So who's really behind The Weekend Warrior?
I have been thinking for some time now, that maybe it’s time to let everyone know who the person is behind The Weekend Warrior.
My friends and collegues know me as the owner of Workspace Design, the corporate interior design company I started up about 13 years ago, pretty much at the same time as my 2nd child was born. I’ve watched my business grow over the last 13 years and have had the incredible privilege of working with some top notch companies and people who have taught me so much along the way.
2020 arrived, full of hope & promise with a few exciting projects lined up. A week before we were due to start on site with the first project of the year, our UK based client called and put a hold on the installation. They were going into a hard lockdown and had to stop all funding of overseas projects until further notice. Disappointing, frustrating, but still a temporary setback and at least I had other projects lined up. As the world around us started changing so drastically and quickly, it was our turn in South Africa. Everything stopped. The crazy busy days, the cramming in a full working day & juggling 3 children. School runs. Traffic. Time stood still. I finally had time to think. I realised what I should have picked up on some time before – I no longer wanted to work in the Corporate Design world. My passion for all that I had known & thrived on for the past 23 years was gone.
What next? What business could I possibly set up in the middle of a pandemic and make a success of? A business that would excite me, give me flexibility I needed to both work and be a hands on mother. Not to forget that we were planning to leave Johannesburg, our home for 19 years and move to the Garden Route in the near future. I needed something that I could take with me & continue growing once we relocated.
I find it quite amazing that once you make your mind up, in terms of the direction you want to take in life, how things just slot into place. Shortly after making the decision to slow down on Workspace, I was offered an opportunity to take over an established B2C online store, The Weekend Warrior, retailing 4x4 Off Road Accessories. The website had been set up, market place established in the 4x4 community, however it needed someone to take over full time and really drive and promote the business.
Gulp! What do I know about 4x4 Off Road Accessories I thought? How could I do justice to this business and the brands it carries? Once the panic subsided, I got thinking… I actually knew quite a lot about the current brands on the website.
I know all about Warn Winches and their superior performance & quality. First hand. My first experience with a Warn Winch was in 2017, when we went on a two vehicle adventure through the Maputo Elephant Reserve, into Machangulo Private Nature Reserve on route to Chimoio, Manica, Mozambique. Nothing prepared me for that trip and the driving I had to do. I didn’t even know how to put my vehicle into 4x4 mode, never mind drive in sand. Sand that soft. Sand that deep.
I ended up being winched out of the sand multiple times in what felt like an eleventy hundred hour drive, right into the late hours of the night. My nerves were shot, but by the 3rd time I needed help during that very long day, I knew that all would be good as there wasn’t much that my hubby and the Warn Winch on his vehicle couldn’t do by now (and yes, my off road driving skills have improved substantially since then…)
What about Vision X Lighting… I can certainly attest to how incredible these lights are. When you’re in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but sand and bush, the odd elephant and one incredibly large python cruising across the sandy tracks in front of you, nothing, absolutely nothing lights up the way like Vision X Spot Lights. Those lights are mind bogglingly powerful when it comes to lighting distance and spread.
How about Hi-Lift Jacks? Another great brand that was on the The Weekend Warrior online store, what was my experience with these products?
In December 2019, we embarked on a three week, 3800km round trip of South Africa. My husband, myself, the kids, really great friends and our off-road camping trailer, who halfway through the trip, earned the name of “The Anchor”.
We left Johannesburg and travelled right across to the West Coast, camping and exploring along the way. Down to Namaqualand National Park… more sand… flashbacks of Mozambique... thank heavens it was daylight and I wasn’t behind the steering wheel this time was all I kept thinking...
Stop the cars, deflate tyres and carry on. Except we should’ve deflated The Anchor’s tyres a bit more than we did… oops… We weren’t going to be able to winch her out that easily… Time for the Hi-Lift Jack. What a lifesaver that Jack was to us! Lifted the trailer up, filled the ground, popped down some recovery boards and we were ready for the trusty winch to be put into action and save the day yet again.
My love of camping, travelling and exploring some remarkable places with my family over the years had led me to being in a position where I had first hand product knowledge of the brands I’d be selling, adding to that the years of project management, budgeting and day to day business operations I had from my corporate days, I knew that I could take over The Weekend Warrior and do justice to both the business I was offered and the brands.
While at this stage, The Weekend Warrior only offers four product ranges, Warn, Vision X Lighting, Hi-Lift and Gabriel Shocks, I have plans to grow the online store to represent all spheres of a Weekend Warrior lifestyle, from 4x4 off-road adventures, to camping, fishing, kayaking and cycling. My goal is to represent brands that are made locally, products that are as trustworthy and honest as the products I currently have on board. I want to support small entrepreneurs, giving them an online retail presence and with any luck we will all grow from strength to strength in these uncertain times.
So, when you call or WhatsApp the mobile number on The Weekend Warrior website, you are coming straight through to me. Not to a big corporate business with a head office & warehouse. I hold no stock, but generally ship your goods within 24 hours of an order being placed. I might not always have an immediate answer as to what winch would be best for requirements or the correct part number for the shock you need on your vehicle, but I am learning quickly and will always come back to you with the right solution for your needs.
And yes, sometimes when I answer your call, I will be on the beach or at the riding stables with the kids, because I have found the business that allows me both the opportunity & flexibility to work and be with my children at the same time. In essence being a Weekend Warrior myself, but more often than not nowadays, every afternoon and not just on the weekends.
Yours in adventure