A GIRLBOSS by day and supermom all the time, she's a woman who defines success
on her own terms; she is bold and unapologetic; she is our ICONIC bossass entrepreneur
and business owner, Klaudia Weixelbaumer. Being South African with a bit of Austrian,
she has dabbled with ambition in both local and international spaces, having been raised
in Cape Town where she now resides with her husband and two kids; she has also
lived in London and Denmark.
Not shy of a creative challenge, her ventures have been quite varied. From South Africa's favourite meal-kit delivery company, UCOOK, to family-owned interior and architect business, Weix Studio, and the one-of-a-kind online kids brand, Big Little Store, she has done it all while being a super mamma on top of it all.
Looking back at her very first venture, Regal Treacle, a showcase of bespoke design, she reflects on how it felt scary doing it all in a big city but also the exhilaration that came with having started her own business. Her advice to other women wanting to build their careers ...
"Don't be afraid of making mistakes; it's all experience, the good, the bad, the ugly; just embrace it all and apply the lessons learnt."
Having been a part of several startups, Klaudia shares that her most exciting project has not been one but many, narrowing it down to her three favourites. She first reflects on the special relationships built and lessons learned from UCOOK she describes as a wild rollercoaster of note. Sharing the same sentiment and adoration, she also looks to her online kids brand, Big Little Store, which she collabs on with friend and business partner Tammy Tinker - and, of course, her first love, Weix Studio.
Inspired by her parents, her mother, an interior designer, and her father, an architect who met on a project and later joined forces to start their own venture, Weixelbaumer Design - Klaudia finds that their fierce passion for doing what they love and work ethic has been a significant muse in her own entrepreneurial ventures.
Being able to truly love and stand by the vision one creates has been a revealing moment for her during her venture as a designer. Looking back on her first job working for an interior designer in London whose style she could not come to love, she reveals that while being grateful for the opportunity and experience, she found that following her intuition and vision by returning home to work on the family interior architecture business revived her love for the skill.
"Being creative, having a vision you love, and bringing that into reality is so fulfilling!"
Radiating a boldly unapologetic and witty aura, Klaudia refers to her bespoke wedding band, the two skull ring with black diamond eyes, as her Black Betty embodiment. Describing the sentiment of 'till death do us part,' she feels she embodies what it means to be a fiercely loyal and nurturing figure, expressing that her favourite part of the design is the two skulls facing each other with the gap in between.
When asked about her biggest failure and how she picked herself up from it, she candidly shares that during her junior year as a designer working on a bespoke dining table for a wealthy, high-end client, she had made a costly mistake.
"This table had more zeros than Zimbabwean dollars, the client was unhappy, I was mortified, it was nightmarish. So… I left… that's how I dealt with it."
While it was not her proudest moment, and wishing she had stayed and dealt with it instead of resigning, she notes that it was also one of her career highlights, having taught her to be so thorough, especially when it comes to a bespoke design. The business world can be one big boys' club; for Klaudia wearing her heart on her sleeve is something she openly admits has been the biggest stereotype she has had to deal with, being a female in business and often sharing that spotlight with male coworkers.
Humorously describing a day in the life of Klaudia, she sparks laughter with the words, "I wake up with a toddler's foot in my face and a baby demanding tea." From there, it's full-steam ahead, balancing being a mom and the already demanding tasks and deadlines that come with the role and being a business owner; she admits that blending the two has been the toughest challenge for her.
"Even though I love working and I know it feeds me, I also know that my most important role right now is being a mum." Being a badass, iconic momma bear herself, she reveals that when searching for guidance and mentorship, she looks to none other than her own mega stylish and experienced mentor mamma.
Admiring her keen eye for design and her fearless and deliciously contagious energy, she describes her as a winning combination to work with and learn from.
For Klaudia, the female artists she works with are the icons she considers herself lucky to be sharing her ventures with and who blow her mind most of all. From her mamma Kathi Weixelbaumer, fearless maestro and sister Kristin, to business partner Tammy, and the list goes on... While there is no formula that makes up an 'iconic woman,' when asked what defines the phrase for her, she believes it comes down to passion by stripping away all the layers, referring to the quote - "Women who passionately stand for something, live their lives as works of art, and do it with style and substance."
"An expert at anything was once a beginner"
...is a quote she finds herself embodying when reflecting on all the exciting things happening in her life. With her soon-to-launch interior product range exciting her the most, she also shares that while grateful for working with incredible local artisans, her ambitions are not limited to local opportunities as she looks to expand her work abroad.
As a creative herself, she reveals that if she could go back in time and pick the brain of any creative, it would most definitely be the visionary and iconic Frida Kahlo.
Describing her life as incredibly layered and acknowledging her physical struggles, political ventures, and of course, her most exceptional outlet – her art, she is fascinated by the struggle one often has to face to create great art.
When asked to define a phrase that best describes how she lives life, she indulges in a recently bought treasure, a plate from The Blue Café, which felt like it was made for her with the engraved message "leave some stones unturned."
"With my mind working 6 steps ahead of my own self, I can easily spread myself quite thin. This quote is just …. YES!"