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#StartupStory: Saskia Tihana Clements on starting a creative agency in the USA

Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Saskia Tihana Clements moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and has spent the last six years building her brand in the USA. She is an entrepreneur, humanitarian, producer and a quadruple threat (musician, actress, dancer and writer), and was awarded a scholarship to study film in the US, before focusing on her business and music careers.

I catch up with Saskia Tihana Clements to find out more about her journey...

BizcommunityWhat is it like being an entrepreneur and businesswomen in the US?


It’s both exciting and terrifying. Knowing that there is a ton of competition and opportunity in the US really keeps me motivated and on my toes at all times.

BizcommunityAs a South African, what are the requirements to start a business in the US?


Immigration status is definitely a hurdle you will have to climb over if you are not a US citizen. In order to start a business as a non US citizen you will need to have a visa or green card. Once that’s out the way you can focus on strengthening and equipping yourself.

BizcommunityWhat are the challenges as a non US citizen starting a business?


Other than immigration status I don’t see myself any different from an American entrepreneur. We have access to the same opportunities and will face the same challenges. I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint a challenge specific to me that other Americans haven’t faced. Sure, there are things like language barriers, accent differences, and having to adapt to the culture and pace but for me all of those challenges have been both empowering and exciting.

BizcommunityIt's been said that the 'grass is always greener on the other side'. What could you say about that?


I believe that every place has its own unique beauty, energy and culture. It’s our responsibility as humans to acknowledge, respect and celebrate the differences within each country. Each place has pros and cons as well as its own type of opportunity. I think that any place on the planet requires having perspective. Every place will have good things about it and bad things about it, it’s up to us to decide what we will choose to highlight and base our decisions off of and what we will simply just acknowledge.

BizcommunityYou run a creative agency called The Boldest. Could you tell us more about this? When, how and why did you get started?


The Boldest is a creative agency based in Los Angeles, California. I started a marketing company in 2018, I then decided to rebrand and restructure my business model thus, The Boldest which launched at the beginning of 2021. We manage and market brands, artists, and athletes that share my vision of bettering the planet and its people.
Our mission is to equip bold future focused leaders with purpose driven content
. I manage a team of creatives that spend their days creating innovative brands, music and films that align with our vision. I truly believe that brands, artists and athletes have a leadership role in society and that they should be using their platforms to be authentic and make a difference in the lives of others.

I work very closely with our artists and athletes on self-development, making sure that they have the tools they need to carry out their own personal visions and goals. I believe that true authenticity markets itself. We also have The Journal, which is a blog where we discuss topics about the past, present and future, these topics are all geared towards helping people become their best selves and step into their role as a leader. 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 you in the midst of their own personal development. When someone experiences any of my brands, products or projects I hope that they will be better equipped than before.

BizcommunityYou're currently marketing brands, artists and athletes across the US. Do you have any plans to extend your services to South Africa?


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 planet.

BizcommunityIf you had to first launch The Boldest in South Africa, do you believe it could be just as successful? What barriers are there?


I am very blessed to have started in Los Angeles, a city rich in opportunity. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities in South Africa, quite to the contrary I believe SA has its many unique opportunities. I think it’s important for the development of our country that people with ambition and the desire to lead develop the skills required to start a business.
I think part of starting any ambitious endeavour is being brave and confident enough to take the necessary risks.
One of the key lessons I’ve learnt is submitting to the process of creation, successful business ventures are those that are well planned and organised. I think that if a business is well planned and organised it will thrive in any country regardless of the challenges.

BizcommunityCovid-19 brought about many challenges across all sectors. What are some of the challenges The Boldest faced and how did you get through it?


The Boldest owns a wellness brand called Afriwellness. Afriwellness aims to provide simple and effective solutions to maintain a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle using products sourced from Africa which includes Rooibos tea. 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 massive delays in the shipping to our customers.

BizcommunityWhat's on the 2021 agenda for you?


I have many exciting opportunities for both The Boldest and Afriwellness. I am mostly looking forward to the release of my debut visual EP. It will be the first major project released under The Boldest.

Other than business endeavours I think as a human I am always going to be a work in progress, I’m continuously developing, growing and getting better at navigating life every day. I hope that this year I will learn new things and face challenges that will strengthen me to take on bigger ones in the future, I hope that I will become more knowledgeable so that I can become a better equipped leader.

About Evan-Lee Courie

Editor: Marketing & Media; Head of Content for Entrepreneurship
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