Having identified a gap in the market, Joyce started a business (VIP South Africa) focussed on luxurious experiences within the hospitality and tourism industry of South Africa in 2016. Dubbed The First Lady of Luxury by GQ South Africa in the August/September issue, Joyce shared with us recently what drives her passion for this work, and why it is so important for her that women in South Africa are supported within the work that they do.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Joyce! Kingswood is very proud of all you have achieved.

** We are always looking to celebrate milestones with our OK network, please let us know if you have news to share with us! **

I started VIP SOUTH AFRICA in 2016. The idea to start the business was motivated by my passion for luxurious experiences, my entrepreneurial mindset and due to an increasing growth in requests from my close friends and family to not only recommend but put together holiday itineraries at no cost.

As the requests continued to grow and the amount of time it would take to create an itinerary that is personal to the person that made the request, I realised that this was a marketable service and a business opportunity. From that moment, VIP SOUTH AFRICA was born.

VIP SOUTH AFRICA started as a local luxury business, with a core client base consisting of local high net worth individuals and public figures. In more recent years, the business has expanded its footprint to international borders as well as corporate clients.

To date, the business continues to grow and evolve by taking advantage of various opportunities presented by the ever-changing client demands and their wavering support. Each day brings about a new challenge which I view as a growth opportunity, and I am excited for what is in store as we journey ahead.

Tourism and hospitality is one of the world’s largest industries and drives the economies of many countries. It has a wide-ranging list of key-role players across other industries including, the government, transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, entertainment, financial services, health care and educational institutions, etc.

Women across these and other industries and sectors continue to be overlooked. I want to do my part in fostering a world where a woman from any background is supported in their careers or businesses. My passion is therefore driven by loving what I do and the change I want to see in the world. As a woman, I carry the responsibility of being exemplary in my business operations, so that another woman, can get a seat at the table, be respected and gain support to thrive in their aspirations.

There are many fond memories that come to mind but the one that stands out is playing first team sports (hockey, netball, tennis, basketball and athletics). Discipline is one of the most important traits I learned through sports and remained instrumental to helping me succeed in other areas of my life to this day.

Being at the school helped me build strong connections and form friendships to last a lifetime. I am certain that many other OKs can relate.

Due to the fact that the industry is client-centric, my main advice would be that you need to have a positive and easy-going personality, confidence and a genuine interest to learn about diverse cultures and different parts the world, because not only are you providing a service, but you are creating experiences and memories for people from all walks of life.

Another big consideration is that you are most likely going to be required to work on weekends and holidays during the early stages of your career, whether you are client-facing or work in an admin related job.

Generally, I wish to say well done to all the matriculants for making it this far and I wish each and every one of them all the best for the upcoming examinations.