By: Tebogo Mokwena
Beryl Leonard works very well with her family and this is evident from the two businesses she has successfully operated. Her latest venture is with her son, Taylor. Her decision to start the business was a huge step in overcoming the trauma of the first business. Leonard is now the co-founder of National Liquid Rubber in Pietermaritzburg. It started out in 2022 and provides liquid rubber. Around 23 years ago, she had a construction company with her husband.
The company was successful, but the couple often fell victim to crime. “My husband and I ran a construction company, but my husband was hijacked and almost killed many times because we carried money with us and it made us targets,” she said. “We decided to close the business and move out of the area before moving to Pietermaritzburg. “I returned to my career as a nurse, and when I retired, my son convinced me to come back to business,” she said. Now she and her son provide liquid rubber for various purposes in Pietermaritzburg and the rest of the country.
“My son wanted us to go into business together and due to my experience, I agreed,” Leonard said. “My husband recommended we start a business in the construction sector since we have experience in it and we thought it was a good idea.” Leonard said that it took them years of research and work to build up the company before it started operating last year. “We had to source a good supplier that would manufacture liquid rubber in different colours,” she said. “We also spent a lot of money on advertising and marketing, as many people were not familiar with liquid rubber and we had to educate them and put ourselves out there.
“This is arguably one of our persistent challenges, so we decided to opt for paid advertising which will benefit us in the long term.” Leonard said that they employed more than 20 people on a contractual basis and she hoped to hire more people are the business grew. “I love working with liquid rubber because it is environmentally friendly,” she said. “I also love hearing the joy in people’s voices when they call me and tell me that my product is working really well for them.” Leonard said that her goal was to have offices across the country to own plant where could manufacture her own liquid rubber and paint.