Marburg clothing manufacturer dreams of going international

2010-12-07 00:00

BERNARD Joseph (BJ) Gonzalves (45) is the managing director of Juanré Clothing Manufacturers in Marburg. He has been in the manufacturing industry for 23 years, and he remains as passionate about the business today as he was then. Juanré Clothing Manufacturers has continued to flourish. Not only does does it manufacture designer labels distributed across the world, but it is also a direct supplier of infant and children’s clothing products for Woolworths.

What keeps you on the South Coast?

Gonzalves: The living conditions. The weather is fantastic all year round and the South Coast has a very relaxed atmosphere with very friendly people. For me, the South Coast is the land of milk and honey.

What is it about your job that makes you go to work every day?

Gonzalves: Being on the floor with my production team, and being able to improve productivity in the factory by learning new skills and introducing new technology and combining these to compete against the manufacturing opposition.

What do you do for fun when you’re away from work?

Gonzalves: I enjoy being with my wife, son and daughter — they are everything to me. Over the weekends, the four of us enjoy dancing and listening to music. We are also involved in a family project which is loads of fun.

What do you do to keep healthy?

Gonzalves: Our family is strict about eating only healthy organic products and drinking juices and water. I go to gym every day for a workout.

Where is your favourite place to go on the South Coast?

Gonzalves: I love Margate beachfront. The atmosphere is great and we drive there most weekends to relax and de-stress.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Gonzalves: Retired! In five years I will make Juanré Clothing Manufacturers an international, first-class factory in terms of productivity.

What was your nickname in school and why?

Gonzalves: Everyone calls me BJ, my initials. I was named after my father who died two months before I was born.

What is your advice to other business managers and why?

Gonzalves: I would say, to involve your staff in every aspect of the company. Make them a part of the business because ultimately they are the backbone of the company. As a director you don’t see everything and they may have an idea to improve the business. For me, every opinion is important.

What is your proudest business moment?

Gonzalves: That’s easy! Achieving the company’s goal of becoming a direct supplier to Woolworths.

Who is your hero and why?

Gonzalves: My ex-employer. She really inspired me with her motivational skills and zest for success.

What are your plans for Christmas and New Year?

Gonzalves: As every year before, there will be a grand celebration for everyone at Juanré Clothing.

My team has worked tirelessly throughout the year and we will celebrate a successful year together. I will spend Christmas and New Year with my mom, family and friends.

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