Yvette Glass is a business woman, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Evac+Chair South Africa – a local manufacturer and distributor of the world’s number one stairway evacuation chair, that is designed to carry mobility impaired people down stairs in an emergency evacuation when the lifts are not working.
The business woman was born in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, she was raised by her parents who inspired and directed her in the business world; her father had good business acumen, as well as the determination she saw from her mother. She later moved to Johannesburg to pursue her studies in financial accounting and has since been exposed to various skills in business such as auditing, investment banking, labour broking, and tax.
Her extensive experience in the financial and tax fields that she gained through working in numerous auditing and accounting practices has helped manage her business’s finances. She worked in the investment banking space for a while before acquiring Evac+Chair South Africa and working alongside her husband, Gavin Glass and getting involved in manufacturing.
As one of the people who have successfully started their businesses later in their years, Yvette’s journey reminds us that there is no bar for anyone who wants to go after their dreams.
Being well versed in the running of the manufacturing business and always willing to learn something new, has led to the success and growth of Evac+Chair South Africa. Working alongside her husband who is partially paralyzed, has been the goal behind encouraging all multistoried buildings to have a device like the Evac+Chair for the safe evacuation of all people, particularly with mobility impairments.
Besides being a businesswoman, Yvette loves reading, being a homebody, and is more focused on ensuring the safety of people with mobility impairments her concerns are heightened as they need to have solutions that work for them.
‘’I am a determined, hardworking, and outgoing person who enjoys interacting with people and building relationships. Having gone into business I would like to ensure the continuity of our unique product and that it may be placed in all multistoried buildings both residential and commercial,’’ said Yvette.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and your journey thus far.
I am just another ordinary hardworking woman who wants my business to be successful. Having studied financial accounting and working in finance, then moving to a manufacturing industry for Occupational Health and Safety to create an impactful product like Evac+Chair that aims to save lives, has made my journey to be more about giving back to the society rather than just running a business. The business is important to both my husband and I. We also employ other staff who are part of our business family. The journey we are on I would like to continue for many years to come.
Please tell us a little more about how your company came about.
I acquired the company when the previous owner who was no longer able to continue with the business due to illness. Having Gavin paralyzed and seeing the struggle that he had encountered when it comes to multistorey buildings and realising that most people with mobility impairments also experience the same problems. This made us passionate about taking the company to the next level and we knew that this would involve hard work.
The business manufactures locally, under license from the UK. Together with my husband we have invested long hours in ensuring the company offers the best product and service our clients deserve.
Should you be busy with any interesting initiatives, please tell us a little more about it.
We are about to launch a new range of evacuation chairs which is a new improved MK5 model of our Evac+Chair® that enhances passenger safety and comfort. This further demonstrates the brands commitment to improving building safety for all. We are having an Open Day soon to showcase and demonstrate how the chair works.
We are also on a drive to notify customers of the need for annual maintenance and in so doing, ensuring their product is up to code.
What is it that you are passionate about?
Ensuring everyone has the right to a safe evacuation.
As the Co- Founder of Evac+Chair that is locally manufactured, SABS locally and TÜV Nord Internationally accredited, I would like to see it in every building to help people with mobility impairments during emergencies. I am very proud knowing the Evac+Chair range of products are globally recognized and that it also makes an impact on people’s lives.
Who or What has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
My father. He was dedicated, hardworking and believed in providing an excellent service to clients.
Both my parents taught me to respect myself which enabled me to respect others, standing you in such good stead in business.
What is your personal “motto”?
Respecting yourself enables you to respect all those you encounter.
What advice would you give a woman wanting to follow her dreams?
Believe in yourself, always have a positive attitude and know you are more than capable of achieving the goals you set yourself. Having confidence is the best way of achieving this.
Who or what is your inspiration and why?
My inspiration is knowing, in conjunction with all those I work with, we can make a difference in the Occupational Health and Safety Sphere.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Never settle for second best.
Your favourite daily affirmation:
Embrace this day and know you are able to make a difference.
Your favourite quote:
You never get given more than you can handle.
What are your top 3 business tips?
- Be disciplined: Everything about you and the way you do business needs to let people know that are a professional.
- Have a routine: It helps with time management and it gives you the stability and clarity necessary for your business to succeed.
- Keep focused: Become an expert in on your industry and equip yourself by doing a lot of research for new ideas to run your business.
What would you say is your secret to success?
I am very routined, disciplined and never afraid to go the extra mile.
One piece of general advice that you’d like to share:
Always be honest and offer the best in business.
Is there anything that Xtraordinary Women can do to assist you on your journey?
Supporting locally manufactured products and getting this out to the community.
Website Address: www.evac-chair.co.za
Facebook Page: Evac+Chair – South Africa
LinkedIn: Yvette Glass | Evac Chair South Africa
YouTube: Evac + Chair South Africa
Submitted by TR Brand Communications & Events