Sassy, stylish and successful
Nothing completes an outfit quite like a unique pair of earrings, and that is exactly what inspired Stephane Renecle to start her very own business.
The talented and motivated Stephane Renecle hails from Walvis Bay and started Kayla & Clay because she was obsessed with clay earrings. When she started, she had about six pairs and saw a gap in the market for selling clay earrings in Namibia.
She started research on how to make them locally, and during this time the lockdowns and Covid-19 started to negatively impact the country.
“I thought it could be my way of helping the economy and boosting morale. I started talking to businesses to see what the demand would be for local products and everyone I spoke to was very excited to stock my product,” Renecle said.
“In July of last year my baby daughter Kayla was born and I decided to take care of her from home. Being the busy bee I am, I knew I would not be able to sit still, so I started looking for things to do from home. That is how I started clay earrings,” she said.
She also runs an estate agency where she currently manages multiple rentals in the Erongo Region. “I started that when my first son Ryan was born. I named the business Ryan Properties, and this was also run from home to enable me to be with my son.”
Now, Renecle runs Ryan Properties (named after her son) and Kayla & Clay (named after her daughter) from home. “I am a stay-at-home mommy but also see myself as a successful businesswoman as I run both businesses successfully from home,” she says.
Renecle was an au pair in America for a year and had the opportunity to study business management, which gave her the knowledge to create her businesses.
Kayla & Clay currently stock their earrings all over Namibia, mostly Windhoek but also in Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Keetmanshoop, Mariental, Gobabis, Henties Bay, Outjo, Oshakati, Stampriet.
“We also have a couple of stay-at-home mommies buying our stock and selling it for an extra income. It warms my heart to be able to do this for other women to earn an income. It might not be a full salary but it’s something extra to put food on the table during these difficult times.”
“Earrings are a passion that I discovered and I love how one set can make you feel unique, vibrant and beautiful because each set is unique just like every woman and girl out there. So, for me it is very motivating to create beautiful pieces of work to make women feel beautiful, powerful, unique and vibrant,” she says.
Renecle believes that women need to compliment women and if her set of earrings is something someone notices on you today to make you feel beautiful, it makes her truly happy. “It makes me happy to be able to make someone feel worthy. I also love the fact that people support local and small businesses. I am so grateful for every single customer who supports my product.”
Unique and different
Renecle says that the most memorable set of earrings for her is anything marble. “I started with white and grey marble and people fell in love with them. I believe those earrings made it possible to expand our client base and allows women to keep on supporting us. This technique is very unique and no set will ever be the same, just like no woman out there is ever the same.
“A good set of earrings for me is defined by attention to detail to create a unique pair that stands out.”
At the moment she is only focusing on polymer clay earrings whilst running her property company and taking care of her children.
The process of creating clay earrings is difficult. “It comes in a packet pretty much like the packet you will get play-dough from for your kids. Then you start by conditioning the clay by rolling it till it is soft. The biggest challenge is colour mixing to get that perfect colour you picture in your head and sometimes you see the bubbles only after you baked the pieces and then you cannot use them and have to dispose of them,” she says.
“The highlight is cutting into a slab you created, seeing the beauty that comes from the slab and then cutting the sets. After the cutting, rolling and baking comes the glazing of the products for longer durability, assembling the pieces and then putting on the studs before they can go on a card.”
Renecle says it’s a very time-consuming hobby, but she loves it. “I love that every time you have a clean, blank slab it feels like a blank canvas and you get to create your painting. Walking into a shop and seeing a lady wearing your creativity is out of this world.”
Her inspiration comes from her clients who motivate her to make more pieces to suit everyone’s needs.
Renecle believes that all women are stronger than they think, wiser than they know and capable of being anything they put their minds to. “My children are my world and they are my motivation to do what I do. Just like every mother out there I want to give them the best life and opportunities I can, but I can only do that by showing them that you must work for what you want. If you fail you try again and if you fall you get up, dust yourself off and try until you are proud.”
She enjoys a good series and abstract painting in her free time. “My husband is my rock and without his love, support and encouragement I will not be able to do any of the things I do. He always pushes me to play hard and work hard.”
Renecle encourages other entrepreneurs to never give up. “The sky is the limit and a dream can be a reality if you put your mind to it. Always trust your instincts and never let anyone tell you that you are not good enough. We are facing tough times and my heart goes out to every single person and family who has lost a loved one, income or hope. We will get through this, so keep your chin up and always believe in yourself and your godgiven talents,” she says.
Pull Quote: “A good set of earrings for me is defined by attention to detail to create a unique pair that stands out.” - Stephane Renecle