What about tracking down a nontoxic face cream you discovered on your last visit, or a supplier of organic meat? Smith will find both in a matter of minutes, in the latter instance going so far as to find out which restaurants the butcher supplies and offering to make a booking.
His approach is simple, really. Bend over backwards to give clients a memorable experience. Be discreet. Listen. Think out of the box. Find the unfindable. Make things happen, if necessary, on the go. But to do that, it's often about who you know. Anthony taps into an industry expert when a client wants a wine made with a particular grape or suggests a florist who works from home and can happily do 'loose' and 'free' table arrangements when a client is doggedly resisting an event organiser's pitch of 20 formal bouquets.
One client says of the Ambienz offering: 'Very few local service providers have an understanding of the international standard, or are willing to adapt. We look for people who can follow a brief, within a budget, of course; who are willing to fit in with our requirements without being fussy and pretentious; who can contribute their own ideas, within the parameters of the project; and who try to make a plan.'
Anthony agrees. Capetonians still don't get it, he says. For example, a request to charter a boat for a single client may be met with counters of 'but it's very expensive' or 'we only take so many guests'. He's had similar reactions to attempts to book a three-day four-wheeler trip up the Ceres mountains. 'People don't know how to deal with this market,' he says. 'There is money to be made if service providers are prepared to overcome the challenges posed by unusual requests.'
On the other hand, he's had people wanting to fly onto Table Mountain and refusing to accept that local legislation stands in their way. Some people think there's nothing money can't buy. Or they're simply pushing the boundary. The outcome is a recommendation in itself, and that's what this business is all about. ambienz.co.za