Andre may only have joined us at the beginning of May, but he’s already become part of the furniture at Woodbender. He brings a wealth of experience to his position, having worked across several different industries and a diverse range of markets, and we’re excited to have him on board. We caught up with him to find out what a day in his life looks like, what he loves most about his new role and why he braais at least once a week. What attracted you to the role at Woodbender? A well-established family business, 30 years in the making, that provides quality products handcrafted from sustainably sourced natural material and focuses on producing “the best possible products at the best possible prices” … Who wouldn’t want to work here? What does a typical work day look like for you? I’m still finding my feet, but I’ve always liked to get in early. This gives me time to plan my day, put together a to-do list, manage my inbox and track the department’s overall progress. Once the day gets going, I’m kept busy working the plan and spending time with the team as well as customers and suppliers. What do you love most about your work? How do you go from strong to stronger or from good to great? I like to move outside of the comfort zone and this position allows me to do exactly that. What is the best business book you’ve read? I’ve enjoyed a few. Authors like Roger Best and Tim Ambler are favourites of mine when it comes to marketing and sales management. Lately, I’ve also been reading articles on specific business topics in various journals. Who do you admire most as a business leader and why? The late Dr. Anton Rupert. It’s probably because I learned so much as a youngster in the mid 90s, working at one of his companies. We were taught his business policies and philosophies as part of our induction and I still use some of these pearls of wisdom today. Do you have a favourite quote? Different situations bring different quotes to mind. For example, as soon as I catch myself with a judgmental hat on, I remind myself that it’s important to “put yourself in another’s shoes”. Or, as soon as I get too worked up watching rugby, I try to remember that “it’s only a game!” What inspires you? Success stories inspire me. Teams and individuals who set the bar high – and reach it. Why are certain people more successful than others? Why do some sports teams achieve more than others? What makes one company grow when others are in decline? These are the questions that intrigue me. When you’re not working, what do you do to relax? Spend time with family and friends. I also love to braai. So much so, that I’d probably have withdrawal symptoms if I didn’t braai at least once a week. So, to avoid any headaches or other unwanted symptoms, I braai. If you were to choose a Woodbender chair for your dining room, which one would you choose and why? I love the new Cala. It has a slick design and beautiful lines, and it’s also really comfortable. It’s also very well priced as a handcrafted solid bentwood chair that will last a lifetime.
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