The Story Behind It All
We’re a social enterprise. This is because our Managing Director/CEO, age 17, swore that if she’d survive (in a moment when she thought she might not), she’d go help kids that had had even worse childhoods than hers. 13 years later, pretty much to the day, she set foot in Cape Town to volunteer. There she found a place called Little Angels – three sheds that had no electricity, no kitchen, no proper toilets and no indoor sink, but where a woman called Liezl Mathews was trying to keep the kids off the streets. The rest, as they say, is history. But you can buy the book here. (Link coming shortly. Book pending being finished. As books tend to.)
Zach, a refined London gentleman, then walked into Maria’s kitchen one fine day as he happened to be in Cape Town for a visit and asked on Facebook if anyone wanted to meet up. Maria had probably not seen Zach since the day they decided they were not going to collaborate on a business venture (they both had the same idea, but Zach was somewhat further ahead with it). But for some reason they were still Facebook friends and Maria invited Zach for a braai (barbecue). She told him she had this idea for a business. He said he’d do that business. Maria demanded it be a social enterprise where part of the price tag for each product went to Little Angels. He said fine. Zach created the business and hired Maria for the business in London, where the umbrella company is, then sent her to South Africa to create the products and to Los Angeles to raise funds and gather a team for that side. And so a social enterprise was born.
A social enterprise is about more than donations though. It’s about thinking responsibly. At Magique we try as far as possible to source and make our products in South Africa. Some of the ingredients come from different places though, due to availability and quality. Most of our partners have businesses with a social ethos; all foster job creation in Cape Town; and most have some sort of eco-friendly angle or other.
We are now looking to set up a facility for our packaging, which will enable job creation for unemployed people from the townships.
Our motto is that our products should be good for us, others and the planet.
We call our social angle Project Romeo, because the idea is that one day, everyone will fall in love with this idea. We also have some plans for creating various social projects in the townships surrounding a certain play by Shakespeare.