CHARNE LE ROUX   KRYSTAL SAWKINS   BONGI MAHLANGU  

Charne commenced her career as a lawyer in the field of intellectual property law and while she is still practising as a partner at a law firm in South Africa, her keen interest and subsequent research in the development of organic cosmetics, as well as the practice of organic agriculture, eventually culminated in the development of Vygenhoek Organic Spa in 2003. The acclaimed spa is the first dedicated organic spa in South Africa and was awarded the prestigious Les Nouvelles Award for Unique Spa in 2008 shortly after opening. The Spa also received an award for excellence in 2009 from the Mpumalanga Institute for Architects in recognition of the sustainable design features incorporated in the spa building. Through Charne’s leadership, the spa received recognition from many leading magazines. It is currently considered one of the top 10 spas in South Africa.

Charne has been invited to speak on the subject of green spas at major local spa conferences including the Les Nouvelles Spa Conferences and the International Spa Convention and received the Les Nouvelles Visionary Award in 2010. Charne is accredited by the Green Building Council of South Africaand serves as board member of the SA Spa Association and committee member of Green Spa Network, USA and the Slow Food Movement, Cape Town.

Charne is the author of the first comprehensive guide to spas and wellness retreats dealing with issues concerning sustainability, green building, fair trade, organic cosmetics and slow food principles, titled the Green Spa Guide.

 

Krystal began her journey in the health and skincare industry at Camelot International.  After studying for three years and working as a junior therapist on a part time basis, she received two internationally recognized diplomas.  Krystal commenced her career as a therapist at the first dedicated organic spa in South Africa, Vygenhoek Organic Spa.  She has been part of the Vygenhoek family since its doors opened in March 2008 and has helped to nurture and develop it into the reputable and award winning enterprise it is today. Her progress lead to the appointment of spa manager soon after the spa received the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Unique Spa Award in July 2008.

Krystal rapidly learned to adopt green practices in the every day spa practice and became acutely in tune with those human actions that impact the environment as well as the health and wellness of spa guests.  She takes a hands-on approach in diverse tasks ranging from how spas deal with waste, their water and energy management to the products that are to be used in cosmetic, cleaning or amenity applications and even the maintenance of the green spa building. She was nominated for the 2011 Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Manager Award.

Krystal leads the green spa training that is offered at Vygenhoek to new spa students, passing on her knowledge to future spa leaders.

 

Bongi has a drive for success and a passion for spas.  She pursued her dreams and started with practical therapy training at Mangwanani.  After developing enough skill, her professionalism and expertise improved while working at a 5 star spa in the country.  She then moved to Vygenhoek Organic Spa and has been part of the team since October 2008.  During her 3 years at Vygenhoek, Bongi has learned and applied many aspects of green spas in her own daily practices at Vygenhoek. 

Bongi has a natural talent for combining raw organic materials and producing her own skin preparations and contributes to creating unique treatments and fresh organic spa experiences.  She also plays an important role in managing the energy needs of the spa while ensuring smooth operations.

As a senior spa therapist at Vygenhoek, Bongi undertook intensive out of house training and excelled when she completed her studies at La Belle Academy.  Her knowledge of organic skincare and cosmetics expanded further when she completed a comprehensive Dr Hauschka course, which is a certified German organic and biodynamic skincare product house.  Bongi completed numerous additional courses in unique and holistic spa therapies and is fast becoming a leader in the green spa industry in her own right.

 
           
       
           
FRITZ THOMASHOFF   RENANTE      

Fritz Thomashoff qualified as an architect from the University of Pretoria and has been in private practice for more than 15 years, starting his own practice 7 years after registering as a professional architect.

Interest in design at all scales in the built environment has lead to project experience varying from product design, retail fit-outs and interiors, restoration, remodeling, high-end residential, group housing, low-cost housing, to master planning and postgraduate studies in urban design.

His practice is building a portfolio with a reputation for taking innovative and unique approaches to design problems. The partners are responsible for several highly prestigious projects, the most well-known being the Vygenhoek Organic Spa that was awarded the Les Novelles Unique Spa award in 2008 and an Award of Merit for Excellence in Architecture by the Mpumalanga Institute for Architects in 2009. The spa presented the unique challenge of requiring an organic environment and resulted in extensive research and experimentation to accomplish this.

A key value of the practice, is to take design decisions based on resource efficiency. Taking the appropriate design approach results in lowering the carbon footprint of projects, to include energy saving design techniques, utilising renewable resources, and defining and incorporating the most effective and appropriate green techniques, materials and strategies from the design phase of a project through to construction.

Fritz serves as external examiner at schools of Architecture in SA and has examined at Pretoria, TUT, Bloemfontein, and UJ.

He has also served as an adjudicator in the Pretoria Institute of Architects Award of Merit program.

 

Renante obtained her bachelors degree in Town & Regional Planning at the University of Pretoria in 2001. She has been active in the urban design and development arena since then, focusing on environmental best practice.

In 2009, she became an accredited Green Star Building Professional, enabling her to apply the knowledge gained to development projects. Her focused shifted in 2010 to management, specifically the chemicals used in the office/ indoor environment.

She started her own company, Smart Green People, where she could apply her expertise to implement environmental management processes in the office/ indoor environment on a holistic basis. This approach includes considering all aspects of the building, consulting on various ways to improve on sustainability, reporting and supply. The service also enables corporate staff members to participate in their employers’ greening and to subscribe to a greener life style, taking the initial effort out of searching for ethical suppliers.