Awesome Tools’ new marketing assistant and graphic designer might be in new roles, but they are not new faces to the company.
The industry will know Liz Woodroffe, Awesome Tools’ new marketing assistant, as the wife of Awesome Tools owner Bruce Woodroffe, but she also has a two-decade-long history in the world of fashion. “Marketing is a new field for me as I am a qualified fashion designer who worked in various sectors of the clothing industry for 20 years before joining the higher education sector.” She lectured during the last eight years of her fashion design career and was appointed as Academic Head at the Cape Town College of Fashion Design in 2014. She has a Bachelor’s in Fashion Design and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education studies from UCT.
Although she is new to the industry as far as working in it is concerned, she has been part of this industry for her entire life, she says. “My father, Willem Odendaal, ran his own sport and gun shops for nearly four decades and was well known for his hunting passion.”
Odendaal ran three retailers (Safari Den opened in Ladysmith in 1969, Willem se Den in Vryheid in 1979, and 007 Arms opened in Margate in 1993) before his retirement in 2006.
“It was during the Vryheid era that my mother, Violet, set me up with a nice rep from Durban that called on the shop at the time and we were married a year later,” Liz recalls. “I bought Bruce his first Leatherman Super Tool from Willem se Den when they first came out!”
“Bruce and I have been married for nearly 30 years and although I have never worked for him before, I have always been part of his business life: from the early days in Durban where he ran Woodroffe Agencies, to our time in Johannesburg where he worked for a sporting brand, and finally embarking on our journey to Cape Town to buy our own business, Awesome Tools.”
Awesome Tools’ new graphic designer, Dieter Erxleben, is no stranger to the company either, having worked there since 2009 in the role of assistant graphic designer.
He is also well trained in what’s needed for creating high quality printed products: he has a solid background in publishing and printing, having studied desktop publishing at Paarl Gravure, worked a further year and a half at another printing company, and thereafter joined a small publishing company where he worked on magazines.
In addition to his design and printing skills, Erxleben also has a hands-on knowledge of the Leatherman tools and Ledlenser torches. “I became proficient at servicing the Leatherman tools and Ledlenser torches from working alongside our service department.”