The Founder of Photie, Alison Blair.

Alison Blair has always been inspired by the environment around her, taking cues from everything, maybe that’s what living in the Lowveld does, it’s something that's built into the DNA of the people of Mpumalanga. If she isn’t enjoying time in the bush she is participating in triathlons, a new passion of hers.

A highly successful marketer and business owner; and the Mpumalanga representative for the Businesswomen of the Year Awards presented by the South African Businesswomen’s Association; Alison is fiercely passionate about the entrepreneur. At heart, she has always seen herself as one.

Like every great entrepreneur, she knows that failure is a fundamental part of the journey. It’s another step in the process to learn from. It’s simply a faithful attempt in learning. It’s the pathway to self-validation that may very well see zero satisfaction. It’s the curse of wanting the best, but self-worth should never be sacrificed for net worth.

This empathic tenacity was rewarded when her strategic marketing agency won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2012 from the local chamber of business.

COVID 19 created a mental shift, one in which Alison realised the need to focus on her creative process, the need to make brave and bold decisions and generate something meaningful. It was during this time that Alison shifted an exciting concept from ideation to real-life.

20 years of diverse marketing experience lead her to Photie, a purely South African stock image website for marketers celebrating South Africa, its people and their creativity, and she is funding the development of this exciting platform on her own.

We’re always told that there isn’t the right time to make these massive leaps. We’re told to be cautious. Alison is a mother and one of the many lessons she is taught daily by her 11-year-old son, is to be brave every day.

Photie is exactly that, a valiant step for her as a business owner to create something important for South Africans and the South African creative industry. Bravery isn’t sitting at a desk, being time-bound and playing by the rules, it’s about making time, even if that is time with her family. Bravery will give Alison the chance to spend more time giving back to local community through initiatives like The Chicken Challenge, Nelspruit Child Welfare and Buy Local Lowveld.

Bravery is making sure that everyone in Alison’s universe benefits from her leap of faith, and that defines the journey of the entrepreneur.