity. She is also chair of WPO’s (Women Presidents’ Organization) Johannesburg chapter. “The WPO is the premier global peer advisory organisation connecting top women entrepreneurs,” she explains.
Cultivating young talent
Miranda is quick to point out that bottom-line profitability of her company is not her primary objective and source of pleasure. “The result I am most proud of is how I have been able to develop a team of young, talented and hard-working colleagues. The business now has seven employees, all of whom have been trained in-house. They do the manufacturing, the administration, customer interfacing and some of the marketing. We are a tight-knit team and working in this business has changed their lives,” she says proudly.
Everyone scores. “I get as much out of it as my employees do. I have been blessed throughout my life and now I am driven by giving back to others. Training and upliftment are essential tools for anyone who has the will to work hard. My colleagues here are doing exceptionally well.”
Ultimately, the economy and society as a whole score. “These people will be able to start their own businesses now that they have been trained in essential business and management techniques,” says Miranda. “This is what our country should be doing on a grand scale.”