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MEET THE BOSS: South African-born, LA-based wellness visionary Saskia Clements

It's a well-known fact that entrepreneurs have to wear many hats in order to build thriving businesses from scratch. South African-born wellness visionary Saskia Tihana Clements, who now calls America her home, is one such an entrepreneur whose multifaceted career embodies just that. She gives NOWinSA the lowdown on how she's using her artistry to solve world’s problems - right from the heart of Los Angeles.

Born and raised in Cape Town, the former beauty queen (25) moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and has spent the last six years building her brand America as an entrepreneur, humanitarian, and a quadruple threat (musician, actress, dancer and writer).

Her career journey far away from home comfort started when she was awarded a scholarship to study film in the US in 2014, aged 17 at the time. It wasn’t long before the entrepreneurial bug bit her in 2016, leading to the birth of The Boldest, a creative agency in Los Angeles focused on equipping future focused leaders.

Determined to expand her entrepreneurial aspirations, two years later she followed through with another business venture, called Afriwellness. The company’s aim is to provide simple and effective solutions to maintaining a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle using products sourced from Africa. This includes Rooibos, a native South African herbal tea with a string of scientifically proven health benefits. 

While building a successful business in a foreign country isn’t an easy feat, Clements’ illustrious entrepreneurial journey will no doubt inspire other would-be African entrepreneurs with aspiration to solve world’s problems, to follow their dreams and start their own business – no matter where they come from.

  • Saskia Tihana Clements is the founder and creative director of The Boldest, a Los Angeles creative agency which manages and markets multiple brands – be it physical products, artists or athletes.
  • A passionate humanitarian, “championing the feminine dream is something” very close to her heart. She hopes to achieve this through exclusive networking and coaching events for young women.
  • In 2018, Clements co-founded Afriwellness, alongside two successful SA businesswomen, Viola Manuel and Deidre Clements. Afriwellness provides simple yet effective solutions to maintain a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle using products sourced from Africa.
SA-born Saskia Tihana Clements has spent the last 6 years building her brand America as an entrepreneur, humanitarian, and a quadruple threat!
  • Clements’ journey as a performing artist began when she attended a performing arts tour in New York in 2010. She has since performed at major arenas including the Cape Town International Convention Centre and Grand West Arena.
  • She got the taste of the beauty world the same year when she was discovered by the head scout at Sun International, a move which saw her become the youngest Miss Teen SA finalist in 2011.
  • She went on to win Miss Summer Heat title in 2013, which saw her become an ambassador for Mission Rhino, a globally renowned NPO focused on conserving African Wild Life.
  • She released her first single when she was 15 under the stage name “Tiana”, produced by internationally acclaimed DJ Sam World and Ameen Harron (SA).
  • She is currently working on a visual EP through her creative agency. 
  • On the global dance stages, Clements has had her share of success. In 2018 her team “Basic Black” took first place at the Dance Star World Championship which was held in Poreč, Croatia.
  • Her acting career started when she was a young girl in Cape Town, where she featured in various large on-stage productions such as Peter Pan, Annie, and Othello.
  • At the age of 17 she was awarded a scholarship and chose to study film in the US, which ultimately led her to LA.
NOWinSA/Meet The Boss exclusive (Q&A) with Saskia Clements 

Starting a successful business after immigrating to another country is not a small feat. What inspired you to start your creative agency, The Boldest, thousands of miles from home?

I believe that it’s our responsibility to plant seeds that will create a harvest for our future. It’s important that we are intentional and held accountable for the seeds we plant today. My vision for The Boldest is that we will empower people to plant those positive seeds for the future. My dream is that we will encourage them to be more self-aware, to be intentional with their time and live a purpose driven life. I hope that through our creative efforts, we will inspire people to dream bigger than they ever have, and for them to better the world around them in the midst of their own personal development.

I birthed The Boldest because I am passionate about people and inspired by the capabilities of human beings. I truly believe that brands, artists, athletes and entrepreneurs mold and shape our culture, they have a leadership role in society. This means that they have a responsibility and should use their platforms to be authentic and make a difference in the lives of others. I work very closely with my clients on brand and self-development, making sure that they have the tools they need to carry out their personal goals. I believe that true authenticity markets itself. My goal is that we will equip them to become the future focused leader they were called to be.

Remaining confident is fundamental to Saskia Clements as a businesswoman!

The spirit of entrepreneurship in America is unparalleled. How is it like being a young entrepreneur in the heart of Hollywood and running a business in the US?

It’s both exciting and overwhelming at times. I am aware that there is a ton of competition and opportunity in the US, this really keeps me motivated and on my toes at all times. Remaining confident is fundamental to my development.

The Boldest has made great strides in marketing brands across the USA. How will you be extending those services to South Africa in the future?

I am very inspired by the natural work ethic and culture young South Africans possess. I hope that in the future I will be able to help South African brands, artists and athletes build their brand and hopefully equip them enough to make a global impact and share the beauty of our country with the rest of the world.

As a serial entrepreneur with interests in music, wellness, marketing and communications, why is it important for one to diversify in business?

I think that you’re really winning at life when you have identified all of your skills and talents, aligned them with your passions and have created a unique lifestyle for yourself, one that where you’re able to hone in on all the areas that bring you joy. Diversification in business is important because it promotes both stability and growth. Diversification as an individual is just as important, if you are starving a burning passion in your life you may experience frustration and feel discouraged about other areas of your life.

Tell us about Afriwellness. What is its core business?

Afriwellness is a wellness brand. Our mission is to provide simple and effective solutions to maintain a well-balanced healthy lifestyle. We believe in harnessing the power of African through our product line. I have always had it on my heart to share the magic of my birth place with as many people as I can. My vision for Afriwellness is that through our product line, I will be able to place a small piece of South Africa in the homes of those that have yet to experience the beauty of our country.

Afriwellnes’s aim is to provide effective solutions to maintaining a well-balanced a healthy lifestyle using products sourced from Africa, top among them is SA’s native Rooibos tea!

We are told you’re wrapping up your long-awaited debut EP, which is set to release later this year. How far ahead are you with this?

I will be shooting the visuals for my project during summer and hope to gradually release tracks by the end of the US summer.

What Lessons learnt in business as a young entrepreneur?

I think part of starting any ambitious endeavor is being brave and confident enough to take the necessary risks, even though it may be scary at first it definitely pays off when you see the results of your hard work. Exercising patience can be very challenging if you’re highly motivated. One of the key lessons I’ve learnt is submitting to the process of creation.

How hard is it to secure funding as an entrepreneur in a foreign country, and how did you navigate this?

I saved money that I made taking on freelance marketing jobs. However, if you are a US Citizen or permanent resident and meet the necessary requirements, you have the option of taking out a loan.

As someone involved in various projects, how do you maintain balance in life?

Time is the most valuable commodity in life. It’s important that we are intentional with our time and organise it in such a way that we are able to maintain all areas of our lives – that being our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. I make sure to take time out of my week to focus on the simple things that bring me joy such as exercising, planning my meals, taking my dog for a walk, face-timing my family, church, mediating, listening to music, going out with my friends.

As a woman’s woman known for “championing the feminine dream”, what are some of the woman empowerment services you are currently embarking on? And why is this aspect of your life important to you?

A lot of the clients I do brand development for are women, it’s really empowering and gratifying knowing that I am able to equip and support them in becoming a strong female leader. I plan on hosting women empowerment workshops and networking events in the future. I think it’s important for women to band together and collaborate with one another, and I would love the opportunity to provide that space.  

How has Covid-19 impacted  you – from both a business and personal levels – and how are you navigating these challenges?

One of our challenges during Covid was how shipping was affected. Not only do we import Rooibos, but we are also an e-commerce store and rely very heavily on our carriers. Because of this, we had delays in the shipping to our customers. Even though our delivery was affected, Covid had a positive impact on our sales due to the fact that our product has immune boosting properties.

Your advice to those looking to either set up businesses in the US, or expand their businesses abroad?

In order to launch a business you will need to be bold, that means being confident and courageous. The first piece of advice I could give would be to do the self work before and make sure you really believe in yourself and your idea. The second thing I would say is that every successful business venture is those that are well planned and organised. Planning and having a good strategy will minimise your risk.

What legacy do you hope to leave as both an artist and business woman?

My dream is that my artistry will be meaningful, impactful and cathartic. Whether it be in person or through my work as an entrepreneur and artist I hope to plant a seed of hope in the lives of others. My vision is that I will encourage them to gain perspective and to start seeing themselves and the world in a positive light. I hope to motivate people to push their limits and step into their full potential because everyone is capable of way more than they think they are.

*For the latest profiling of South Africa’s movers and shakers across various industries, make sure to visit NOWinSA / Meet The Boss page regularly!

Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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