Featured Entrepreneur: Claire Reid

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This week we are talking to Claire Reid from Reel Gardening. Reel Gardening is a bio-degradable seed tape planted straight into the ground. The innovative tape takes the guess work and confusion out of starting a vegetable garden. The tape contains high-quality non-chemically treated seed. This simple solution takes all the hassle, worry and fuss out gardening.

Who is Claire Reid?

Claire saw the challenges faced by many when she wanted to grow and sell vegetables as a teen. When starting a vegetable garden, many people do not have enough time, are unsure of what to plant or even how to plant it. Then there’s looking after the vegetables once they start to sprout. The whole process was frustrating and Claire wanted to find a simple solution. One that would make the process straight forward, way and fun.
Reel Gardening is a proudly South African social enterprise. They are passionate about reconnecting people with their food and the earth through the process of growing. Reel Gardening ensure that anyone, from the novice to the green thumbs are able to grow their own food in as little time and effort as possible. It is biodegradable and slowly decomposes adding extra organic matter to the soil. In three short steps, you have a vegetable or herb garden planted in a mere five minutes. There really is no excuse to not be growing your own food the Reel way.

What makes Claire unique?

Firstly, Claire founded this idea at the age of 16. As an introvert, she was pushed into the deep end when this project was entered into the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in 2002. The response was overwhelming, and then Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry requested information on the water saving abilities. Through research she concluded that it saved 80% of water consumed during germination phase. Following this, Claire won the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize for South Africa.
And Claire hit the ground running. The right side of her brain works overtime and that’s why she always has innovative ideas. She’s extremely creative and likes to believe that it’s one of her superpowers. We believe the other superpower is her big heart! Wanting to make a real social impact is admirable.

The Little Prince

When asked what book has most influenced her and why, she answered ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It taught her that life is what you want to make of it. Fundamentally we need to not compare our life with others, because “comparison is the thief of joy”. The rise in access to social media platforms has made this hard. There is a constant need to compare their lives to what the next person is doing, based on what they see. 

Who has been your greatest an influence?

The person I want to be in 10 years. Happy, healthy and fulfilled with my life-choices and the impact I’ve made. I want every person I have interacted with, to leave better off than they were when they met me.

What’s the greatest gift you could gift another entrepreneur?

A supportive and driven team, because you cannot go on this journey alone. Claire has a small team based in Johannesburg. They have spent years developing both the product and their ability to create sustainable impact to food security in Africa.

Stuck on an island

What three items would Claire want to have with her if stuck on an island?
  • My Podcast App
  • Kindle
  • Whatsapp (hopefully I’d be able to alert someone that I’m stuck on an island)
In conclusion, entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges on their journey and Claire is no different. Admitting failure has been hard, but having a supportive and dedicated team has helped her through these hard times. Turning failures into lessons.
If you want to get in contact with Claire or her equally wonderful team, here’s how: https://reelgardening.co.za/contact/

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