Cleo Anastasia Johnson is best known for her drive, her successful track record and commitment to mental health. But these are not enough attributes to define this hospitality and marketing maven. Nevertheless, they give you a glimpse into the foundation of everything she represents.

Her journey in hospitality began shortly after she obtained a National Diploma in Hospitality Management from Cape Town Hotel School back in 2012. She took up job roles as a Receptionist and Management trainee at The One & Only Hotel, Cape Town and African Pride Melrose Arc Hotel, respectively. These roles served as the perfect springboard to launch her into the world of hospitality and marketing.

Between 2012 and 2017, she worked with Marriot, Radission Blu before going on to set up Nuecleo, a consultancy firm specialising in social media and marketing strategy for hospitality & tourism businesses that lack marketing infrastructure and a presence in the digital space.

In an interview with Forbes Africa, Cleo gave a rare insight on how she started off her own business at a Starbucks outlet in 2017. According to her, she simply talking to a stranger. She said:

“My journey started in 2017. I think it was in January when a certain contract was not working out. About a week later was my last day at the hotel. I thought about going out to India for some six months and just take time for myself to discover what is outside corporate. I tried monetizing a blog to make money, bored with everything else.

“I had to register a company and establish a brand identity while I found myself at Starbucks. And there was this gentleman opposite me, who asked what I was doing. I was just registering as a freelancer trying to go overseas. He asked, what do you do? I explained that I did social media and marketing strategy. Then he replied he needed a social media manager.”

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