Our story

Everybody has a story. Stories connect us. They remind us of where we come from and where we’ve been. This is ours…

A long, long time ago two families lived under the shadows of beautiful Table Mountain, enjoying a good life. To the outside world, they appeared to be like most other families growing up in the Cape Town suburbs: two working parents, siblings, school runs in the mix and family pets to be fed for weekly pocket money, but… all was not as it appeared.

You see, fate had plans for these two families. Great plans! And what started out all those years ago looking quite ordinary, was in fact, something quite extraordinary and magical in the making. It was here, you see, at the corner of Marvello and Mill Streets, all those years ago, that the journeys of two men would begin and then, many years later, lead to a beginning of another sort. But more about that later…it’s time now to introduce you to the two heroes of our story.

We welcome Derek (known as Big D to loved ones) and Leo (please feel free to applaud as they enter our story). To the outsider, these men appeared much like other middle class working men of the day. They did not possess any striking features that made them stand out from a crowd (unless baldness and curly hair counted for anything) and did what men of their generation were born to do. Work hard, provide for their families and set good examples for the children they were raising.

So what makes these men the heroes in our story, you may be asking? Well.. they just were. Derek and Leo were our dads. While to others, their obvious hero status might well have been disguised under suit and tie attire, to us, they were our superheroes. They still are. They were good men who rose above their birth circumstances and provided for their families with incredible commitment and consistency, allowing us to enjoy the fruits of their hard labour for all our childhood years, until it was time to eventually fly the nest.

Talk about flying…let’s travel back to Marvello and Mill Streets. The place where Big D and Leo worked daily, and every year brought their two families together, through weekends away funded by the company. It was here, once a year, at these exotic destinations, that we — Lisa and Vivienne — met.

Picture the scene. Two gawky children with unruly hair wielding tennis rackets that were nearly as big as we were tall, ready to challenge each other on the court. Those matches were serious! We would step on the court determined to win and whilst neither of us can recall now as adults who did actually emerge victorious, we can to this day recall Lisa’s ability to thrive under pressure, which remains with her to this day. We both still have unruly hair.

Leaving the tennis court (and our childhood friendship), we now time travel to many years later, when we unexpectedly found ourselves’ face to face once again, working for a mutual client. It was Lisa who recognised our connection from days gone by; and from that moment to the current one, we have worked together in business. At first, it was working together with mutual clients until (poignantly) the year of Vivienne’s father’s death; when we started working together in our own business.

Sadly, Big D and Leo are no longer with us in the physical form, but inspire and encourage us daily in all our business endeavours. It seemed apt when branding our company that we honour the memory of our fathers, given that our acquaintance was made through them all those years ago, and that our bond is more one of family than just business partners.

And so, on yet another beautiful and sunny day in Cape Town (with our dads no doubt smiling down), our company Marvello and Mill was born. A new beginning. A new chapter. A great place to make magic!