Grow with the Flow

One thing that being in lockdown and spending extra time at home has changed for me is the amount of houseplants I have accumulated. From small to large, from upright to cascading, from green to pink – I have discovered my love of greenery and nature surrounding me, and I love taking the time to chat to my new little friends and learn how to take the best possible care of them.

I have been buying all my plants from small businesses or a guy that comes around to our office block (when we were actually working there), and during my explorations I discovered the divine husband and wife team aka Grow with the Flow.


Let’s Chat to Grow with the Flow

Your Names: We are Kyle & Rejandi Houston-McMillan

Business Name: We named our business Grow with the Flow.

Social Media Handles: Instagram, Facebook and Website.

3 fun facts about US: Kyle thinks these are FUN facts, I just think that they’re facts. 😂 But you can be the judge of that.

  • We both completed our honours degrees in two very different fields of study. Kyle studied Landscape Architecture and I studied Psychology. Both our undergraduate studies were completed at the University of Pretoria.
  • We tied the knot in January of 2020, but we met in 2013 when I was only 16 and Kyle 17. We’ve been together ever since.
  • We come from very different backgrounds. Kyle is English and was raised in Pretoria (With a surname like that, people usually assume as much). Whereas I am Afrikaans (my surname used to be Coetzee) and grew up in a small town called Mooinooi in the North West Province. We met by chance one night in Pretoria at a mutual friend’s birthday party.

What exactly does your business do: Kyle: “When it comes to plants, what does our business not do?” We started our business with subscription boxes but soon realized that we would do better just by selling plants online. Back when we started, there weren’t that many online indoor plant shops. But lately, they’re popping up everywhere. I guess it’s because of the current situation- people are finding ways to keep their businesses afloat and going online is all that makes sense. But back to the question- We sell indoor plants online. So people place orders through our website, or directly through us, and then we send them beautiful indoor plants! Simple as that. Obviously there is a lot of behind the scenes that people don’t know about. Packaging is a big thing for us, since the plants travel all over SA, we need to make sure that they will survive the trip and get there in one piece. So we have to prep each plant before it gets packed into its box. This involves cleaning pots, taping soil down with brown paper, putting plants in plastic sleeves to protect the leaves, sometimes wrapping whole plants in brown paper, shining leaves, deciding which size box to use, stuffing open spaces with newspapers (or sometimes free plants), then extending boxes to make sure leaves don’t bend (we call them box caps- we basically add half a box on top of the current box), putting stickers on the boxes for the couriers etc. The above process doesn’t even mention the admin that gets put in… doing stock take, box analysis (so we know what to buy), typing up waybills, handwriting the thank you notes, making plant info sheets, working on the website and a whole lot more. This business has grown in so many directions, that it’s hard to explain what exactly we do. The short answer (that we usually give strangers) is that we sell indoor plants online and ship them all over South Africa. But there is just so much more that we can say- as you can see. 😂

What makes you stand out to other nurseries/plant shops:
Isn’t this a question that all business owners ask themselves on a daily basis? What we hope to achieve, and what we hope stands out – is that we try to create a unique, and personal plant shopping experience. People are usually skeptical when it comes to shipping live plants – but we have now done it thousands of times with great success. Our business is personal. It’s one on one. We communicate through whatsapp and give customers updates on their orders – I (Rejandi) personally write the thank you notes, and I have done this since the very beginning. We also send tracking info for your purchase once it has been shipped, and we also include some general after travel tips for the plants. Kyle spends hours on Photoshop creating personal and specific plant care info sheets for each plant that we sell – which gives a lot more info than the sticker on a pot that you would find in a normal nursery. We also offer after-purchase care and advice if plants aren’t doing so well. We have WhatsApp web open in our office 24/7 and we check messages and answer them as often as we can. When people buy from us continuously – we become friends. I remember names since I write the notes myself- so next time you order, I might just add a complimentary plant, mug, cookie, or gift – and that, the personal touch we put into everything, is what makes us different!

Why the obsession with plants:
It all started with a single purchase from Woolworths. Kyle was adamant that we could take care of a Monstera in our shoe-box size flat when we were still studying. I was skeptical since I thought they needed bright light and you know; belonged outside. 😂 Kyle has always had green thumbs. It kind of comes with his area of study. Plants have always been his thing. He had to learn their scientific names and all types of info on them for his degree. So he has a lot of knowledge on them that really comes in handy now. So after that Monstera was surviving, we started buying more and more. We eventually moved to a much nicer apartment when we were both doing our honours degrees and the plant collection just grew. Birds nest ferns, bamboo palms etc. But even then I had no idea how many indoor plants existed. I only really learned when we started the business.

Why do you think everyone should own a plant:
Now this is where my degree and knowledge become relevant. From a psychological point of view- and as many studies have shown, plants increase productivity. Having plants in your space, and caring for them- has a serious influence on your mental health. I’ve heard people say that plants are the new pets – and pets are the new children, because actual children are too expensive. Caring for something is built into us. It’s part of our DNA. So if we can’t afford children, or pets – at least we can take care of plants and achieve some level of satisfaction and purpose – a sense of being needed and valued (even if plants can’t talk- seeing a plant make a new leaf, is so rewarding!) So not only can plants increase your productivity in the office, and at home- but they can also make you a proud plant parent!

Which is your personal favourite indoor plant:
Do we have to choose only 1? 😂 Kyle will always stick with the original- a monstera. “It’s beautiful, it’s green, it’s rewarding, it’s simple”. Which is all true. It’s an easy-care plant with low light requirements and they are seriously hard to kill. But for me, I’m a bit silly. My favorite is any calathea or prayer plant. You know, the difficult drama queens that just die when you water them one day late or move them 2cm. I can’t seem to learn my lesson with them. I’m always adding more of them to our collection!

Which has been your most popular:
By far the Monster Fig combo! Which is a Monstera and a fiddle leaf fig. The sales of this combo alone have gotten our business through many months! We first started selling the combo in December of last year- we only loaded 50 onto our website and had to restock about 6 times before we decided to just leave it on, and not stock control it. We were still selling that combo all the way till last week when we finally had to take it off the website. So if anyone reading this, bought that combo- thank you for helping us to keep our business going!

Which is your hardiest plant – I’m speaking on behalf of those of us who don’t have a green thumb:
We would definitely recommend our beginners combo! ZZ plant and heartleaf philodendron. The ZZ plant is super hardy. Kyle always says that you could put it in a cupboard, behind a couch and it will still survive. It makes a potato-like ball called a risome in which it stores water. So it does not need water often. The worst you could do to any indoor plant is over water it. So rather under-water. When we got our first ZZ – I read somewhere “if you are wondering whether to water it or not- rather don’t”. That should definitely be a beginner’s top pick- followed by the heartleaf philodendron aka philodendron scandens. This plant is super forgiving and can also go long without water. It is low-light tolerant and is a vining plant, so it makes a lovely bookshelf feature or hanging addition!

What are some of your most unusual plants:
If you’re asking with regards to the plants we sell- then I’ll have to say the polkadot begonia is quite unusual. Upon first sight- it looks unreal, silver polkadoted and almost organge leaves. This plant is also one of our best sellers and a collectors plant! It’s actually really easy to care for- not fussy at all and interesting to watch it grow. Next on the unusual list- is anything varigated. It blows my mind that nature can be such an artist. Varigated plants receive quite a lot of hype- and for good reason! They are a great converstation starter, since anyone who doesn’t know plants will ask “Whats wrong with this plant” because people aren’t used to plants having white in their leaves. If only they knew how plant people fuss about those types of plants- us included.

We also have a few rare and unusual plants in our own collection- including a young varigated monstera, string of hearts, a few calatheas that are not easy to find (or keep alive for that matter), monstera adansonii and a tetrasperma.

Please tell me more about your subscription service, and the different options:
We recently changed our subsription offers. We now have Small (R300), Medium (R350) and Large (R400) subscription boxes to choose from. The boxes all include a plant (the size of the plant depends on the box that is chosen), a handmade ceramic pot or mantis decorative pot cover and a gift. This month we have partnered with Tru Grower so the gift is some lovely foliar feed plant fertilizer and some Grow With the Flow potting soil. The boxes can be purchased through our website or you can send us a whatsapp and we’ll work out shipping etc. Boxes can also be purchased once-off or monthly for how many months you want. We keep things interesting and include new plants and gifts every month. We are also expanding our business and website currently so we are continuously partnering with new brands that feature in the boxes!

How can people order from you:
Most of our orders get processed through our website. We accept online payments and use PayFast wich is a secure payment method. However, some customers prefer to place their orders through Whatsapp, we then set up an invoice and payment is made through EFT (Some customers just feel more comfortable with this). Shipping for the plants gets worked out automatically on the website and is based on how much you spend- since the size of the order determines the box size and shipping costs.

Whereabouts in Johannesburg do you deliver to:
We deliver to everywhere in South Africa. We have yet to receive an order from somewhere that we could not ship to. We use The Courier Guy for shipping and they have been reliable and affordable for our boxes to get to their destinations. There are some special customers that get personal deliveries from us. Simply because they happen to live in an area close to where we are headed. Kyle’s parents live in Pretoria East- so many customers from there have received personal deliveries. We also deliver big local corporate orders ourselves- if it is within a certain area, and the order is too big to ship- we will deliver it ourselves.

Quote you live by:
So many come to mind! I am basically a walking Pinterest board. “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today”. Kyle says: “Happy wife- happy life”. My personal favourite, which I also want tattooed on me one day (soon) is “Grow through what you go through”. I just feel like this quote resonates with so much happening in our lives but business wise – Our business started and grew because of COVID. We were going through so much all at once (personally), and we couldn’t always keep our heads up. But somehow we managed to start a business during all of that and we have just been growing with our business. Despite what we went through. This quote also has many personal connections but most importantly it remind me that there is a lesson in everything. There is always room to grow and improve. Things can’t always be bad, at some point, they will be good again and in those good moments, I want to look back and think of how those hard times helped to shape me into what I am. I also think the name of our business says a lot “Grow with the Flow” was named this way because we had to change what we were doing in life due to what was happening around us. We literally had to grow through, and with the flow of life.

Anything else you want to add:
I just want to add some detail regarding the origin of the business. Kyle registered this business with money that he got for his 25th birthday. It all started in our house. We started the business before we even had suppliers or any clue of where to start looking. We were selling some of our own personal plants just to see how it would all work out. We started getting subscribers- some family members, some friends, old acquaintances etc. Then some new people subscribed and I remember we had 8 subscribers and I thought WOW! We worked well into the night, just the two of us. Potting plants, cleaning pots, wrapping soil, wiping leaves with a cloth, wrapping all the plants in paper (We only started using the easy plastic sleeves this year), wrapping pots in cardboard, making boxes and packing them. Making info sheets, writing thank you notes, writing waybills, spending an hour at the courier guy making sure each and every box got at least 8 stickers on it to ensure safe shipping etc. The whole process. We would do it ourselves. Only the two of us. 8 boxes to pack and it took us a good few hours. We had plants all over our house. Kitchen counter, stove top, lounge, TV unit, floor even. There was no line between work space and living space. Boxes everywhere. On delivery days, we would fill Kyle’s car. He used to drive a Suzuki, and we were so proud. So proud that we had enough orders to fill the car. We could have never imagined how much the business would explode in a few months time.

By January we could not do everything in the Suzuki and borrowed cars and trailers anymore. So we had to get a bakkie. We also could not manage everything on our own anymore. We had to hire extra hands to help with the plant prep and packing. We asked family members to help out with admin part time and even asked my mother to dust off her old typewriter to type the waybills for us. We just did not have the time anymore. There is still a lot of things that we do ourselves and will keep doing ourselves but we could not keep doing things in our house. There was no space to live anymore. We built a small greenhouse and functional workshop to work in. The business just kept growing and as it is now, we are already looking into expanding the greenhouse again!

We are extremely grateful for all the support we have gotten in such a short amount of time. We cannot believe that this business has grown so much from just an idea and a few plants to pack into 8 boxes to hundreds of plants going out weekly! This business has taught us so much, and we are just so grateful to all of our customers for giving us the opportunity to help them grow their indoor gardens!


This was such an honour to get to know both Kyle and Rejandi. They are a stunning couple, with the kindest hearts, and they are here to spread their love of plants wherever possible.

I think I am going to sign up for their plant subscription box – it’s like getting a surprise gift every month that you just know you are going to love! Could you ask for anything better?


Youth Lab. SA

Last week I was thrilled to be invited to toast&co in Craighall Park as they launched their new facial care range that they have welcomed into the salon. As Boity began speaking about Youth Lab I was immediately drawn into her excitement for this brand! This is an affordable skincare range that aims to boost the metabolic function within the skin – and the products smell absolutely divine. I immediately purchased the Candy Scrub & Mask, and have my eye on a cleanser and moisturiser next. I reached out to the big bosses Victoria and Tanya immediately after this event as I knew that I had to feature them on my blog.

Besides the gorgeous bright colours of their branding, their products also really do work. They all smell divine – and yes, the Candy Scrub & Mask really does smell like candy! Their pricing is competitive with other brands, but the science and research behind this brand is way ahead of others on the market. I can’t wait for you to hear more about Youth Lab from the wonderful women that I got to chat to, and hopefully experience the products for yourself.


YOUTH LAB. is an awarded brand with advanced, yet affordable skin-care products aiming to boost metabolic functions within the skin and gradually “build” a youthful, radiant and clear complexion.

BTS with Youth Lab.

Your names: Victoria and Tanya

Business name: Evolution Cosmetic

Social media handles: Youth Lab SA Facebook, Instagram, Website. Dermaquest SAFacebook, Instagram, Website. Dr Shrammek SAFacebook, Instagram, Website. Gold Collagen SAFacebook, Instagram, Website.

3 fun facts about you:

  1. We have been working together for 13 years.
  2. Evolution Cosmetic houses top, international skin care brands and the award winning collagen + multi-vitamin supplement, Gold Collagen.
  3. We launched Youth Lab after realising that we needed to ensure good, quality, medical-grade skin care was accessible to everyone. Covid has brought with it many challenges and harder times financially for most, we know our consumer still wants to care for their skin but might not be able to afford the higher end skin care they once could.

What is Youth Lab:
During the aging process, our skin’s metabolic rate decreases and with each passing year more biological functions move into the slow lane. Through age and exposure to constant environmental hazards, our systems start to perform below average, resulting in slower cell communication and unwanted skin conditions, such as acne, pigmentation as well as all stages of the aging process.

From cleansers and results-driven moisturisers to innovative treatment masks and serums, each product within YOUTH LAB. targets a different skin metabolic function and is enriched with active ingredients, especially designed to balance the specific condition being treated. Mainly though, it is a anti-aging skin care range for every beautiful stage you’re at!

What makes Youth Lab stand out in comparison to other skincare products:
The unique skin metabolism philosophy as well as the years of clinical research that went into the brand. The trials started in 2006 and it only launched globally in 2013… skincare quite literally backed by science

• Cruelty free
• Vegan friendly
• Sustainably sourced ingredients
• Gluten free
• Mineral oil free
• Paraben free

What is your personal favourite product:
Tanya = Restoring Serum: Being in my late 30’s its certainly time to up my anti-aging game! I like this because of the fluid consistency, because I am quote prone to breakouts I need something to target my aging concerns without being too rich. I am able to use this serum at night with no additional moisturiser. It also restores radiance and brightness, leaving my skin more elastic, smoother and firmer.

Victoria = Peptide Spring Hydra-Gel Eye Patches: Peptides to the power of 4!!! Remember, this is a medical-grade skin care brand – so these patches are not just a cute selfie enhancer. I leave them on twice a week up to 15min as a very intensive treatment around my eye area, they have truly assisted my puffiness, dark circles and crow’s feet – the eyes need more attention in your late 40’s.

What is the one product that you think everyone should try:
Cleansing Radiance Mask and Candy Scrub! Equally they both contain unique blends of AHA, BHA and botanical extracts – by using these two you’ll realise the strength of the treatments! Use them twice a week to really boost your daily skincare routine.

Which are the basic products that you would recommend people start out with:
Cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen!!!

If we don’t know which products to try can we contact you for assistance:
Of course! We will also direct you to your nearest stockist for a full skin analysis
We also have a full website where you can learn more – www.youthlabsa.co.za

What are some of your active ingredients:
Peptides
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Beta Hydroxy Acids

Which skin types and concerns are best suited to using Youth Lab:
Oily skin and acne
Aging at every stage
Dryness, dehydration

Where can people purchase your products from:
We are stocked at medi-spa’s and aesthetic practices nationwide

How do you get all your products to smell so flipping yummy:
Essential oil essence

Quote you live by:

“You glow through what you go through!”

Anything else you want to add:
Evolution Cosmetic is a dynamic skincare marketing and distribution company operating from our head office in Johannesburg. We handle not only the import and distribution of our brands, but all training, PR and marketing.
We are using the knowledge and passion for the medical aesthetic industry gained, to successfully launch a number of top international skincare brands in South Africa. We are a small yet dynamic team with a strong commitment to customer service and relations who pride ourselves on efficiency and attention to detail. Learn more at www.evolutioncosmetic.co.za


Guys, this skincare range has honestly impressed me so much. From blemish patches, to anti-aging products, to SPF with a tint (so it can be used as a “healthier” BB cream on a daily basis); these products are ahead of the game and are here to change our skincare routines to something enjoyable without the extreme costs we often find associated with salon-sourced skincare ranges.

PLUS, you can even go to salons such as toast&co to experience a facial using these products to see for yourself how wonderful they are, and how much your skin will appreciate the extra love and attention. If you have any concerns or queries, please reach out to the Youth Lab team directly, and they can assist with your queries or confusion around any of the products that you are wanting to try.

Enjoy!


The Piercery

I have always thought that piercings are so beautiful! I am addicted to watching piercing TikToks, and watching how curations of piercings are made to suit your ear, personality and jewellery choices. I didn’t know of anyone locally who was able to offer this experience, until I saw Roxy Burger posting about new exciting venture – The Piercery.

You may recognise Roxy from her early days on KTV, and then when she hosted “What Not To Wear SA”. She has also worked with Strictly Come Dancing, Top Billing and MTV. She is a mom, a friend, a businesswoman and a true inspiration to so many.

Roxy has her own gorgeous jewellery range, Linear Luxe, and the fact that you can purchase these directly from her shop in Emmarentia makes this a truly unique experience, and one that has been thought out in it’s entirety.

I can’t wait for you to see all that she has on offer, and even book in for the pain-free piercings which are happening this weekend. Read on for my interview with Roxy herself, and see why a professional piercer is so important!


Your name: Roxy Burger

Business names: The Piercery and Linear Luxe

Social media handles: Roxy BurgerFacebook, Instagram and Website. The PierceryFacebook, Instagram and Website. Linear LuxeFacebook, Instagram and Website.

3 fun facts about you: I have been in TV since I was 10, I can touch my nose with my tongue and my husband is my high school sweetheart 😉

Can you tell me a little more about each of these businesses: I started these businesses because I wanted to create a non-intimidating space to get pierced! Plus I couldn’t find the jewellery I wanted. I approached Craig from Black Key Diamonds in Cape Town and the rest is history!

What does Linear Luxe mean to you: I always like to say it’s afforable luxury – timeless pieces that will last a lifetime!

Some tips for styling a stacked earlobe:
🌟 Keep the shape of YOUR earlobe in mind ~ we all have different ears. And work with a curator like @zuko_piercer to find YOUR perfect fit.
🌟 Balance is good: try and balance your pieces across your lobe and don’t over pierce one side over another.
🌟 Look for a cohesive concept: do you like round shapes? Squares? Or a constellation theme like moons and stars? Or is juxtaposition the thing that brings it all together?
🌟 A triangle shape is a go to: sets of 3 work well. A triangle is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Who are these gorgeous pieces designed for: Anyone who wants something a little different with a lot of sparkle.

Where did the idea for this business come from: I couldn’t find what I personally wanted as a consumer so I made it!

What makes them so special to you: Because I am a part of the design and manufacturing process it really does hold a special place in my heart.

Where can people purchase these from: Online at www.roxyburger.co.za or from The Piercery, in store.

Now I know you recently opened The Piercery, how is that going: Brilliantly! People are loving the space which I am so grateful for.

What makes it different to other piercing shops: It’s not just about the piercing – it’s the curation of your ear and the experience that goes with it. It’s where piercings meet fashion, trend and style.

Why is it so important to go to a professional piercer: Because of the professional after-sales service as well as not damaging your ear. NEVER use a gun to pierce!

How did you decide to open this shop: I needed a piercing partner and my friend Mel, who herself pierces, was the perfect fit!

I see you do piercing curation – please explain more: So it’s all about design and balance – not just putting holes in your body. Do you want to theme your ear? How do the pieces compliment one another? How do you combine size and texture etc.?

Not too sure what to do? Don’t know how to curate your piercings? We’ll help 😎 With our trusty silicone ears and expert piercer @zuko_piercer 🤗

Where is your shop located: We are at Fallen Heroes: 249 Barry Hertzog Avenue, Emmarentia

Do people need to book to come through: They can for busy Saturdays like we have our Aesthetic doc, Dr. Candice come and numb ears, but walk-in’s are always welcome too!

Quote you live by: Be consistent, in whatever you do.


This is THE place to get all your piercings done, as well as the most gorgeous dainty jewellery to enhance the curated piercings that you have had done. Roxy has poured her love and passion into this, and you can immediately tell as you scroll through the social media accounts, or chat to Zuko (her piercer).

I have been dying to go get my piercings curated, and see what they can put together for me. Plus, I’m obsessed with their wide range of jewellery that is available, and just how dainty they look.

Which is going to be your next piercing?

And will I see you there this Saturday?


Omiyo Beauty

Bright colours, glitter, and makeup – this sounds like my perfect day! And so when I came across Omiyo Beauty with their creative boxes, neon pigments, rhinestones, glitter, and all the tools that you need to apply these with precision; I was hooked. I have spent many hours scouring their website and deciding exactly what I would love to try – and the answer is EVERYTHING.


Omiyo Beauty Interview

Your name: Omiyo July

Business name: Omiyo Beauty

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website.

What is Omiyo Beauty: Omiyo Beauty provides products and tools for creatives. Our aim is to bring people back to their more creative childhood selves. From our packaging to our products: we want everyone to feel special & have freedom to create.

Have you always had a passion for makeup: I’ve always had a passion for art. I took art in high school and really loved mixed media because it had no boundaries. I viewed makeup as using a different medium and the canvas was my face.

Please tell me more about your creative boxes: Omiyo Beauty is about colouring outside the box. I love how our products can be used in different ways depending on how someone views makeup.
The creative box is made to encourage creatives to experiment and try new products and colours outside of their comfort zone.

What makes Omiyo Beauty different: Its made by a creative for creatives. Omiyo Beauty is a one stop shop to stock up on creative makeup products – something I wish I had when I started doing creative makeup.

How can people purchase from you: All purchases are done through our website. If anyone has any questions they are welcome to message us on social media or email us OmiyoBeauty@gmail.com

What is one product that you think everyone should get: Our glitter singles are by far my favourite products. My favourite shade is ‘Lavender’. Glitter is very versatile and can be worn up with sophisticated makeup looks or worn down on minimal makeup days to add a little sparkle.

Quote you live by:

‘Persistence will get you there; consistency will keep you there’.

The process of trying to build a company is really the most difficult and yet the most beautiful process anyone can choose to go on.
It forces you to grow in areas you wouldn’t need to otherwise. Balancing having a dream and what its going to take to make that dream happen is so important.


Don’t these all look absolutely gorgeous? And how convenient that you can get everything in one place – in fact the creative boxes would make a perfect gift for that make-up loving friend or family member; or even as a little self-spoil!

It has been such a treat getting to know Omiyo a little better, and seeing all their products available makes me want to add more colour to my life.


Juiced by Lyn

I first met Lynnert when I visited Jozi Green Eatery and I immediately noticed her bubbly personality and passion for healthy living. She was so kind, and I have always felt like family when I walked into the restaurant.

Then during one visit she showed me her new side hustle that she has started! And I am so freaking proud of her. She is now making fruit and veggie cold-pressed juices, and I can vouch for each and every flavour and combination.

And so, I am thrilled to introduce you to “Juiced by Lyn”!

Cold pressed juice is refreshing and jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals. For busy people everywhere, cold pressed juice can be an answer to your health prayers. Drinking a cold pressed juice is an easy and fast way to make sure you are getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet. It’s perfect for grabbing on the go and sipping. Adding cold pressed juice to your diet is a surefire way to improve your health and ensure you’re getting loads of beneficial nutrients.

Pure Green

Find out more!

Your name: Lynnert Badza

Business name: Juiced by Lyn

Social media handles: Facebook and Instagram

3 fun facts about you: I am kind-hearted, I love watching TV, and I am actually very funny!

Can you tell me a bit more about your business: Juiced by Lyn was founded in 2020 during a tough time for all of us – the pandemic. I tried to think of a way to strengthen our immune systems, and freshly squeezed cold-pressed juice was the answer. Juicing is a great way of consuming our fruit and vegetables which are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that help to protect our immune systems.

What are the different flavours you have: I currently have 4 unique flavours!

  • Kickbooster – Apple, Tumeric, Lemon and Ginger.
  • Rise and Shine – Carrot, Orange and Pineapple.
  • Can’t Beet It – Beetroot, Carrot, Apple and Ginger.
  • Mean Green – Green Apple, Cucumber, Celery and Spinach.

What makes your juices different to the others you can buy in the shops: My juices are strictly raw fruit and veg, with no preservatives, no added water, and no colourants.

Where can people purchase these from: People can purchase these juices from Jozi Green Eatery in Broadacres, Fourways; or online at RealFood4Sure; or you can simply send me a Whatsapp on 081 417 9565.

Why is fresh juice so good for you: Fresh juice is good for you because it’s packed with lots of vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your health and help keep the doctor away!

Where did you get your experience with healthy lifestyle changes: I got my experience with healthy lifestyle changes when I started working for Lorna in 2019 at the Jozi Green Eatery.

Quote you live by: “No pain, no gain.”


Guys, I cannot stress enough how delicious these juices are, and how your body quite literally soaks in every vitamin and ounce of goodness as you consume them. Plus, the feeling of knowing that you are supporting a woman entrepreneur who is working so hard to make a better life for her and her family is something that you can’t begin to explain.

Lyn also told me that people who are going through a juice fast have been purchasing her juices in bulk, and say that they work so well.

Please support this wonderful woman and try one of her juices when you next visit Jozi Green Eatery. Your body will thank you for it!


Marisol Candles

Hi, my name is Megan, and I am addicted to watching candle pouring videos. I love to see the wax slide through into the mould, and watch as it slowly hardens and takes on a whole new form. I love to see people’s creativity brought to life, and I am on the edge of my seat as they uncover what has been created.

I think the algorithm saw this, and recommended that I start following Marisol Candles. This business is owned by two beautiful ladies who are showing how gorgeous the feminine shape is, and making candles unlike any that I have seen before. Their whole differentiating factor is that they are focused on celebration and representation. And their candles are absolutely gorgeous!


About Marisol

Your Names: Erin and Mitchel Walls

Your Business Name: Marisol

Social media handles: Website, Facebook and Instagram

3 fun facts about each of you:

Erin

  1. Makes really good playlists
  2. Can lift heavy things
  3. Strangely addicted to pomegranates

Mitchel

  1. Professional napper
  2. Very interested in crypto currency
  3. Feta pasta connoisseur

Can you tell me a little bit more about the business: We abruptly started our business out of our dad’s kitchen in January- much to his dismay, and we never expected the response we received in such a short space of time. As sisters, who are best friends but completely different, we formed an amazing team. We took creativity and finance, craftsmanship and marketing, and put them together to create Marisol Candles.

What makes your candles so unique: In terms of what makes them unique, is not just the candles themselves, but our business as a whole. We are two sisters who have a passion for people, for local businesses and empowering women. We believe, or rather hope, that this comes through when people look at our site, interact or buy from us. We truly love what we do. Also, our candles look and smell great, if we must say so ourselves.

Who would enjoy your candles: In terms of who enjoys the candles, our customer base is predominantly female. However, we have brought in a wide range of candles that people can choose from. We believe our candles are stylish and are the perfect gift and/or or coffee table statement piece.

How can people order these from you: We now have a super simple, easy to use website! We used to work through DM, however as we grew, we realised it was not going to work.

What are your favourite designs: Mitchel’s favorite design is our new curvy ladies, and Erin’s is the David sculpture candle! However, we love them all.

Which is your most popular candle: Our most popular candle is for sure our original lovely ladies!

What emotions do you want these to evoke: We said to ourselves from the beginning, that we want our candles to be open to interpretation. Some people buy them and feel empowered, some buy them because they are pretty and some simply buy them because they want a candle. It is entirely up to the customer. However, empowerment is definitely a core concept of ours, as well as celebration and representation.

What quote do you live by: “Just do it, feel the fear and do it anyway.” It sounds so cheesy, but really it has been our motto for the past 3 months since we started. You cannot grow and learn if you do not take the steps. We have learnt an unexplainable amount, and we really couldn’t be more grateful.

Anything else you want to add: In terms of ending it off, we just want to say to any small business owners, or those who want to start, do it. It may seem scary, but you will learn so much.


Closing Thoughts

I love how gorgeous and special each of these candles are. I love that they are handmade with love, and that they represent the diverse beauty in South Africa.

Getting to know the ladies behind this brand has been am absolute treat as well, and I can’t wait to see them continue to grow and reach new heights.

Please continue to support small businesses where possible, and help to spread the word about these gorgeous candles. Can’t you imagine them lit and flickering in your bathroom? Or even on your bedside table? I know that I can, and I can’t wait to place my order for some.


SKIN Functional

My Thoughts

Recently I have was gifted 2 products from SKIN Functional – the Texture and Blemish Tonic, and The Powerful Vitamin A. My 2 main skin concerns are uneven skin texture and pigmentation. My pigmentation has got worse since my early-onset menopause (thanks to my stem cell transplant), and I have been going for more regular facials and peels to try to rectify this. However, I also know the importance of great skincare products that work in conjuction with your professional treatments.

I have heard so much about SKIN Functional, and they have been all over my social media. I have seen them being recommended in Facebook groups, and I have been dying to try them for myself.

When my products arrived, they came with a small quote card, as well as a personalised product usage guideline for the specific products that they had sent me. The guidelines included the time of the day that I should use these, and how much of each product I should apply. As a first time user of SKIN Functional I really appreciated this and it made me feel like they really care about their clients and want everyone to get the most out of these products.

I knew that I wanted to feature them on my blog, and hopefully let more people know just how wonderful these products are, and how their customer care is above and beyond what is expected.


Interview

Your name: Kevin Khosa

Business name: SKIN functional

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website

3 fun facts about you: Vibrant, Funny and Interesting

What is SKIN Functional: SKIN functional is a South African skincare company that formulates using optimal concentrations of effective and trusted ingredients to restore the skin’s optimal functioning. Products that deliver potent treatments with reproducible results at an accessible price point.

What makes your products different to other brands: SKIN functional formulates products backed by clinical data and uses optimal concentrations of effective and trusted ingredients. SKIN functional provides honourable skintelligence to debunk the many myths and misinformation that the skincare information is riddled with.

What is your most popular item: 10% Niacinamide – Blemish Corrector

Which product is your favourite: Liquid Moisturiser

What is the one product that you think everyone should own: Everyone should have the Daily Moisturiser as it is a staple in maintaining overall skin health along with anti-oxidant and anti-ageing benefits.

How do people know which products to purchase: There is an option to shop by product, active ingredient, skin concern or skin type function on our website. We have a guide per indication as well. Alternatively customers are able to visit our shop for personalised guidance. If that isn’t convenient they are able to whatsapp, call or send us a DM for personalised guidance.

Where can people purchase your products from: SKIN functional’s website.

Who do you think would benefit from using your products: SKIN functional can be used by all genders, all skin types across all ages. We have people of all ages using our products with the youngest being only 4 years old.

What skin conditions and concerns can your products assist with: SKIN functional products address all common skin concerns. Acne, Ageing, Pigmentation, Dryness, Acne scars, Textural Irregularities, Sensitivity and Stretch Marks.

What are some of your most popular active ingredients: Retinol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Azelic Acid

Quote you live by: Be yourself for yourself


You Can Win!

Another exciting recent development is the Ultimate Skincare Duo. For a limited time only, Skin Functional and Noa and Co have joined forces to create the ULTIMATE SKINCARE DUO featuring the bestseller from each brand. You can now get a potent combination of SKIN functional’s Hydration Juice and Noa & Co.’s Collagen Creamer at a once off price. Use code SFXNOA20 and you will automatically get 20 % off this incredible bundle.

Don’t let your skin and body suffer this seasonal change and get your hands on this incredible deal and give your body the wellness boost it deserves.

STAND A CHANCE TO WIN A YEARS’ SUPPLY OF PRODUCTS!

If you purchase this bundle using code SFXNOA20 and follow both Skin Functional and Noa & Co on Instagram, your name will automatically be entered into a lucky draw to WIN a years’ supply of two products per month from each brand. Don’t miss out on this incredible deal!


In Closing…

I have been really impressed with these products, and can definitely see a difference in my skin texture and feel like I am glowing! I have had so many compliments from my friends and family, and feel like this is all due to SKIN Functional and ensuring that I am taking the best care possible of my skin.

Before starting vs 7 days in
7 days in vs 14 days in

Pop them a message, send them a DM and follow them on social media. I promise that you won’t be disappointed!


Woven Whimsy

I love finding interesting ways to decorate my house, or unique gift ideas. I have all different pictures of our family all around our house, and I really appreciate hand-crafted gifts for myself – and this is often what I will choose to gift others too. This is why I was so excited when I came across the page Woven Whimsy.

Danielle is so creative and can make custom orders for you, your friends, and your family. She very kindly allowed me to interview her for my blog, and I can’t wait to show you some examples of her gorgeous work and ideas brought to life.


Woven Whimsy

Your name: Danielle

Photo by Shante Hutton Photography
Photo by Shante Hutton Photography

Business name: Woven Whimsy

Social media handles: Instagram, Facebook and Website

3 fun facts about you: I used to play the saxophone in high school, I can’t clench my toes, and I have a PhD in Human Genetics 😊

Tell me a little more about your business: As Woven Whimsy, I make and sell fibre art. This initially started as woven tapestries, but more recently my focus has shifted to custom-made embroideries.

Where did the idea come from: Whilst on my second maternity leave with my daughter in 2018, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest. At that time, weaving was just beginning to become popular, and I decided to try to make a loom with scraps of wood and nails that were in our garage. My first attempt was a disaster, but after some practice I started to improve. I think my husband was a bit terrified of having woven tapestries covering every surface of our house, so I decided to try to sell them. My following grew slowly over a year or two. In June last year I decided to embroider a “C” for my daughter, Cara. A friend’s mom saw the photo on Facebook, and commissioned an “A” for her granddaughter. The response to the embroidered monograms has been incredible, and embroidery is now the main focus of Woven Whimsy.

Have you always been a creative being: Very much so. I’ve always had a creative heart, although I don’t think that I’m particularly artistic. I grew up with a mom and gran who would knit and sew, and I enjoyed arts and crafts throughout my youth. But I’m also a bit of a nerd, and went on to study genetics at varsity. Today, I’m a molecular geneticist in a private pathology laboratory, but I’ve always relied on creativity for my “soul food”. I have an amazing husband and two very busy kiddies, so it’s not always easy to find time for these things, but I’ve realised that it’s so important for my sanity.

“…but I’ve realised that it’s so important for my sanity.”

What is your personal favourite piece: It’s difficult to say, but probably my first embroidered monogram, the “C” for Cara.

Do you do custom orders: Yes, I primarily do custom orders.

What are the different products you offer: At the moment my main focus is embroidered monograms and ultrasounds, although I occasionally do other custom pieces if requested.

How can people order from you: Some of my products are listed on my website, but it’s usually easier to message me via email or Instagram to get the conversation started.

Why do you love what you do: I get to make pretty things, and people want to display them in their homes! It still blows my mind some days.

Something that we always say to our kids: “Listen, have fun, and be kind.”


Aren’t Danielle’s designs absolutely gorgeous? And don’t you want to rush over to place your order for one right now?

Please try to support local and support small businesses as much as possible. They are the people that need us all now more than ever, and do a literal happy dance whenever their businesses are supported!


Entle Cosmetics

I am always on the hunt for local cosmetic brands, and eyeshadow palettes with vibrant colouring and gorgeous pay-off. And then, Entle Cosmetics decided to enter the party with all her glitters, lumo colours, as well as an everyday palette.

Guys, my mind is literally blown at the beauty of these palettes, as well as the thought, consideration and love that Thandokazi has put into each of her offerings. I am sure you are going to love them too!


Getting to know Entle Cosmetics

Your name: Thandokazi Xulubana

Business name: Entle Cosmetics

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website

3 fun facts about you:

  • I’m a qualified software engineer that loves makeup/fashion, which you hardly find in I.T.
  • I am terrified of animals that crawl.
  • I loved drawing cartoon characters in primary and high school.

Can you tell me a little more about your business: The Holdings company is called ‘Nokwakha’, which is my Grandmother’s name, and our cosmetics division is called ‘Entle’

Entle means beauty in my native tongue isiXhosa, we derived it from the name ‘Mbalente’, which is why we have 3 leaves on our logo. ‘Mbalentle’ means ‘Beautiful Flower’.

At Entle Cosmetics, we believe that everyone is born beautiful, you do not need to change the shape of your face because you are beautiful the way you are.

Our makeup is not made to change how people look, but to enhance people’s natural beauty. Our intention is to bring out the creativity in you, after all – makeup is art! Our brand embraces every culture, race and class (I do not want to go into too much detail around this part, as we will only reveal the vision on our next collection – I can’t wait for our next launch).

What pushed you to start this business: I got tired of not being able to get the quality and packaging I liked when I shopped for makeup. I am someone who loves people, and I would experience horrible customer service in some of the makeup stores I went to, which is why we always strive to be a brand that cares about the people we serve, and I always do follow ups with our clients asking about their experience with our brand.

Why is being cruelty-free so important to you: I have seen a lot of videos around makeup testing on animals and I could not stomach it. I am an animal lover, I literally cry and get mad when I see animals being mistreated. It angers me that as people we sit back and take videos of people raping animals or kill them for their horns. I love nature and the wilderness, so this is why this is important to me.

What makes your makeup products so unique: I cannot say that our makeup products are unique, because I know you will find similar quality products somewhere else… but I can promise you that you will not find the same experience that we create for our clients. We are not just selling makeup products, but we are selling a brand experience.

Our goal is to give all our clients a world class service, premium quality eyeshadow shades and elegant packaging, with a personal touch to each product.

Which is your personal favourite product: Wow, this is a difficult question because they are all my favorites, it all depends on the occasion. If I am going to the mall, I wear Anelisa. If I am going out for dinner, I mix Khanya with Buhle Bendalo (or Anelisa). When I go to Church, I wear Buhle Bendalo.

How can people purchase from you: We have our Facebook, and Instagram, shop which can be used to purchase our products. We also have our Shopify online store which is where the bulk of our orders come from.

People can also DM us for orders, and our banking details, if they want to do direct deposit.

Who do you think would enjoy your makeup: Makeup artists, people who are not afraid to be different, or standout, and those who like to wear less makeup as well. Our collection caters for those who love glam, and glitz, and for those who love nude colors.

What do you want people to feel when they use your products: I want them to feel undefined joy, to feel confident and cared for…because every package is packed with care and love.

Quote you live by: Never look at “negative situations” as problems, but look at them as challenges, an opportunity for you to grow and do great.

Anything else you want to add: Each palette has a dedicated name, for this collection we chose Xhosa names and their meanings define each palette:

Khanya eyeshadow palette – Khanya means shine, illuminate. We chose this name because the glitter shades represent the shine in Khanya, the palette packaging represents the illumination.

Buhle Bendalo eyeshadow palette – Buhle Bendalo means natural beauty. We chose this name because of Buhle’s nude/calm shades and the packaging that reflects in natural lighting, giving it a sparkling touch.

Anelisa eyeshadow palette – Anelisa means to fulfill. We chose this name because we felt like this eyeshadow fulfills your soft and full glam looks. You have both matte and glitter shades in one palette, each shade complements the next one.


In closing…

Don’t these palettes speak to you? And with their prices starting form only R299.99 per palette, they are affordable and cover a wide range of colours and textures. I know that I definitely want to add all of them to my collection, but I am super keen to try the glitters and stars in the Anelisa Palette first.

Thando has also launched a 10 piece marble makeup brush set in a cylinder case – even though I seem to collect different makeup brushes, I always feel that having a case to keep them safe and allow for easy travel is something everyone needs. Plus, how freaking gorgeous is the set?

Please show your love and support for Thando and Entle Cosmetics. She was an absolute joy to chat with, and I love that she is determined to change the way customers feel and are treated throughout their purchase and experience of her product.

I can’t wait to see what you create with these!


#ShareYourRare

Rare Diseases South Africa NPO 120-991 is a cause very close to my heart.

In case you didn’t know, I have a rare disease called Myasthenia gravis and I also work for RDSA as my full-time job. However, I have other rare talents that you may not know about – my husband and I have mad dance skills (mad being the operative word); I am double-jointed and flat-footed; and I can give a mean massage. I can also dislocate my jaw and hip on command.

Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles that worsens after periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. These muscles are responsible for functions involving breathing and moving parts of the body, including the arms and legs.

Photographer: Quaid Jones

#RarenessAwareness

After all the negativity associated with the past year, RDSA has decided to flip the switch on their awareness campaign and get everyday South Africans to #ShareYourRare whilst encouraging others to do the same.

Can you spin on your head, or do the worm, or even do chubby bunny with 20 marshmallows? Is singing opera your hidden talent, or can you bounce a coin into a glass every time? This is YOUR rare, and this deserves to be celebrated.

Being RARE, by definition, infers being unique, highly valuable and possessing admirable or exemplary qualities.

A rare blue diamond 💎… Worth millions.
A rare species 🦄… Highly sought after.
A rare discovery 🍾… Highly newsworthy.

Except for Rare Diseases which are considered a financial burden, are overlooked by society and forgotten by the media.

The truth is that we are all RARE to some degree. We all have unique qualities, talents, features and abilities that make us different, and yet similar for that exact reason. This is something that deserves to be celebrated!

So how can you get involved?

This is super easy…

Share your rare on your social media platforms and tag Rare Diseases South Africa; challenge your friends or followers to do the same; and check out www.rareaware.africa for more details. You can also follow the Instagram page which has been set up especially for this campaign here.

Please also change your profile picture on your social media platforms to the “R” above, and include the caption “Join the tribe… Visit  www.rareaware.africa  #ShareYourRare

With your support we can build a movement of Rare stories and get South Africa to share amazing positive stories building up to International Rare Disease Day on the 28th February 2021.

Wanna donate?

Founded in 2013 by Kelly du Plessis, Rare Diseases South Africa is a nonprofit organisation that has been successfully working to ensure that people living with a rare diseases and congenital disorders experience better recognition and support, improved health service and a better life overall.

Rare Diseases SA has 100% B-BBEE Social Development Recognition and is Section 18A certified with SARS making your donation tax deductible.

You can make a donation in many ways by visiting here.

Please help to create #RarenessAwareness and #ShareYourRare across social media. Let’s remind people about just how beautiful being rare is. Lets change our feeds to be filled with positivity and laughter through this difficult period. Let’s spread kindness and good by allowing our rareness to shine!


Some rare disease facts:

  • In South Africa rare diseases are defined as a dsease affecting less than I in 2000 people in the population
  • As a combined grouping, rare diseases affect 7% of the population, which is:
    • 1 in every 15 people
    • 4.1 million South Africans
  • 70-80% of rare diseases are genetic. Some may be inherited in families while others only affect the individual
  • Other rare diseases may be acquired during life due to trauma, environmental effects etc.
  • For many rare diseases the cause is still unknown.
Photographer: Quaid Jones
Featuring Baba Ganoosh

Can I count on you to get involved?


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