First and foremost a 31 year old proud mom of 3 gorgeous boys, Bridgette is also an entrepreneur, an introvert and a lover of animals and nature. She grew up in the dusty streets of Katlehong, a township in the East Rand.
BD: What was it like?
BM: I was raised by a very strong and business minded woman, my grandmother. My grandmother was self-employed almost her entire life, raising 7 children on her own after the early passing of my grandfather. She raised me and many of my cousins. We were about 12 grandchildren living with her full time. We slept everywhere, under the kitchen table, on the living room floor. I, however, was the favorite and my grandmother’s right hand woman. I slept on the bed with her, I was always checking if everyone was doing what they were supposed to. I always did very well at school, better than everyone else and because I read a newspaper at the age of 3 and by 10 I had perfected my reading skills I came in very handy when grandma had to read her mail form the post. So, I guess it made sense why I was the favorite, the chosen one!
BD: How did the interest in media and communications come about?
BM: I’ve always had an interest in media. From a very young age I knew I wanted to be a journalist and/or a magazine editor. In primary school, I had already created and designed my own magazine as an editor. I read a lot as well. My outspoken personality and the fact that I was extremely inquisitive I believe was one of the signs that I would definitely end up in the media space.
BD: What influenced the decision to become an entrepreneur?
BM: Passion and the love for PR. To be honest I never planned that I would one day own my own business. I never even thought I had the potential to become an entrepreneur, but when I was extremely frustrated at my previous job dealing with a lot of negative attitude and bullying from my former colleagues, I made the decision to resign, not knowing what was next. A month later I made the decision to attempt freelancing and continuing with PR since I was extremely passionate about the career. That was also the same month when I found out I was pregnant!! The following month I signed my first client who is still a client today, over 2 years later and by the end of that same year I had signed on 7 clients who were all on a monthly retainer for PR and Social Media services offered by MoonDawn Media. To date MoonDawn Media has about 14 clients on its portfolio.
BD: MoonDawn Media; what was the inspiration behind starting it?
BM: I would say the inspiration was from the fact that I could get clients exposure on TV, in magazines, newspapers and on radio effortlessly. To me PR is not just a career but a God-given talent. To answer your question the talent, passion and love for what I do inspired me to start MoonDawn Media, with the name MoonDawn symbolizing a new beginning and the fact that I was Going Up which is our slogan.
BD: Being a black young woman, what were some challenges you faced starting your own company?
BM: To be honest the only major challenge was signing up clients. It was very difficult especially in the beginning stages, because I felt no one really knew of the company, it was new and it was hard to prove my credibility. However, through God’s grace my first client was an international company operating in various African countries and I managed to prove myself to them and till today we still manage the company’s PR and social media activities. I also used the fact that I had them on board to sign on more potential clients and it worked. We now also manage a Group, with a head office in Germany. This has really impacted the company’s profile positively!
BD: You have experience in the public relations field. How has this helped you in MoonDawn?
BM: I gained a lot of experience from my previous employer. To be honest I learnt anything and everything about PR whilst working for the company. Together with acquiring my PR qualification from UCT, has helped me tremendously in being the articulate, hard-working professional I am today.
BD: There are many media and communications companies, how does MoonDawn differ from the rest?
BM: MoonDawn Media is a young and trendy agency. We set the stage for the future of media across all platforms with unique content and a tailor-made, client-centric approach. With years of experience, a knack for trend-spotting, and a snappy team of busy creatives, we’re all about keeping our clients ahead of the pack and standing out from the crowd.
BD: Apart from assisting your clients publish technical articles in the trade media that they work with, what other perks can they look forward to when working with MoonDawn?
BM: No client is too big or too small, in fact we give all our clients a very high level of service. We go above and beyond for all our clients continuously getting praise from all of them. No job is too big or too small, the entire team at MoonDawn Media puts in the effort and we take initiative in ensuring that we keep all our clients happy, always.
BD: How do you ensure consistency and relevance in your company?
BM: By offering a consistent high level of service to all our clients and also ensuring that we are aware of emerging trends within the media and especially the digital media space so we can introduce those new trends and make them available to our clients.
BD: After being awarded with the PR and Social Media contract for The 2015 World Championships for people with Downs syndrome, are there any social development initiatives you have been involved in?
BM: We are currently exploring an opportunity to work with a charity organization as a pro-bono client.
BD: What are some lessons you learnt from this journey?
BM: That entrepreneurship is not easy, it’s a long and very lonely road. I’ve learnt to develop a thick skin and to stick to what I believe will work, trusting my gut feeling almost all the time. I’ve learnt to be strong and to believe in myself and my capabilities. I’ve also learnt its ok to fail, because it’s a chance to start over and explore new ways of doing things.
BD: Who and what inspires you?
BM: Vusi Thembekwayo inspires me a lot! His background and where he is now is extremely motivating. He makes me want to be a better me and to not allow previous circumstances to define who I am as a business woman and where I’m going. He has proven to me that there is nothing wrong with having big dreams and especially working hard to make those dreams a reality. That the world is your oyster, and taking risks is sometimes part of the game and what defines a true Entrepreneur!
BD: How would you like to be remembered?
BM: I would like to be remembered as the woman who made things happen against all odds. A strong woman who created an undying legacy for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I work in a very white male dominated industry and when I’m in the boardroom I know exactly who I am and I make sure I am heard and my capabilities and work speaks for itself. I want to be remembered as a proud, talented young black woman who made her mark in this industry and I want other younger women to see through my achievements that it is possible, all they have to do is believe in themselves, their talents and to never give up on their dreams!!!