LYNDALL MOODLEY is a 42-year-old wife and mum of four. She was born and bred in Phoenix, Durban and currently resides in Umhlanga Rocks. Lyndall has a BCom Honours in Marketing and Business information Systems, which has held her in good stead for the business she now owns.
After spending 15 years in corporate South Africa, Lyndall left ULSA as a marketing manager and embarked on her entrepreneurial journey with the purchase of the Kids Emporium KwaZulu-Natal franchise. She started the Hannah Grace Maternity brand in 2014 when she noticed the great need in our country for affordable maternity wear. Lyndall says, “I believe businesses exist to solve consumer needs and I have found great fulfilment in providing quality products to expectant and new moms.”
The brand is sold online on an e-commerce platform (www.hannahgrace.co.za) as well as on six other local and international e-commerce platforms. During Covid, the decision was made to move manufacturing in house and all of their products are now manufactured in their Durban based factory.
Hannah Grace was recognised in 2017 in the Standard Bank Mercedes Benz Business Accelerator programme called Threads. In 2022, the company had the honour of being shortlisted in the KZN Top Business Awards in the innovation category.
As part of their corporate social responsibility, Hannah Grace donates a flat machine to one home-based machinist every two months. The company provides the materials to the machinist from the Hannah Grace factory and buys back the products from the machinist to sell on their e-commerce platforms.
Hannah Grace are also a proud sponsor of one of the Gauteng based FLOURISH franchises, which supports disadvantaged LSM B and C mothers with antenatal and postnatal support. Lyndall is part of an activism movement called the Embrace Movement for Mothers, and she became a Mamandla fellow in 2022. The movement aims to empower women in their parenting journey through both social and policy change.
In addition, Lyndall serves on the board of trustees at Khanyisa, which is a local Umhlanga based school for children who are differently abled. She is also the Kids Church Leader at Berea Church in Phoenix.
A DREAM TO PURSUE
Lyndall says, “I have always been inspired by my own parents who raised us on humble means. Their vision to provide their daughters with an education and a dream to pursue was fulfilled through my sisters and I. My dad was a dairy truck driver, and my mum would sell jackets, jerseys, and dresses door to door to provide for us. Through my dad, I learnt about having a consistent work ethic and my mom taught me perseverance and faith. In addition, I’ve always had a deep sense of community which compels me to give back.”
A personal challenge faced as a female entrepreneur has been time management especially as a wife, mom, daughter, and business owner. “Over the years,” says Lyndall, “l have learnt to hand over control to trusted people in my circle and to focus on the most impactful tasks at hand.”
A business challenge has been competing with cheaper imports on e-commerce platforms. “Being a responsible small business in South Africa means that you pay above minimum wage and make sure all your suppliers are local. It means supporting and building our local economy. I am confident in our vision and products that are comparable to other local quality brands. When you buy local you are building our country!” says Lyndall.
As the e-commerce arena is just beginning to boom, Lyndall says that they have been privileged to bring on board the young dynamic local team from HASHUB, who handle their ecommerce and digital needs.
Her future goal is firstly to create a legacy for her children, especially her daughters, to enter the e-commerce and manufacturing space. Secondly, as she regards her employees as her family, she desires that her employees achieve their dreams and goals for their families through their employment at Hannah Grace.
Lyndall’s practical advice to young women would be to make sure that they have a nest egg to cover their expenses for three months or more when they step out into business because they are not likely to make money from the first day. She added, “Always be reading and learning, business can be lonely place, so you need to be responsible for your own personal development and network.”
Lyndall is married to Desmond Moodley who owns Plastipak and Timmemo – which are flexible plastic manufacturing and recycling plants based in Berea, Durban. She commented, “Apart from being a qualified electrical engineer, Desmond also holds various community leadership positions and much of my strength and knowledge is drawn from him.”
Her eldest son, Erian Moodley (14 years old) has a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. However, through grit and determination, Erian, who is a junior weightlifter, has attained the prestigious honour of World Fitness Federation brand ambassador in the 2022 WFF Champs. “We are very excited for what the future holds for him,” says Lyndall. “He has also taught us that perseverance pays, and we hope that he is able to make a difference in the world of sport for differently abled children and young adults.”
She also has a 12-year-old daughter Evana, a 10-year-old son Emiel and 7-year-old daughter Elianne. When asked about what she does to relax, Lyndall says “I’m not a relaxed person naturally, I do enjoy the rush of a busy yet purposeful life. However, in order to maintain balance, I love long walks on the beach with my family.”
In conclusion she says, “We hear so often that entrepreneurs should support one another. I believe that small businesses are the future of South Africa, and that we have to start at a micro level – my advice would be to support local as the FIRST option always.”