–“I’ve had the unique privilege of interviewing many of the world’s most exciting, influential celebrities and taste-makers. Each of these experiences has been a great gift to me, filled with gems I can then share with the world.” Ruchel
Ruchel Louis Coetzee was born on July 18, 1958, in Bloemfontein, South Africa, the daughter of George and Shirley Louis. In 1976 she married architect Pieter Coetzee and the couple, together with their two children, lived in South Africa until 1993, when they emigrated to America. In 1995, armed with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree from the University of the Free State in South Africa (1980) and an Associate of Science in Broadcasting degree from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (1995), Ruchel pulled together a diverse team of experienced and creative industry professionals to form the company Successful Images. For 14-plus years, this award-winning, international multimedia production company worked with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to universities and non-profit organizations.
During this period Ruchel produced a documentary on South African tourism for the Latin Travel Channel (1996); her first full feature movie, Gringo Wedding (2007); and wrote her memoir, PULANI, about growing up in South Africa during the apartheid years. She had also conducted interviews with the likes of the Dalai Lama, Sean Penn, Maria Shriver, Anthony Shriver, artists Botero and Romero Britto, Prince Albert of Monaco, David Caruso, Dakota Fanning, Richard Adams (Watership Down author), and notable politicians.
In 2009, Ruchel closed Successful Images to start her own brand label, RUCHEL LLC, incorporating all her talents—multimedia production, author, guest speaker, writer, and film producer. By this time Ruchel had solidified her probing interviewing style.
Her exhaustive research and effervescent personality helped her become recognized for drawing revealing portraits of her
subjects. Buddy Schulz, Partner at Holland & Knight had this to say, “I became acquainted with Ruchel over a decade ago as she began providing Holland & Knight an annual infusion of light and spirit through her inspirational productions featuring our firm and its members. She clearly has an expertise and knowledge gained from extensive experience with human understanding and from compassionate interaction with people. She is creative and possesses a talent to conceive and express new ideas which result in graphic presentations resembling silent poetry and speaking paintings, and best of all, she is a wonderful person.”
Presently, Ruchel is co-executive editor of NEW YOU magazine where her celebrity covers and feature interviews—from Sharon Stone and Martha Stewart to Kris Jenner, Jenny McCarthy, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Brooke Shields, Larry King, Elizabeth Banks, Paris Hilton and beyond—have garnered the magazine national press at each launch. She has also appeared on NBC, CBS, and ABC for NEW YOU and has had articles published on CNN.com, Huffington Post, USA Today, and Daily Mail, amongst others. Jonathan Cheban, business mogul and BFF to Kim Kardashian, had this to say – “There are things that you do that make people feel comfortable – your demeanor and your laughter. You react in a positive way and laugh and connect with my stuff that’s between us, which is a great thing. It’s harmless and it feels fun – you’re a great interviewer.”