In 2021, the Wilderness office in Cape Town was sold and new owners moved in upstairs, after some major renovations! This left us the office downstairs, and a much smaller space. Moving everything from top to bottom was a real challenge, and furniture was stacked high, up to the ceiling at times.
The past seven months saw us selling furniture and creating a space that would function as a work space, with 16 hot desks, two small meeting rooms, a boardroom/training room and a cosy lounge. The vision was to create a space for work and play, an office that was welcoming and fun, not only for our staff but also for visiting agents and suppliers.
We are proud to have achieved this on a shoestring budget, using what we had. Cushion covers were made from Zimbabwean chitenge and Rwandan kitenge fabric we received, prints of photographic competition entries were hung in the lounge area, and dustbins repurposed with a lick of paint to become pot plant holders.
Charnique, Eugenia and I, along with family and friends, worked on decorating the office. Our Landy bar, which once stood in the foyer, and took six big guys to move, now stands proudly in our lounge. Some areas were spruced up with décor and furniture “donated” by Dave B. A locally produced trellis wall was installed to separate the new lounge area. This was the final piece of our vision and complements the office perfectly.
After months of hard work, we opened the office on the 31 March, with a function to celebrate our arrival. This event was the cherry on top. The food and drinks were sponsored by Dave B, while Under the Influence gave us 20 bottles of wine. The overwhelming emotion of everyone seeing each other again after two years, and the reactions to our new office space, made it all worth it.
There were tears of joy, there was laughter and plenty of bear hugs. Simon, Theresa, Caro, Presh, Shannon and Genevieve attended from the Joburg office, and made this an extra special day. Many of our newly employed staff were there… it was great to welcome them and show them what Wilderness is all about. Creating a wonderful space for our staff, which reflects our culture, has truly been achieved and is so rewarding.