I am completely obsessed with delicious scented candles. I love walking into my home and lighting my scattered candles that then gently waft through my space with their different scents. I have different ones for my different moods, and the occasion – there are some that remind me of my granny, other scents that are fresh and uplifting, and others that are more romantic and musky. Why have just one candle when there are so many options out there?
“The soothing effect that candles have is based on how the brain processes smells. The smell of scented candles stimulates our limbic system, the part of the brain that is home to our memory and emotions. Hormones like serotonin and dopamine can be produced to help regulate mood. Therefore, our emotional state is influenced by the relationship that exists between scents, memories, and emotions.”
Kendall cornish, travel and leisure
I saw some of the candles that Kers Scented Candles had on offer and I immediately knew that I had found a small business that I would definitely be supporting, and that I wanted to share it with all of you.
Everything within this business has been thought out – from the variety of scents to suit everyone; to the presentation of the actual candles; to the fact that they work with other local business to offer the most gorgeous candles I have ever seen. These are definite decor items, and not simply a candle that you place in the corner of your room and hope that nobody sees.
Keep reading to learn more about Kers Scented Candles
I resigned in October 2019 to be a fulltime Candle Maker.
I have 63 House Plants (Yes, there is always room for one more.)
I am very happily married to my best friend, Wiehan Victor and we have two Dachshund kiddies named Petrus and Fiela. We are huge F1 fans #verstappen33
What makes your candles so unique: What makes us unique is that we put a lot of thought, testing and hard work behind the brand to give our customer the best result. For example, we only pour two candles at a time to ensure that the fragrance mixes thoroughly with the wax. Our jars are sophisticated to create a timeless addition to any household décor. We are not holding back with our fragrance, our scented candles are all about transforming any room space into a fragrance oasis. My Grandma had one request with the scented candles and that is to offer refills. It is so sad to have this beautiful jar but no candle to compliment it. Therefore, the customers who are based in the Joburg area can send their jars back for a refill and choose any of the fragrances.
Why did you decide to start this business: I always had a passion for scented candles and love walking into my home after a long day at work and just enjoying the moment. Everywhere I go, whether overseas or travelling locally, a candle is on my souvenir list. Our story started three years ago when I had a conversation with my office mamma Clara. I said to her, “One day Clara, we are going to have a candle business.” I did the research, but then life happened. Two years flew by and the more I asked the Big Man Upstairs for guidance the more He directed me to making Candles.
Which scent is your favourite from your range: This is a difficult one, it feels like I need to pick between my fur-kids. I am burning the sweet grapefruit in my home at the moment, but I have always been a huge fan of the Vanilla fragrance.
Which has been the most popular scent: It depends on the season, during the winter Vanilla, Sandalwood & Musk, Lavender, and Cinnamon were very popular, however these past couple of weeks the sweet fruity and floral fragrances are number one on the podium. These are the Coconut & Lime, Sweet Grapefruit, Lime & Basil, and Peony and Blush Suede.
What are all the scents you stock: Sweet Grapefruit, Cinnamon, Frangipani, Lavender, Lemongrass, Rose Geranium, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Pomegranate & Sage, Cellini Tobacco, Lime & Basil, Champagne Rose, Deep Ocean, Deep Musk & Spice, Peony & Blush Suede, Coconut & Lime, Tutti Frutti, and Ylang Ylang.
Why do youencourage people to support local: I love supporting local businesses. We have so much talent here in South Africa. For me, when you do good to people, they will be inspired to do good to other people. Therefore, it is a ripple effect. When I support local businesses, they will be able to support other businesses and it can grow our community and put food on the tables.
We have been working on a new project to support our local crafters. Our new Tswalu range is handmade by Godfrey and his family, and hand poured by Kers Scented Candles. Hence when the customer buys the Tswalu range they support two local businesses.
Do your candles come in different sizes: Yes, we have an Amber 400g and Blue 500g candle. But we also make 330ml candles for corporate gifting and bridal boxes.
Quote you live by: Find Joy In Your Journey.
Anything else you want to add: We are busy working on the website and will hopefully have this up and running soon. I have big dreams for Kers Scented Candles and hopefully one day open a huge store which will be convenient for the customers to come, relax and enjoy the beauty of house plants, amazing candles and just enjoying the moment.
I have always felt like candles make a home. They can evoke memories, help you relax or become uplifted, and create a perfect ambiance for your home and environment. Why not spoil yourself with some of these delicious ones from Kers Scented Candles, and support a local business (and family) at the same time?
Last week I won a box filled with the most divine cleaning products from “Mother’s Love Products”. These eco-friendly products contain essential oils and no nasties, and also really clean your household to a degree that you expect from our regular store-bought products.
Having all the health issues I have, as well as being involved with many Rare Warriors means that I know first-hand the repercussions of making use of too many chemicals to keep us alive, and the knock on effect that means with multiple other meds needed to counteract the side effects. So if I can choose natural products in my daily life, I will do it!
Ina is passionate about making a difference to the environment, to our homes, and also to our lives in general. And these products are now going to become part of my daily cleaning and house-hygiene. Have you been paying closer attention to what products you are using?
3 fun facts about you: I am a bit of a hermit, but I adore my nieces and nephews – I call them my live entertainment 😃 Before starting Mother’s Love Products, I was an accountant but have always loved to surround myself with pretty things. Starting this business has really allowed me to nurture my creative side.
What makes your products so unique: The beautiful, stylish packaging and labels are pretty enough to display in your home. I never could understand why cleaning products have to come in such ugly packaging. I wanted to give these items some love, and create not only natural but also non-toxic cleaning products. These products would create a sense of occasion when I use them, making me feel as spoiled as I do when I use a luxurious, delicious-smelling body product. All products have an essential oils base, specifically chosen for its cleaning properties, which also leaves your home smelling divine.
Which one product do you think every household needs: My Glass Cleaner with Grapefruit Essential oils is an incredible product- you can literally use it on ANY glass surface, windows, mirrors, your car’s window screen, shower door, glass tables – literally any surface. Some customers use it to clean their drinking glasses and they say it really make it sparkle. You can also use it to clean your computer or tv screen etc (just spray it on a cloth first).
When did you start with your passion for eco-friendly products: I grew up on a farm and then later in life I developed quite a lot of allergies, so my passion for eco-friendly products are both health as well as environmentally motivated, from a young age.
Why is the use of non-toxic products so important: It absolutely breaks my heart to see what we do to the earth and the extent of mass destruction we have managed to achieve over the last few decades – just to mention a few – coral grave yards and the number of species that’s now completely extinct. I don’t think I need to say anything else on this topic. It speaks for itself.
How can people start making healthier choices: There are so many ways to make healthier choices. Our grandparents had the whole reduce, re-use thing down to an art. Instead of throwing things away, it got repaired and reused and products were bought for their longevity. Somebody once said to me her grandmother always said they are too poor to afford cheap products. That really spoke to me.
Which is your personal favourite product: Its hard to say, because they are all so good and so suitable for their function, but I think the Glass Cleaner might be my favourite child. I know I am supposed to love them all equally, but that one has got an extra special place in my heart 😉
Quote you live by: I don’t really have a quote to live by, but the above mentioned quote from a friend’s grandmother who said “they are too poor to afford cheap products” has been on my mind lately.
I have absolutely loved trying out these products, and I love the smell that surrounds me as soon as I walk through my front door. I love that I can now know that my choices are healthy for me, my animals, and the environment. And I love that these choices are so easy to fulfill!
Please try to support local businesses whenever possible, and make healthy choices for you and our beautiful South Africa. Choosing Mother’s Love is an easy place for you to start.
Last weekend my friend Maughin and I were off on another #MAndMAdventure around Joburg, and we got to speaking about some of the local businesses that we have blogged about have really stood out for us. She had shared a picture on her story that morning about a business called “To The Bone” and I had been drawn to the image, so I wanted to know more.
Maughin told me about the amazing work that they are doing, and I knew that this was something that I needed to jump on and help create awareness. I’m sure by now you know just how much I love my animals, and I consider them my fur-children. So when I hear about a business like To The Bone that is working so hard to make a difference in the lives of animals around South Africa, I really want to help them to increase their reach and help more animals.
So, read on to see more about why I am now completely obsessed with To The Bone…
Some fun facts about you: I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 20 years. We have 5 rescue dogs. If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be Iceland. Pineapple on pizza is a must!
What is To The Bone: To the Bone is an online store that does good for the community. The intention of our online store is to incorporate our passion for animals and all living entities into a worthwhile platform.
Since the launch of our online store (November 2020), we’ve already completed three outreach projects and we are currently busy with our fourth one.
Where did the passion to start this project come from: Most people don’t know, but To the Bone was born during a very traumatic and difficult time for me (probably still is). I’ve been in the animal rescue world for years, unfortunately, I was mauled by a power breed at the end of 2020, I’ve undergone major reconstructive surgeries, most done on my right arm, 5 to date and it is still ongoing.
I wanted to create something that will not only help vulnerable animals but also communities in need. Due to what I’ve been through, something that is very important to tothebone is animal education for the community members.
Our current project is a Kennel Drive in the informal Ocean View community (based in Cape Town, South Africa). The kennels will not only benefit vulnerable animals in need but also the community. This programme is aimed at upskilling youth from Ocean View. We teach them how to build kennels and we also incentivize them for their participation. We also teach the youth about pet education and how to keep their pets safe. After the kennels are build we distribute them to pets and community members in need.
Have you always had a love for animals: As a child my first word was “Woef” (which means dog in Afrikaans), so yes, I’ve always had a big love for animals, ever since I could remember.
You are running an amazing special currently with your mini pet portraits – please tell me more: I am actually a qualified artist and I studied BA in Applied Design, specialising in mixed media (photography and illustration). My passion for animals led me into the animal welfare world, but I thought it would be a perfect combination to combine my two passions art and animals and at the same time help to raise funds for animals in need.
Since the dog attack I haven’t been able to take any photo’s (as I can’t lift my camera) or do any drawings, it took me quite a while to be able to move my fingers again and especially to be able to write again. My hand and arm will never be normal again and I am trying to make peace with it. But at last I am able to do illustrations, but not to the extend that I used to be able to, that is why I leaned towards rather doing miniature portraiture, as that is something my arm and hand can handle at this point in time.
How can people get involved in what you are doing: There are many ways people can get involved.
Simply shop on our online store by following this link.
Donate a kennel or any supplies via our online store by following this link.
Donate any kennel building supplies, pet food/pet supplies or you can donate any second-hand books that we can resell to raise funds for our current outreach project by contacting us.
Why do you love to support local: Because I think we all need a little bit of help and support from each other, now more than ever.
What is one thing that you want people to think when they hear your name: I would say: Inspirational, Animal Warrior or Compassionate.
Quote you live by: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” – Vince Lombardi
Anything else you want to add: We would like to thank all our suppawters. Without them none of the work we do would be possible.
Guys, To The Bone is something that you really want to get involved in.
If you choose to order a mini pet portrait for only R150, or support their book drive, or just want to make a donation towards a cause that is really making a difference; please get in touch with Maryke. The animals need us to work together, and this ultimately means that they will live a better life.
Maryke, you are one in a million. Getting to know you has been such an honour, and I can’t wait to join you through your many fundraising projects.
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.
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?
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!
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!
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.?
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.
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!
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.
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.
A friend I went to school with has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration. I have seen how she has raised two beautiful children, and how she is constantly working to make South Africa a better place for the next generation. I have seen her raise difficult questions, work with others, and teach her children to be kind, considerate and loving towards others.
I saw her announce that she had started co-writing a book series named “Delightful Tales About Difficult Topics”, with the first book being “Willow Asks Why?”. I wanted to know more. This series of books is to be enjoyed by parents and their children together, and to show a way of speaking through difficult questions that kids may have – especially in all their honesty and innocence.
Your names: Kimberley Clow & Graham Geiger-Kirige
Business name: Delightful Tales About Difficult Topics
3 fun facts about you: Kim: * I am currently reading Brene Brown’s latest book, The Gifts Of Imperfection * Unashamedly obsessed with reality television. * In 2021; I am learning to speak Xhosa
Graham: * Life Motto: “Beards Before Razors” * Firm believer in tea bags being removed BEFORE milk is added. * Proud father of 8 house plants (I have read the book to them)
Tell me a little more about the book you have written: ‘Willow asks Why?’ is a story about the ever-curious Willow, who begins to question why there seems to be a different set of rules, for people of different races. Packed with light-hearted illustrations, the powerful message is that we should always question the world around us and learn to see the ‘invisible’ roles that privilege & structural racism play. Only then can we challenge them.
What age group is this aimed at: The book aims to spark conversations with kids of all ages, however if we had to give a specific age range, we’d say particularly kids between the ages of 2 and 4, as this is when they’re most vulnerable to societal stereotypes and prejudices.
What was the inspiration behind the book: Kim is a mother of two and has a diverse family. Naturally, she began searching for locally produced children’s books that would more accurately reflect the members of her own family. She managed to find a few but not nearly enough and decided to write her own story with a focus on promoting diversity & inclusion, in a South African context.
Graham is a lifelong family friend of Kim’s, a freelance Copywriter and part time woodwork teacher at the Little Warthogs Playschool – run by his wife, an early childhood development specialist. So when Kim pitched her idea of a children’s book series promoting diversity & inclusion, Graham swapped his power tools for a pen & paper.
Where can people purchase one from: You can order ‘Willow asks Why?’ on our website.
What is the price of the book: Our retail price is R120 and 15% of the profits of every book purchased will go to ARNSA – The Anti-Racism Organisation of South Africa. They work closely with the Ahmed Kathrada and Nelson Mandela Foundations among many others to ensure that organisations are equipped to deal with racism within communities. Jump on to their website to find out more about their various initiatives and collaborators.
Why is this book so special to you: Kim: It’s a daily reminder of the strength my children gave me to step out of my comfort zone; and write a story that I believe in. There is massive racial bias in South Africa; and I would like to play an active role in trying to change this.
Graham: Learning to navigate your way through the world can be tough, let alone when you’ve barely cut your first tooth! Working on this book was special because it has the potential to help kids ask critical questions, discuss difficult topics in an open way and hopefully make a confusing world, slightly less confusing.
Why do you think this is a conversation we should be having with kids: Kids may begin identifying with race as early as 6 months old; and may start generalising by 2, therefore it’s super important to have these conversations as early as possible, before any misconceptions become ingrained. If kids can learn to discuss these problems when they’re young, they have the power and time to help change it.
Quote you live by: Kim: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” Graham: “Reading is an exercise in empathy”
Anything else you want to add: ‘Willow asks Why?’ is the first book of a series, ‘Delightful Tales About Difficult Topics’. As the name suggests, the goal of each book will be to make it easier for parents to have open & honest conversations about complex topics, not covered enough within the children’s book genre. We have some ideas for future topics but no concrete decisions have been made, so watch this space!
I am so honoured to have been able to chat to amazing people like Kim and Graham, as well as Toys With Roots last year. We need to be aware of the way we speak to and about others, and we need to show our children the importance of acceptance, inclusion, and kindness.
This book is so needed in South Africa, and I could not be more proud of these wonderful people who have taken the step and making changes for our futures.
At the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.
Have you ever been on a holiday and immediately wished that you could return? Have you visited a resort where you were spoilt for choice, surrounded by beauty, and immediately felt your stress melt away as your drive through their gates?
Well, I am lucky enough to have experienced this – and The Cavern is my dream resort and holiday location.
I attended primary school in Hilton, Kwa Zulu Natal and my teacher at the time was Megan Bedingham (nee Carte) – whose family owns and runs The Cavern. As a special treat, our grade was invited to stay at this stunning resort. I remember the excitement at the idea of being able to go away on a holiday, and getting to experience a resort of this caliber. As a family we didn’t go away for holidays, so this was my first ever “holiday” and boy did it set the tone for what I expected going forward!
I remember being blown away at the beauty of the surroundings, the sense of peace that engulfed me, and the walks that left my legs aching for the next few days. Megan was one of my favourite teachers (yes, I was that nerd suck-up child – and I probably still am), and we reconnected over Facebook a while ago. I was so excited to learn that she and her family, along with her sister, are currently running The Cavern, and I knew that I simply HAD to feature them on my blog. Their reviews on local Facebook groups, and from friends who have visited recently have reminded me how spoilt we were to experience it for ourselves and I can’t wait to return with my husband!
Resorts and hotels have taken a terribly hard hit due to lockdown and travel restrictions, but The Cavern was determined to survive, take care of all their staff, and continue to support their outreach program. I think this shows their heart, and the fact that they have never given up on this dream.
Your name: Megan Bedingham
Name of your resort: The Cavern Drakensberg Resort
If you could describe The Cavern in just 3 words, what would they be: Family, outdoors, home.
Can you tell me a little bit of a history about The Cavern: The Cavern is a resort set in the Northern Drakensberg mountains. It’s a family business and we celebrate 80 years of many happy returns in 2021. Our story began when our grandfather, Bill, proposed to Ruth in a letter. He wrote; “Ruth, my darling, I plea as never before: Put your trust in me, marry me and be my mate in building up a home and a farm second-to-none in South Africa.” They moved to The Cavern farm in 1941 and so began the building of a dream.
4 children joined the farm animals but sadly after 13 short years Bill got cancer and died. But, Ruth was resilient and steadfast and kept going and fulfilling their dream.
In the 1970s Peter and Anthony, Ruth’s youngest sons, joined the family business. They grew it from a small guest farm to a thriving resort and by the 1980’s the Cavern was in full-swing! Holidays were about making new friends, hiking every mountain and ending each day with an evening activity. It was good fun and a great space to grow up.
Many years on, and we, the third generation, are now at the helm.
Why is this such a special place to you: It is not only a valley of exquisite beauty but a special place where people come to be restored. The mountains have that special kind of magic and they really do rejuvenate weary souls. We adopted Bill’s vision and we still work to fulfil his dream; “Our work is to create beauty, to make the land more fertile, to make our living, to leave the world better than when we came into it“.
Can you tell me more about the Drakensberg Community Outreach: Our family has always been involved in outreach work but we consolidated our efforts in 2006 and began working through two key initiatives: Royal Drakensberg Primary School and the Khanyisela Project, one independent foundation phase school and 18 pre-schools which are situated in the greater amaZizi village. Our aim is to give children a strong foundation for future learning. More recently we began BabyBoost which focuses on the first 1000 days and so we are developing a continuum for growth, from birth to 10 years. Our mission is for children to learn2read so that they can read2learn.
What is your favourite part of The Cavern: The hills. They are challenging and hard and yet they provide a space for reflection. The legs ache, the lungs burn but once the climb has been mastered there is a real sense of achievement and with this comes a deep sense of happiness and joy.
What is your differentiating factor to other resorts: Perhaps that we are family run. We have a wonderful team of staff who work hard to provide wonderful holidays in the great outdoors and we love that people return time and time again.
What is on offer to your visitors: There is hiking and horse riding, trout fishing, MTB trails, trail running, and we have the most gorgeous Forest Retreat Spa. There are tennis courts, lawn bowls, playgrounds for children and a refreshing pool with slippery slides for the kids. Indoor games when the weather isn’t great but also decks and lounges to just read or relax. Essentially The Cavern is a special tucked-away romantic getaway for couples, a gentle place to find quiet and solitude, as well as a safe and child-friendly resort with a range of activities for families.
How can people book with you: Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org OR Call: 083 701 5724 OR 036 438 6270
What is included in your bookings: We offer a fully inclusive package with our daily rates including all meals, teas and guided morning hikes into our exceptional wilderness.
Why do you think people continue to return to The Cavern once they have visited: The Cavern really is a place where families bond, friendships are formed and memories are made. Many families love to return to something that is familiar and they love to return to rekindle happy memories.
Quote you live by:
“Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good put together that can overwhelm the world”
Anything else you want to add: The mountains provide such a wonderful space for families. During this pandemic families have needed a place to go because nature nurtures – there is peacefulness in the forests, comfort in the hills and beauty in the surrounds. As 2021 begins, we carefully tread into the next season…
If I could be anywhere right now, I would choose to be at The Cavern.
I would love to be surrounded by the beautiful Drakensberg mountains, taking long walks with Warren and breathing in fresh air. I would love to experience their Forest Retreat Spa, fall down onto a beautiful bed after a long day outside, and belly laugh until my cheeks hurt. I want quality time with my husband without the stress that seems to have been following us all around over the past 12 months – and beyond.
The mountains seem to be singing my name. And I can’t wait to answer her call.
When my friend Jane Linley-Thomas posted about some gorgeous earrings that she had had made by ladies living in Valley of 1000 Hills, I knew that I had discovered an absolute gem! Not only is this project empowering women, but it is also providing them with a skill that can be passed from generation to generation, and giving them a chance to earn an income so they can offer a better life for them and their families.
Philippa Spark is the wonderful lady behind this great project, and when I reached out to her to see if I could feature this business on my blog, she immediately jumped on it. And seeing the creations that have been made have really reminded me of how much I love these – and what a great Christmas gift they would make.
3 fun facts about you: • My perfect day would start with champagne and end with… champagne. • I would love to meet, and even have lunch with, Kamala Harris. • My dream home would be a petite penthouse apartment in the 6th or 7th arrondissement of Paris with an outdoor terrace overlooking the roof tops and chimney pots of the city I love most in the world.
Tell me a bit more about what you do: I work with women and some men in the Valley of 1000 Hills on the outskirts of Durban, South Africa, creating beautiful, bespoke beaded items for customers the world over.
What makes your jewellery so special: We use only the best quality glass beads out of the Czech Republic and we use only the best quality beaders. We invest a huge amount of time in proper training and therefore we have an incredible team, creating the “best of the best” items possible.
Do you do custom orders: Yes, absolutely.
How can people order from you: Most customers order through Instagram, which is working very well. I am always available to help and to reply to any queries that come through to me.
What is your personal favourite set: I have many! There are so many different items to love, so it is tricky to choose, however, I do love the new range I have just launched called the “Saint Cloud” range – named after a suburb in Paris (naturally).
What have been your most popular items: • The entire Frida range. • Tassel earrings of all shapes and colour combinations imagineable.
Why do you encourage people to support local: We need to do what we can to support our people. As a country we need to unite and this is a fine way to do it. We are stronger together.
Can you tell me a little more about the ladies that make these works of art: At present we have a team of twelve ladies and one man who work with us pretty much full time. They are all (every single one of them) supporting their families through their craft and as such, every single order facilitates the upliftment and the support of multiple families in the area. A fact that makes my heart soar with joy.
Quote you live by: “What is meant for you will not pass you by.” “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.”
Anything else you wish to add: I wish only the best for our entrepreneurs, for our country, for the world. Today and every day.
Aren’t these beyond gorgeous? And wouldn’t they make such a divine Christmas gift? Please consider supporting local businesses when choosing your gifts – and what better than something unique, handmade, and put together with so much love. And I love their Christmas baubles too! Every year husband and I choose a special decoration for the year – I think I may have to order some of these for 2020.
I first “met” Nombuso during lockdown when she interviewed me for a segment on SABC about living with a rare condition during the pandemic. We have kept in contact, and she often sends me the most beautiful messages to keep me motivated and smiling.
Recently she contacted me to tell me about her most recent venture, where she is personalising Summer straw hats. I don’t know about you, but I have always seen these on Pinterest and Instagram, and have been wanting one of my own for the longest time, but had no idea where to order them from. I immediately jumped up and down, and told her I DEFINITELY wanted one of the blush pink ones. And now, I can’t wait for you to see more about her gorgeous business…
Your name: My name is Nombuso Mahlangu
Business name: Nombz Personalized Hats
Social media handles:Instagram and Twitter but I run my business mostly from WhatsApp: 0726847053 for all orders and enquiries 🌻
3 fun facts about you: • I’m an avid reader but I sometimes buy more books than I read. • I’m a good singer and think one day before I die, I’ll be a Superstar. • I love pets, all pets and I sometimes borrow my neighbors cat without him knowing because Mia (the cat) and I have a special bond.
Tell me a little more about your business: I started collecting summer hats when I would frequent Mozambique for my summer vacations, which I would take every year in November without fail. I then started seeing other travelers with their own personalized hats even if it wasn’t their names but if it was a group of girls they would all have a theme and embroid their hats accordingly.
One thing bothered me though I never saw those hats personalized in African names or South African names such, Lebo, Asanda, Rorie and I wanted to be the person who brings that joy to everyone by rendering such services.
When I discovered that I can do that, then the most exciting part of learning how to select fonts and digitize was amazing as I work with a guy named Clet, he knows how finicky I am about fonts for the names and he made that process a breeze.
The day I started I think I had two orders from a lady who works at Old Mutual and soon after I used her pictures everyone suddenly wanted.
I am super excited with where my business is going and can’t wait to work with more corporates.
What makes your hats different to others available: hahahahaha I love this question, literally no one can steal your hat because it has your name on it and straw hats are a definite lifesaver for the sun both for your face and shoulders. Plus I even have the super sizes.
How can people order from you: Yay 💃🏽my favorite part, people can reach me directly on WhatsApp 0726847053
Do you do custom orders: Yes, yes and yes that’s the whole point of the company. Doing what you want and how you want it.
What is the price range of these: R250 for the hat with anything you want embroidered + R99 courier fee – Only if you not around Joburg or Pretoria. I have my super size for R350.
Do you deliver throughout South Africa: yes I do 😁
What are your different colour options: • Cream white • Black • Blush pink • Yellow • Red • Beige • Tan
Quote you live by: Always show up!
I am SO excited to receive my hat – I have asked Nombuso to surprise me with the font and size of the hat. I promise I will be splashing this all over my social media pages, and with the extreme heat we are experiencing currently it is the perfect time to get your order in before she becomes too busy.
Why not get one as a gift for a friend that is getting married? I can just picture how cute this would be on a honeymoon, or even on a girls’ trip.
Nombuso, my dear friend, I am so grateful to have met you and I really wish you all the best with this very exciting venture. Sending you all the love and positive vibes that you deserve x