WATCH | Serving drinks & washing cars: how lockdown is birthing entrepreneurs

09 September 2020 - 07:00 By Anthony Molyneaux

Charné van Heerden, 23, is head bartender at The House of Machines bar in Cape Town, but when lockdown pitched up, her career was turned upside down.

Due to her sudden lack of income, Van Heerden and three friends started a car wash service, called “The Cartenders”, operating out of their garage.

“My friends and I were braaiing one night at my friend’s house and she suggested we open a car wash. I said that would be cool. We started with a business plan. We started with entrepreneurial classes. It was awesome,” said Van Heerden while she mixed a double vodka and soda for a customer at the bar.

The Cartenders team — Cassandra Eichhoff, Van Heerden, Katlego Manyathi and Rigo Eichhoff — are all involved in the restaurant industry.

The Cartenders, from left to right, Katlego Manyathi, Charne van Heerden and Cassandra Eichhoff.
The Cartenders, from left to right, Katlego Manyathi, Charne van Heerden and Cassandra Eichhoff.
Image: @TheCartenders
Charné van Heerden mixes a drink at House of Machines in Cape Town on September 3 2020. She started a car wash business with three friends when they lost their incomes during the earlier stages of the lockdown.
Charné van Heerden mixes a drink at House of Machines in Cape Town on September 3 2020. She started a car wash business with three friends when they lost their incomes during the earlier stages of the lockdown.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

“It kicked off and people seemed to really fall in love with the car wash. I was happy to start doing something because I hate sitting at home waiting for things to get better. I was like, ‘Hell yeah, I will do anything’, and washing cars it is,” said Van Heerden

When Van Heerden returned to bartending in August, she decided to continue the business venture with her friends.

“I think it's always GOOD to have a backup. This lockdown showed us that if you are a bartender, you can lose everything just like that. If you are hustling on the side, that’s GOOD. You have that extra money coming in,” she said.

Watch the video to see how Van Heerden operates her two jobs during the lockdown.

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