An entrepreneur is someone who finds a gap in the market and simply fills it. The word ‘simply’ has been used lightly in this case. It is a person who starts, organises and manages an enterprise. South Africa’s entrepreneurial growth is steadily increasing. There are many problems in South Africa, but one of the biggest, perhaps the biggest, is the economy. Some believe that the answer to saving the economy lies in entrepreneurship. Here is the last of four entrepreneur profiles we have included in The Study and Talent Guide. For more click here.
Please give a short description of who you are and what your business is.
My name is Andrew Gould. I completed a degree in Information Science at Tuks, before completing a Bachelor of Technology in Film and Television at TUT. I have many creative endeavours, from producing plays to making jewellery. My business, called Patch of Shore, creates one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces, inspired by the natural world. I use various techniques and materials to create jewellery that represents both the land and sea; from pewter seashells to copper and silver leaves.
I have always been making things with my hands and am constantly tinkering with new ideas and techniques. In this case I was on holiday in the Western Cape in 2014 when I experimented with pouring molten lead into seashells and then breaking off the shells to see what was inside. This was my point of departure, after which I used pewter, a safer and prettier material, for my seashells. I then started experimenting with copper and silver, after taking some jewellery classes.
What skills do you think are necessary to be a successful entrepreneur?
The most important skill, above all else, is perseverance. This character trait defines the entrepreneur. It does not matter how brilliant your idea is, if you don’t have the ability to carry it through conception to turning a profit, your venture will be in vain.
My immediate goals are to continue learning and experimenting. If you are making things it’s important to ‘play’ with ideas and not to fear failure. I have tried many techniques, some worked surprisingly well and others were miserable failures, but those don’t matter, I’m not selling those to the public.
My long-term goals are more vague. As I have not been in business very long, I am yet to find my niche, but I think that I want to make a product that I am known for and the rest should take care of itself.
Facebook: Patch of Shore