With August being Women’s Month, the Road Freight Association is celebrating women in the road freight industry. The furniture removal industry is a unique and very interesting sub-sector. Sandy de Wet, Founder and Managing Director of Space Labs, shares her journey in the world of office relocations.
|Name of company||Space Labs|
|Job Title||Founder & Managing Director|
|Number of years in this position||21|
|What made you decide to enter the world of trucking?||It certainly wasn’t planned, especially not 21 years ago when I started Space Labs! My previous work experience was in the office furniture industry. I was young, enthusiastic and wanted to try things my own way. I started Space Labs in 1998 to design and implement filing and storage systems for predominantly corporate clients. In those days there was still a lot of paper in offices, which often needed sorting and filing. Space Labs offered archiving services and supplied a premium range of files and filing cabinets. With the advent of electronic systems, we adapted and broadened our service offering to include tailored office relocations. This proved to be successful for us and has become our core business. And so I entered the world of warehouses and trucks!!|
|What were you doing before you entered this industry?||I studied a B.Comm (Law) degree at the University of Johannesburg (then RAU) and went on to work at Anglo Dutch Office Furniture. Here I was introduced to the office environment and was exposed to manufacturing, space planning, interior design, project management and facilities management. This background has helped me immensely in running an office relocation company.|
|What do you really enjoy about this industry?
|I love the people who I have met over the years: clients, suppliers and competitors. I love the relationships that we have been able to build.|
|What are some of the challenges you have faced and how have you overcome these?||Particularly when I was younger, I had no role-model or mentor and I often felt lonely in the business, even though I was surrounded by great staff. I would have loved a mentor.|
|Who is/are your role-models?||Anni Wilhelmi who heads the Women President’s Organisation (WPO) in South Africa, changed my life. Through the WPO’s peer support and the incredible women in my Chapter, I have a confidential forum in which to discuss business challenges and possible solutions. I no longer feel lonely and gain incredible experience through others sharing their business experiences.|
|The best advice I have ever received?||The best Man for the job is a Woman:) (Just joking)|
|Final Thoughts||Our business is only as good as our team and we have the most amazing, truly committed team. We believe that we can achieve anything that we put our minds to, provided we’re prepared to work at it. We live our philosophy that Space Labs is about creating space, space for new ideas and for new ways of working. Especially now with COVID this resilience and this flexibility has stood us in very good stead.|
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