50 Coffees Christine Meintjes

Name: Christine Meintjes
Occupation: Founder of The Pretty Blog,  photographer  and Entrepreneur
Venue: Oude Bakkerij, Stellenbosch

Your three must have fashion items for winter 
My leather Jacket is an absolute must. It’s the one thing I always keep on me when we travel.
Boots
Nice scarf. It is a great accessory.

What is the perfect date?
I like beautiful restaurants in terms of interior, I really appreciate interesting and beautiful spaces and of course there must be good food. That is more than enough for me. I love spending time with my husband, just the two of us.

Are you a cat, dog or no animal  person?
No animals, animals are something that needs attention and we are not home a lot.  I would rather not have animals than neglect them.  When we have kids one day the animals will come.

Boots, sneakers, hills or sandals type of girl?
Boots and sneakers, flat on the ground no heels.

Who has been a role model to you over the years? (Not your mother)

My husband, Iaan, he is my role model. We know each other from the age of seventeen. The reason why he is such a huge role model to me is because we are very similar in certain areas but we are also very different. When we met, the first thing that Iaan taught me is that life is not always the way you see it that is only your perspective on life. I came out of a very privileged home our family was always loving and caring. We are a very close knit family and my family have always been this huge support. As a family we had a certain view of life then I realised with Iaan’s family that it was very different to mine. For example I come from a very small, quiet family and Iaan comes from a much larger, louder family. Coming from two different kinds of families gave me a more colourful view on life, once we became a couple.

Iaan is the one person who can get along with anyone, he can be friends with a five year old and a sixty year old. Everyone loves him. He is so calm, I have ups and downs and he is always quite relaxed. He is the calming factor in my life but also the biggest support. He has taught me a lot and I really respect him. He is the first person who challenged me on my view of entrepreneurship. Both of us ran little businesses as kids and we both had an interest in business from a very young age, but I have no formal business training, so Iaan and I make a great team

Christine Meintjes

What has been a defining moment in your life?

I am a very big dreamer. I am a picture person. Yes I am an A type personality where I want things perfect but I am a creative. With that we tend to dream for the biggest and we want to do crazy stuff but the world tells you it is not possible. You look around you and everyone is negative. The most defining moment for me was one day when I said to Iaan I would really like to start my own business, and then he said well why don’t you do it. I started looking at prices of equipment and I was focused a lot on the problem. I focused on all the things I need and how much it would cost me to get started. He said to me ‘what’s the problem? I don’t understand’. He said ‘never let money be a problem for you. Never let money be the reason why you do something and why you don’t do something’. He said ‘if you really have a good idea and you really believe in what you going to do, money shouldn’t be an issue. You can go to the bank and take a loan. If you really believe in it, you should believe enough to take a loan’. I thought about that and said to myself ‘oh wow that’s actually true’. It has played a role in my business ever since. A lot of times it is not actually money, you just don’t believe in the idea enough to take it further and you end up blaming money, skills or people.

If you could go back ten years what would you tell yourself?

I would definitely tell myself to have more fun.  I am quite a serious person and I have been since I was a little girl. I take things very seriously and I think about it. Along the way I forget to have fun because I am so serious about getting the task done or reaching that goal. When I turned 30 it was a huge deal for me, so since I was 29 it was a huge emotional roller coaster ride for me. Oh you are going into your thirties and it’s strange going from your twenties to your thirties.  I realised that I had missed out on a lot of fun. I probably would have achieved the same things but just had a bit more fun. Life doesn’t have to be so serious. I read something once on a blog, it said why don’t we all act like children and I thought it was ridiculous but actually if you look at children they have so much fun and they still grow up.  As grownups we need to look at not being so serious. I try to teach myself that every day. I laugh at silly stuff and that is something Iaan also tries to teach me. He has an amazing sense of humour. He is helping me with my sense of humour.

What do you think makes a successful marriage?

I think the most important part of marriage is that you are best friends.  I knew that Iaan and I were best friend since the first time we were together. I think it’s important to be each other’s supports and cheerleaders in life. You go through times where the other person is dealing with something or excited about something and you need to support each other in both situations. That makes you a good team. We operate as a team. Everything we do from decision making in our personal lives to finances we do as a team. Some people operate as individuals after they get married. They live in the same house and share a bed but operate as individuals, I don’t believe in that.

The day we got married we decided we are one. We have a shared bank account we don’t have individual accounts. We share all the decisions. Operating as a unit is important. You must also know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We help in each other’s weaknesses and we support each other’s strengths. Where Iaan has a strength I don’t try to take over that area. We work together every day and we don’t fight because we don’t try to do what the other person is good at. We’ve been together for 13 years now and through that time we’ve realised what we’re good at and where  our weakness are. In our business we both handle areas that we’re good at and we don’t interfere with the other person. However we also challenge each other, because we believe that’s how we grow as people.

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