With such prestigious customers as Boschendal Wine Estate in Franschhoek, Kwandwe Game Reserve in Grahamstown and Gondwana Game Lodges in Mosselbay, Karoo Lavender has a reputation for supplying a concise and elegant range of room amenities. Offering the most popular products favoured by the top guesthouses, the owner-driven, small sized company operates out of the Great Karoo in South Africa, providing those special touches to a range of businesses, from boutique one-bedroomed guest houses up to larger game farms, expansive hotels and wine estates.
Formed in 1998, Karoo Lavender Ltd has an interesting backstory. Annemarie Kroon, who has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Cape Town, founded the business herself after she moved into the sparsely populated area of the Karoo. Wanting to grow and develop a business and bring in a paycheque for herself, she found she had the opportunity to train and employ the local women of the area who had very little formal education, no work experience and next to no other opportunities. Since then, the business has grown to become the trusted and “in-demand” supplier it is today that is Karoo through-and-through.
Beneath the shadow of an ancient mountain range and working with a team consisting of up to ten local men and women from the Karoo valley, the distinctive lifestyle products are sourced from trusted, hand-picked suppliers which are vetted by a professional cosmetics specialist. This is an ongoing process as each year they bring in a new range of products and upcycle the old.
The bottles and packaging are recyclable, the products themselves are completely biodegradable and nothing in the range is tested on animals. In the spirit of the Karoo, buying from Karoo Lavender means buying a breath of fresh Karoo air.
Having outsourced the production of the products, delivery time of orders depends on area and product volume. For example, local orders can take up to three weeks and international orders up to ten. Each product is different in terms of delivery time but having worked with many of their customers for multiple years they know how to mitigate this with early orders and keeping on the ball.
As the company offers room amenities to the hospitality sector, Annemarie is well aware of the stakes involved in customer satisfaction. Her customer’s customers use her products and so her quality counts for a great deal.
As such she explains that customer service focusses on building personal relationships, “Karoo Lavender is an owner-driven business,” she says, “A customer talks to me, the owner, personally and not to a call centre, this means that any changes or issues can be dealt with immediately. This ability to act immediately is crucial not only for the relationship but for the business’ workflow.”
As Karoo Lavender recently launched two new and exciting product ranges in 2019, there is nothing officially in the pipeline for new products yet for 2020. However, as they continually update and relook at their range to keep in line with customer’s tastes and preferences things are always moving in the background.
Hotels, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, lodges and glamping sites
PRICE: Anything from R2 (small sachets and soaps) up to R400 (5 litre bulk refills)
FULL NAME: Karoo Lavender (Pty) Ltd
ADDRESS: P O Box 357, Graaff-Reinet, 6280, South Africa
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +27 82 2154 914
Written by: Donnie Rust