Jadine Taljaardt - From South Africa to Monaco

Jadine Taljaardt – From South Africa to Monaco

Smart, ambitious and beautiful. South African native Jadine Taljaardt is one of the new residents of the Principality of Monaco.

Jadine Taljaardt was born and raised in South Africa. She represents the next generation of entrepreneurs in the Principality, focusing on digital, performance marketing together with her university love Andrew.

When did you move from South Africa to Europe?

I was 12 years old when my parents decided to move to Scotland. I finished university and that’s where I met my partner, but I remember that even from the beginning, arriving in the United Kingdom I knew it is not for me.

Jadine Taljaardt - From South Africa to Monaco

During her studies, Jadine never had a clear direction regarding the future, but for her, at school, it was clear that the world was turning digital. So she studied Computer Science, and she knew it will benefit her in the long term.

After graduating, Jadine and Andrew decided to leave the United Kingdom and they moved to Luxembourg where they established their performance marketing agency.

Despite the initial success you decided to leave Luxembourg for Monaco. Where did this idea come from?

For us, Monaco was a spontaneous decision. We already spent 3 years in Luxembourg, but we started to feel that it didn’t provide the standard of life we were looking for. During the summer of 2018, we did a South of France vacation and we stopped in Monaco for one day. It was love at first sight. On our way back we started to play with the idea to move to the Principality, and by December 2018 we became residents. We simply followed our gut instinct.

Wasn’t it a big change?

For me, moving country is not scary. I understand that for many people relocating to a different country can be a big decision, but since I moved a lot already as a child, I was satisfied. My parents also wanted to make sure that I made the decision for the right reasons and their full emotional support helped a lot.

How did you find the mentality in Monaco?

It is very different than Luxembourg, but for the right reasons. Most people in Luxembourg are there because of their job, not because they choose Luxembourg by heart. Even if it offers them a very comfortable standard of living, most people chose it for financial reasons.  In Monaco, this is quite the opposite. The Principality attracts people for many different reasons, and people are proud to be residents of the Principality.

The proximity of the sea also attracted Jadine, who is passionate about the ocean and water sports.

I love to be in the ocean, just being in the middle of the ocean gives me a sense of freedom that is unmatched to anything I have experienced before. I love diving, I have a diving license which we received in the Maldives. We also own a jet ski which is perfect for small getaways from Monaco, and have a boat license. It is funny because people are always surprised that I am from South Africa and have such a great love for the sea. If you think about it, most of the time people associate Africa with the desert and the safari animals, yet the ocean and beaches there are some of the best in the world.

Do you think Monaco is a good place for young couples?

I think it is a good place in terms of living quality and business opportunities. However, I must confess that it might be difficult for young couples to meet with other young couples.

After settling down in Monaco, Jadine and Andrew also moved their business, “Prosperys (Pixelprofit SARL)” from Luxembourg. 

How would you compare Monaco to Luxembourg in terms of business opportunities?

In Luxembourg, people are very traditional and often close-minded regarding the way they work. For a technology company like ours, it was hard to find clients. In Monaco, people are more open to the digital transition.

In the Principality, multiple companies are offering marketing services, and also many foreign people selling promises to attract high-net-worth individuals. How did you find the local competition?

For us, Monaco was very easy compared to Luxembourg, where lots of companies are using traditional marketing approaches. For this reason, every conversation was a battle. In the Principality, there are many marketing companies on fixed retainers, but very few that offer performance marketing. For us, this is a key differentiating factor.

Jadine’s target group is businesses with an online presence, where they can track real-time customer engagements. For instance, a restaurant, where one can monitor the daily reservations.

Also, we don’t take every business, we only reach out and work with clients where we know that our service can benefit them. We know what we are good at, and really focus on driving growth.

In the Principality of Monaco, the most common legal structure is a sole trader (personne physique or société en nom personnel) making up one-third of the local businesses. Is there any preferred company size you work with?

No. The key is the potential to grow together. For this reason, we don’t ignore clients with smaller budgets. Our business is not about Instagram posts and being an influencer, our business is about delivering results profitably. What many businesses forget is that being online everything is trackable and you can accurately measure the performance of your marketing activities. This is very powerful because it allows you to see the exact return of your marketing efforts.

You mostly work from home. Isn’t it hard to co-exist in a small country in a small home, working and being 24 hours with your partner?

It is funny because I always said never mix work with family and personal life. Yet, here I am” – laughs Jadine. – “However, for us it makes sense. When we first started, the industry we work in was very small and eventually, we would have become competitors. We graduated together, we moved together, we know each other very well and we both have a strong work ethic. We agreed to separate the relationship from the work. Most times we mutually appreciate what the other brings to the table.

That sounds very idealistic.

Okay, maybe there is one downside of being together continuously. Our friendship group is the same, and it can make it more difficult to meet new people, as we share the same social circle.

You have a dog which provides good reasons for escape.

Actually we have a dog and a cat which is a very unusual situation, the social and the anti-social ones” – laughs again Jadine. “I always loved animals. In South Africa, it is normal that you have a lot of pets. Andrew wanted a cat because of how easy going they are, but I am very much a dog person. So Kaia and I often go for long walks to the port and the Condamine market. Monaco is such a pet-friendly place and I love this.

How did you experience the lockdown last year?

What was really different is to go out to walk with the dog. The streets were so empty,  and it was quite serene and a different way to experience Monaco. Since I work from home work-wise I didn’t change my daily routines. To be honest, I enjoy being home. I always make sure that we have designed a home that we love.” 

Did you learn anything new during the lockdown?

Oh yes. The lockdown was quite great for me because I could cut out a lot of the noise and it made me focus on who I wanted to be. Lockdown was either good or very bad for you. I had so much more time that allowed me to learn new skills such as cooking. Despite having a local gym membership with a personal trainer, I started working out five times a week at home. I felt it was better because of the consistency. I enjoyed it better than the strict time slots in the gym.

Did you have the chance to see your parents last Christmas?

Unfortunately not. This was the very first Christmas I spent apart from my family, also without the cold and the snow. However, we FaceTimed a lot during the days, and we even cooked together with my mom. So we successfully re-created a form of Christmas spirit.

Have you ever met with our South African Princess?

Unfortunately not, but I would love to meet her. I don’t often meet other South Africans, but when I do they are very warm and welcoming.

Do you miss South Africa?

Very much. I love it and I always consider it my home. I was once back and it was quite emotional. When we moved to Scotland I was very young and naive to understand what happens in the country. It is not safe and I understand why my parents decided to leave. The safety here in Monaco is unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced before.

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