In this interview, we find out more about Terry Niemack (Manager of Made By Mosaic), her business journey, and why she believes South Africa should support small business.
Made by Mosaic is part of Mosaic Community Developments which is a NPO working with foster families taking care of orphaned and vulnerable children. They are situated in Potchefstroom and work with members from the community of Ikageng.
Made By Mosaic makes beautiful handmade leather, canvas and fabric products as well as upcycled PVC products. They train and upskill their foster moms so that they can support their families as well as have opportunities outside of Made By Mosaic.
Why did you start your business?
We needed to provide our foster parents with constructive work and a safe environment where they can learn and grow without having to deal with “corporate” issues.
We also needed to help our foster moms earn a stable income to properly be able to take care of their families.
What do you love the most about running your business?
The fact that we truly care for each other and are a family. I love seeing my staff learn new skills and witnessing their triumph when they master a new skill. It is priceless. I get to explore my creative side designing bags and most days are never the same.
What is one of the biggest lessons you have learnt on your business journey?
I have learnt that no matter how good your intentions, sometimes you have to do what’s best for the business even if it hurts.
What is your why? Why do you do what you do and what do you focus on to help you persevere and get through tough times?
I believe that Made By Mosaic is much more than a business – it’s a place of hope. Our logo states “creating hope – one job at a time” and I strongly believe that empowering someone with meaningful work, where they can learn and grow, brings hope.
I always wanted my life to count. Working with the foster moms at Made By Mosaic has taught me far more than the skills I have taught my staff. When the going really gets tough, I always turn to Colossians 3:23-24. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Why should South Africa support small businesses now and beyond?
Small businesses employ an enormous number of people. By supporting our own South African small businesses, we keep our wealth in our own country where it can multiply and be used within. Not everyone is built for a corporate environment and many people lack the resources to acquire the qualifications needed for corporate work. They therefore opt for small businesses where they’re more than just a number.
See the lives you change by supporting this small business:
Danny joined our team two and half years ago to champion the role of bakery manager. We have since moved on and now she is an invaluable member of our team in the administration, training and development areas of Made By Mosaic. Danny gives of herself selflessly and is always someone to lean on when the going gets tough.
Dorah is responsible for pattern-making, cutting and quality control. She quietly goes about her work never complaining, is always cheerful, and ready to lend a hand. Dorah was also one of the first foster moms at Mosaic and there at the inception of Made By Mosaic. Dorah is a single foster mom to two foster children.
Elizabeth is a seamstress and stock controller. She started off as a baker but quickly progressed to the leatherworks and is now a part of the sewing team. She’s a very quick study and thrives in an environment where she can learn and grow. Elizabeth is a single mom taking care of three foster children.
Sannah is our lead leather seamstress and is responsible for training all staff in our leatherworks. She has a quiet, strong presence with a love of her Maker that is unrivaled. Her positive attitude, passion, beautiful smile and infectious laughter makes her a joy to be around. Sannah was Mosaic’s first foster parent and is a single mom taking care of four foster children.
Pinki has been a part of Made By Mosaic for nine years. She started off in the bakery and then progressed to the leatherworks where she forms an integral part of the support staff to the sewing team. Even though Pinki has health issues, she never complains and goes about her work humbly with a ready smile or laugh. Pinki is a single mom and takes care of four children.
Pretty and her two siblings grew up as foster children in the Mosaic programme graduating from school and continuing her education while working as our administrator at Made By Mosaic. Pretty is kind, hard working and passionate about making a success of her life and living out her God-given purpose. She’s always happy to help no matter where she has to slot in to keep the wheels turning at MBM. She does all this whilst caring for her 8-month-old nephew while her sister is at university.