work experience

Odette ButcherSummary

Having spent 10 years in the UK, working within Investment Banking, for corporates such as Lloyds of London, Enron, Nomura Bank, Schroders Investment Management and finally Goldman Sachs, I returned to SA and spent 4 years working for Sanlam as a project manager during which time I set up Celestial Gift Experiences (2005).

Investment Banking is an extremely demanding high stress industry, aligned with growing up in a family business, both have molded me into the solo-preneur that I am today.  Having worked for and alongside the-best-of-the-best, I was able to develop strong organisational, communication, system and project management skills.  Investment Banks are competitive and command service excellence with the expectation to consistently deliver high quality deliverables and manage multiple projects simultaneously.  Having gained excellent interpersonal skills, combined with an attention to detail, allows me to produce a solutions-based productive work environment.

Celestial Gift Experiences is essentially my personal bucket list sold via an online catalogue in the form of activity gift vouchers (a.k.a. experience gifts).  The new flagship store sports cutting edge USA based shopping cart software to include powerful functionality & sophisticated design.  My vision will always be to have a platform that generates cash without consuming time. With this ideology as my focus I continue to automate the operational and fulfilment process as far as possible.  The business is completely self-funded and remains debt free with an increase in annual turnover of 500% since 2010.   

Ecommerce has increased my skill-set to include business and product development, sales & marketing, company legalities, internet marketing and social media etc. Celestial Gifts is also exclusive partner to all of SA’s major loyalty programs to include eBucks, UCount, Nedbank Greenbacks, Momentum, The Achievement Awards Group, Virgin Money, Discovery Mall & ABSA Rewards etc.

Areas of Expertise

Odette ButcherEcommerce | SEO | Internet Marketing | Product Development | Business Development | Relationship Management | Operational Management | System & Dbase Design | Social Media | Financial Management | Facilities Management | Business Continuity Procedures | Cost Containment | Streamlining of Business Processes | Identifying & Implementing Business Procedures | Business Communication | Project Management | Corporate Incentives/ Gifts | Team Building | Loyalty Programs


May ’05 – Present | Celestial Gift Experiences |

Initiation, Implementation & Sole Operation of E-Commerce Activity Gift Online Store

Founder and Chief Experience Extraordinaire | Cape Town, South Africa 

  • Business Planning  Odette-Butcher-Entrepreneur-Front-Cover
  • Business Development
  • Management of Operator & Reseller Partnerships
  • Product Development
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Finance
  • Operations and Fulfilment
  • Graphic Design
  • HR
  • Legal
  • IT, Web Site and System Development

July ’04 – June ‘08 | Sanlam

Employee Benefits | Product Implementation

Project Manager | Cape Town, South Africa

  • Project Start-Up, Initiation & Definition
  • Project Execution
  • Project Termination
  • Post-Project Review
  • Researched, planned, conceptualised and compiled detailed specs for dbase to track, log, report and assist with the execution and handover phases of the product implementation life cycle.
  • Conducted a full Product Implementation review incorporating all the various business units and departments whom we relied on for project resource assistance.  Compiled detailed report resulting from interviews as well as updated all project documentation and processes based on findings and feedback.
  • Reason for Leaving – To focus full time on Celestial Gift Experiences

November ‘01 – March ‘04 | Goldman Sachs & Co.

Asset Management International

Office Manager/Divisional Administrator | London, England

Project & Facilities Management

  • Divisional and global expense projects – data management, implementing and advising on new cost containment initiatives
  • Divisional and departmental moves, management and reconfiguration of space
  • Execute and advise – all infrastructure and technology related queries and requests
  • Divisional administration web site implementation including specs, design and ongoing maintenance.

Expense Management

  • Expense control including advice, setting policy and facilitating change management
  • Monitoring global operating expenses and implementing initiatives to contain costs.  Saved in excess of US$3M.
  • Monthly reporting – occupancy, enterprise technology, market data, travel & expenses and all Corporate Services vendor groups.

Office Management

  • Management reporting
  • Support staff – training & recruitment
  • User support function
  • Information dissemination to division either by region or globally
  • New starter and leaver administration
  • Event management
  • Health & Safety

Business Continuity Procedures (BCP) Divisional Coordinator

Reason for leaving:  Returning to South Africa

April ’99 – November ‘01 | Schroder Investment Management

Performance & Analytics Group

Administrator/Team Coordinator | London, England

  • Office Management
  • Management reporting
  • Managed department budget
  • Department administration – attendance, compensation and training requirements
  • Active participant in the engineering of team structure and the monitoring of this process
  • Compiling and maintenance of procedure manual
  • New starter and leaver administration
  • Management of vendor relationships, including billing
  • Developed and implemented Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data
  • Project Coordinator
  • Business Continuity Procedures (BCP) Coordinator

Reason for leaving:  Career advancement

August ’98 – January ‘99 | Lloyds of London (Equitas Ltd)

PA/Team Administrator | London, England

Reason for leaving: End of contract and pursing travel plans in Canada

October ’97 – April ‘98 | Schroder Executor & Trustee Company

Temporary assignment through Crone Corkill

Accounts Administrator | London, England

Reason for leaving: End of contract and pursuing travel plans in Europe

May ‘97 – September ‘97 | Enron Capital & Trade Resources

HR Administrator | London, England

Reason for leaving: End of contract

November ‘96 – April ‘97 |V A Waterfront Co. (PTY) Ltd.

Temporary assignment through Drake International

PA to Estates Executive Manager | Cape Town, South Africa

Reason for leaving: End of contract and returning to England

August ‘95 – October ’96 | Top Flight Secretaries

Recruitment Consultant London, England

Reason for leaving: Returning to South Africa

Education & Academic Achievements

1994 | South Peninsula Technical College, South Africa

National Senior Certificate

Graduated with Distinctions