Meera Santoro, the co-founder of Santoro has not only been hailed as ‘Wimbledon’s secret powerhouse’ in a two page article in the Darling glossy magazine, but also featured as its front cover model.
In what Meera hopes will provide inspiration for other young entrepreneurial women, the article details how, together with her husband Lucio, back in 1985 they took what was a modest collection of fun art and have turned it into what has become a global sensation through its brands and products.
In the article Meera pays tribute to her father for making her think that everything is possible.
Newly arrived in the UK from her native South Africa, aged six, Meera clearly remembers her dad driving the family into London ‘to have tea with the Queen – only if she’s in.’ The young Meera believed every word. “It was the uncontaminated mind of a child who believed everything is possible.”
She may have had to wait a few years, but Meera was recently invited to Buckingham Palace, not just for tea, but to be presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade, notably for the global expansion of the licensed activity of its Gorjuss brand, among others.
“I so wish my dear Dad was alive to see that surreal moment when we drove through the Palace gates,” Meera told the Darling interviewer before revealing how a cheeky comment made to Prince Charles raised a chuckle and some eyebrows. (www.pgbuzz.net/santoros-co-founder-raises-smiles-with-her-cheeky-remarks-to-prince-charles/)
As well as not missing a trick to bang the drum for The Women’s Chapter (the networking and events platform for females, of which Meera is an avid support), The British Fashion Trust (of which she is patron), Society of British Interior Design and E2E (the Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur business programme), Meera also highlighted some of the worthwhile charity causes which she supports.
Meera is proud to be the UK ambassador for the re-establishment of the KwaZulu-Natal Children’s Hospital in Durban in South Africa, which is in the epicentre of the HIV epidemic globally.
Reflecting Meera told the magazine’s journalist “We live in time of such uncertainty” saying that she feel privileged that her professional success means she is in an opportunity “to give back…it’s a wonderful feeling.”
* On a corporate front, Santoro has recently established an Italian subsidiary. Santoro Italia is based in Milan as a sales, warehouse and distribution centre for the Italian market, with a sales team of 30.
Given that Lucio Santoro (Meera’s husband and co-founder of the business) is Italian by birth, what took them so long? “Timing,” says Meera. “Now is perfect for us. We have all the right people and all the right synergies. We believe we have an incredibly strong Italian management team, with an impressive combined background amounting to over 80 years in the gift industry,” she adds.