On our entrepreneurial journey during the starting phases, some individuals get funding from their parents or family members, while some get loans from banks, others get their funding from VCs, some do crowd-funding, but as for Sammy Mhaule, he sold his house and car to kick start his business.
YES! you’ve read that right, Sammy did the unthinkable by selling his house and car to fund his dreams and you know what??? the risk paid off handsomely, atleast in the end.
So where did this all start???….
Growing up, Sammy Mhaule, didn’t know what he wanted to be, like most kids in the townships, but deep down he knew he’d turn out great.
When he was only 14, Sammy got his first taste of being an entrepreneur, when he sold ice cream on the streets of Tembisa. The ice-cream business sustained him until he was set to enroll in college.
By the time he finished matric, he enrolled at a Kempton Park College in 1997 for a motor engineering course. After he completed the qualification, he was lucky enough to land a job at BMW plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria.
Calling it quits…
However, Sammy didn’t last long because he wasn’t passionate about the job he was doing. He the quit the job without telling his parents.
He then enrolled for a short business and marketing course in Midrand. Because he was attending classes everyday, his parents actually thought their son was going to work everyday of the week.
When his parents eventually found out, they were furious with him over a decision, which they deemed stupid, to quit his job. They just couldn’t apprehend how he can quit such a nice paying job.
According to Sammy, his family members weren’t wired like him, they never understood why he was always willing to risk it all in the name of business but nonetheless, still supported him.
He persuaded his father to buy him chickens to sell and promised he’d return his money once he made profits. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as he had hoped, the chicken market became over saturated. He knew by then it was time to look for another job.
In 2003, as fate would have it, Sammy saw an advertisement for a Marketing Officer in the UK. 3 months later, he was working for Quantum Marketing in the UK as a junior Marketing Officer.
After settling in the UK, Sammy started establishing his entrepreneurial ventures including selling perfumes and eco-friendly bags. All those ventures unfortunately failed.
He learned the hard way that before launching anything related to business, one should do extensive research in that particular market or country before taking a decision.
Still in the UK around 2008, passing by the beverage aisle, he got a lightbulb moment when he noticed there weren’t any 100% sparkling juices where atleast 2 flavors were blended.
From then onwards, he knew he was onto something. He spent a total of 18 months gathering information and doing research on how to blend drinks together.
He returned to South Africa and officially launched Skyrule in 2014, selling his house and car to kick start the business.
Skyrule created a delicious sparkling juice which provided an alternative to mainstream flavors. The company’s sell off slogan is, “juice with a twyst of attitude”.
In 2017, Celia Theron, divisional buyer for the Shoprite Group, approached Sammy after taking a keen interest in his Skyrule product. From the on, Celia joined Skyrule as its National Key Account.
Within that very same year when Celia joined, Skyrule was available across Checkers Hyper stores in the Gauteng region and as time went on, they further expanded to the remaining 8 provinces.
Sammy Mhaule today supplies Skyrule to most leading supermarket stores in the country.
His journey from ice cream peddler to chicken seller and Skyrule owner, was anything but a smooth sailing.