When I saw Dear Deer sharing an image that they had had done, I absolutely loved the soft colours, the style and the gentleness of the images. Rubina’s social media is beautiful, and immediately draws you in as you get a snapshot into not only her talent, but also her passion for what she does. I am sure that you will fall in love with it too as you see her gorgeous creations and creativity.
What are 3 fun facts about you: I love to travel, love dogs, and love music.
Tell me a little more about your business: Fleur de Mai started out of the blue really. I saw some cute illustrations on Instagram and started learning. I started in November 2019 and has been going since. My online store is launching in the near future with a brand name change.
How would you describe your style of art: I love minimalistic and neutral colours for my illustrations. But once in a while i will have a pop of colour in there.
Have you always been creative: Not at all. I am more analytical than creative but i started learning and find out you can do anything you set your mind to.
Do you do custom orders: I do custom orders for weddings, birthdays and all occasions 🙂
How much is an order from you: A single portrait is R350 and every additional person added is R150.
What is your favourite piece that you have done: There are so many and all of them are so unique. My favourite changes every week lol.
Why do you encourage people to support local: Local businesses strive to bring the best for its people and without us supporting them they do not survive and by our support we are helping them build their dreams.
How did lockdown affect you: It did not really. it allowed me to have more free time to spend on my designs.
Quote you live by: Different doesn’t mean wrong. I love this saying because we are all different and we can all learn from each other and that’s the beauty of being different
Anything else you want to add: I think as an artist and small business, growing an audience on Instagram is hard and sometimes discouraging but I have learned that every like and comment is special because someone took the time to like and to comment and we have to appreciate every little thing that makes our community on Instagram. Likes and follows are not the most important thing. Staying true to the brand and delivering is what makes you, YOU!
Don’t you adore her? And her style of art?
It was such an honour getting to know Rubina, and she has been so kind right from the very first message I sent to her. I cannot wait to see her flourish, and more of her images tagged across your social media.
Have a beautiful day lovelies, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog, support local, and always choose kindness x
In case you haven’t already seen, I am currently running the most amazing competition alongside T.Knots, O Nutricia Collagen and Charlie Loves Studio. These small businesses really fill my life with such joy, and the idea for the giveaway came after spending some time chatting to Taryn and completely falling in love with what she has doing, her beautiful creations, and just her entire being.
Yesterday I received my very own T.Knots creation and I immediately knew where I was going to hang it. This has a place of pride at our front door, in our little patio area. It looks stunning, and even husband agrees! I cannot wait to tell you more about this wonderful woman and show you more of her work.
Macramé is a form of textile produced using knotting (rather than weaving or knitting) techniques.
The primary knots of macramé are the square (or reef knot) and forms of “hitching”: various combinations of half hitches. It was long crafted by sailors, especially in elaborate or ornamental knotting forms, to cover anything from knife handles to bottles to parts of ships.
Cavandoli macramé is one variety that is used to form geometric and free-form patterns like weaving. The Cavandoli style is done mainly in a single knot, the double half-hitch knot. Reverse half hitches are sometimes used to maintain balance when working left and right halves of a balanced piece.
Tell me a few fun facts about yourself: I didn’t think I have a hobby or a talent and lockdown showed me I have both of those by making people happy with my Macramé magic.
What inspired you to start this business: I unfortunately lost my job in the Hospitality Industry and I needed to look for something funky and modern but different to do and therefore I made a few knots one day and Viola!!
Please explain Macramé to us: Macramé started in the 1970. This means that you are using creativity and your passion for making something unique by using different knots. Macramé is all about UNIQUE!
Have you always been a creative: I haven’t been creative, and a month ago I started using my hands and creating this beautiful products. I do come out of a incredibly creative family!
What is your personal favourite piece that you have created so far: My personal favorite so far is Macramé Hibiscus! DEFINITELY!
Do you do custom pieces: I do any custom picture that you send me! (Off course it will be unique)
Why do you encourage people to support local: Because there is a ton of fantastic talents out there and so many people lost jobs during this pandemic and by showing their talent they are making money!
How can people order from you: By popping me a email, or by popping me a DM on my Facebook Page or Instagram. And of course I am always available on my phone (0836569919)
Quote you live by: “Everything happens for a reason”
In my previous blog about the Tiny Dollhouse, I said that my ideal room would have a macrame wall hanging, and now I actually have one of my own in my home! I know that I will definitely be getting more of these stunning pieces, and definitely have my eye on some of the plant hangers as I have been wanting more greenery inside for ages – especially with the theme of our bedroom and the generosity of space that we are blessed with.
When I showed my mum my new acquisition last night, she said they used to have similar items hanging in their home and I think it is so amazing that trends seem to do a full circle and always return.
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway on both Instagram and Facebook if you would like to own some very special pieces from South African businesses – or place your order for a unique piece.
When I think back to creating happy memories as a child, I think back to spending hours creating fairy gardens or playing with my Barbies in their house that my uncle built. I think back to magic, imagination and love. Recently Charlie Loves Studio shared a story on her Instagram about a beautiful business that is just launching and I was immediately thrust back into my childhood. KaRi has created an adult version of fairy gardens and doll houses – and I am completely obsessed!
Your name: Karen Kelly but people know me as KaRi (my creative alias)
Business name: The Tiny Dollhouse (South Africa) and also the #girlboss behind the Lovilee Blogfor the past 10 years.
What are 3 fun facts about you:
I always thought I was addicted to coffee, but have realised coffee is addicted to me.
I am bunny everything obsessed!
If I could choose any color in the world, it would be the color grey.
Tell me a bit more about the business:
I am a creative at heart, always busy with some activity behind the scenes, whether it is to knit, to embroider, to DIY or just to craft. I love keeping busy and surrounding myself with creatives. This year I decided to take the leap and follow my tiny passion to create an online store, with a beautifully curated Instagram feed and miniatures by myself and other makers. A way for other creatives to showcase their talents in a different way, but still linking to their bigger businesses. A community that will be brought together in a tiny (yet big) way. I am hoping to start a dollhouse revolution in South Africa!
Where did the idea for this come from:
A few years ago my bestie in Holland sent me an image of a Scandinavian style modern dolls house and I was sold. I knew I had to have one and tried to find one in South Africa. It was virtually impossible so, I decided to make a plan and bring the dollhouses to South Africa myself.
Why tiny dollhouses:
Tiny things like miniatures and dollhouses make me happy and I hope to share this happiness with others, be it via Instagram, or the online store. Let’s face it, not everyone can have a perfectly organized home all the time, but you can manage something like this on a teeny tiny scale. It makes me happy to know that my tiny dollhouse is styled the way I like it and that no matter what chaos ensues in the home, there is a place that is the total opposite. I love the DIY element that comes with these miniatures, I might not have the time to do a room revamp in my home in one day, but it might just be possible to do it in my tiny space – giving me a total sense of accomplishment and pride.
Where can people order from:
They can order directly from the online shop. I courier countrywide, RSA only.
What kit do you think a first-timer should start with:
Step 1 – Purchase a dollhouse. If you are looking for a small project the one bedroom dollhouse is the perfect option and can be displayed beautifully in an office or bedroom.
Step 2 – Add some wallpaper or paint for the walls.
Step 3 – Add a carpet and plants
Step 4 – Get creative and make some cute furniture that you can move around.
What sort of products can people expect from you:
As the owner and creative behind Tiny Dollhouse, I curate each and every product that is listed in the online store. There are not bulk amounts available of each product to keep the experience unique and I will be sharing DIY tutorials and printables going forward as well, essentially an extension of the Lovilee Blog, just on a smaller scale. I hope that this new pretty venture enables you to create your own tiny dream house! All of the dollhouses and products in the shop are made to a 1:12 scale.
Items in the store include Dollhouses, Miniatures, Carpets, Plants, Wallpapers and I will be adding Furniture soon.
Quote you live by:
“When you do what you love, nothing feels like work.”
Anything else you want to add:
I have been the creative girl boss behind http://www.lovilee.co.za, a Lifestyle blog for the past 10 years and used to have a Wedding Hanger personalisation business that I sold just over 2 years ago. I had been looking to start a small online shop again selling items that I am passionate about. I guess this TINY obsession is about to grow BIG.
I absolutely LOVE the idea and passion behind this project. I love that it can be a bit of quiet time for anyone to do something that they love, and allow their inner creative to come out. I love that it could be a family project, where you can spend quality time together without the interference of cellphones and laptops or television. I love that you can create your perfect little happy place – a place where you can escape and envision your dreams becoming a reality.
If you had to design your dream room right now, what would it look like? What would you include? And which room would it be? Once I began thinking down this route, I realised that I definitely wanted to work on bringing my dreams to fruition. I now want to create my own Tiny Dollhouse filled with miniatures of happiness – macrame plant hangers, a fluffy beanbag, handwoven rugs, mini family portraits, and a beautiful wallpaper…
I follow quite a few make-up artists on Instagram, and one of my favourites is Charli X Boi. A little while ago he posted a piece of fan art that had been done of him, and I was blown away! The design popped out at me, and just exuded happiness and joy. I reached out to Yuvianca about her beautiful work, and she was so friendly and accommodating. I knew you guys would appreciate her stunning work too so had to do a little feature on her! Her prices are reasonable, her talent insane, and her heart is so full of kindness. Keep reading for more…
How would you describe your style of art: I like to think of my art as a combination of line art and digital art.
Have you always been so creative: Yes I have. I actually had design and visual arts throughout my Primary and High school years. I love art and being creative. I like to transform something boring into something extraordinary!
How can people place an order with you: They can either message me through FB Messenger or Direct message on my personal Instagram or my design page’s Instagram.
How much do you charge for your pieces: R200 per design.
Can people still receive their order during lockdown: Yes they can, but they have to wait 2-3 days, because each designs is extremely time consuming.
What makes your art unique to others: My art is unique because I try to create my clients designs according to their personality and things that they love. I feel that makes the design much more personal.
Why do you encourage people to support local: Because before you can go global you need to start local. Everyone needs to start somewhere eventually!
Quote you live by: Be brave enough to take off the masks you wear on the outside and get to know who you are underneath. The flawed you, the beautiful you, the perfect you.
What do you guys think of her pieces? Don’t you think they are so divine? I love how unique they are, and I love Yuvianca’s positivity and outlook on life. It was so lovely to chat to her, and I know that I am definitely going to get a pic done by her soon. Any advice on which picture I should use?
Please support local artists – especially now during lockdown. These can be sent to friends or family all over the world, and would really be something special as a gift, or even as a spoil for yourself. Tag me in the pic once you have received it, as I would love to see more of her creations.
I love beautiful art. I love pictures that make you think, pictures that you can spend hours looking at, and images that evoke emotions in you that you may not have been experiencing initially. I love hand-drawn art, that you can see the skill and time put into it. But most of all I love seeing people’s creativity coming through in their own special way.
I was drawn to Ilse through her yoga mats initially, and then I discovered there was so much more than “just” these mats. I saw her posts about her art special she is currently running (believe me, you will want to check these out), and I got totally sucked into her website and the wide array of art that she offers. I felt like I had walked through a portal into a whole new world, and that night I even dreamt about some of the pieces I had seen. That’s when I knew I needed to reach out to Ilse and find out more about NovaWoolf, and get to know the creator.
Tell me a bit more about Nova Woolf:
NovaWoolf is the result of the creative and idealistic part of myself merging with the pragmatic, strategic part. It’s my sacred space to dream and to do, and to share it all with you. It started as only an Instagram page, where I could post my drawings and thoughts. This quickly grew into my own creative studio where I had been offering my design & illustrations services, selling my artwork, and I’ve participated in art exhibitions, locally and internationally. A lot has happened very quickly in the last couple of years and my business is constantly evolving. One day, I was looking for a fresh canvas for my artwork & posted a mockup of one of my paintings called “MoonMagic” onto a yoga mat! It made so much sense, since I practice yoga and my choices for yoga mats at the time were essentially limited to pink plastic or purple plastic!! I really wanted to create something magical that is kind to our bodies and to our planet – something I would actually use every day. The yoga mat mockup post received an overwhelming response, so it only made sense that I pursue this further & create my own conscious luxury yoga lifestyle brand. There are so many things in the pipeline for NovaWoolf Art and NovaWoolf Yoga & I’m beyond excited to see where this all goes!!
I see you have stunning yoga mats – please tell me about them: NovaWoolf yoga mats (and soon-to-be released yoga props!!!) reflect an equal measure of scientific engineering, and thoughtfully curated art, to create a magical product that will become a treasured part of your yoga story. I believe this type of integration between body & mind, emotional value & physical performance, ecological consciousness & personal satisfaction are key to living a balanced, healthy, abundant life. I believe in quality over quantity, consciously curating your life and only owning items that add value to your life.
Our products are truly exceptional! Each NovaWoolf yoga mat is created from hand-painted designs, and all our mats are extra-large and extra thick to support all bodies and to cushion the joints. They are also biodegradable, vegan, and made from natural and recycled materials. They are free from PVC and toxins often found in other yoga mats and are created to be kind to your body and our precious planet.
Our yoga mats are specially engineered and meticulously tested to offer you only the best-quality and performance features, to ensure that you are fully supported during any style of yoga practice and in any environment.
We are very excited that we will soon be releasing an extended range of yoga props (cork blocks and straps) and you are the first to know!! 😀 And there will be loads more to come in the future! We have a very long list of dreams, to say the least.
Why are your products so different to others:
NovaWoolf is not just another lifestyle, or fitness brand. It is borne from the values characteristic of an atelier. Each product is created with the utmost care and conscious intention to add magic and beauty to the world. Each product is thoughtfully created, meticulously tested, refined, refined some more, and then lovingly handed over to the wonderful community we have come to love and authentically connect with. We do not simply aim to ‘sell’, but to share our story with the world. I still cannot get over how incredibly wonderful it is that something I painted one late night while processing my thoughts in the privacy of my home and listening to my favourite artists in the background, can end up on a product that someone else, someone anywhere on the planet, uses every day! This to me is extremely special and is one of the main motivations that lies behind everything I do, and now that NovaWoolf as a company does. The other primary motivation that keeps us centred on creating what we do, is that the world is in desperate need of more light, more beauty, more conscious creators, more kindness in every way possible. We are simply doing our part to create the world that we would like to live in : one where humans live in harmony with nature, practice compassion and non-violence to all creatures, where connection is more important than competition, and where holistic wellness and balance are prioritised.
What would you call the style of art that you do:
I suppose my visual style is a bit ambiguous. It has oscillated between contemporary minimalist illustrations with a monochromatic colour palette, vs. colourful, layered, more abstract expressive, ink and watercolour works. The overarching, or connecting, qualities of my work is usually expressive, loopy lines, and emotive subject matter that explores themes of healing, growth, transformation, and integration.
I suppose it’s worth mentioning that I studied design at Vega and went on to work as an art director, then strategist, designer / illustrator, stylist… you name it, I’ve done it! My design background has been hugely influential, since I was always comfortable working digitally. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve started returning to my traditional art supplies. I’ve fallen in love with painting again and as a result I will be very hesitant to return to digital illustrations in the future, as I have been doing previously. I also studied psychology and completed my MA in social & psychological research, so this theoretical background, combined with my own lived experience, is the reason behind my emotive subject matter.
Moving forward, my monochromatic illustrations are something of the past as I am focusing now more on colour, traditional media, saying my goodbyes to thinking in black and white, and embracing a much more intuitive, richer, more joyously complex, divinely connected, layered and joyful existence 🙂
What inspires you to create these:
My art is just an expression of whatever it is that is moving through me. I know that sounds extremely contrived, but it’s the only way I can authentically describe it. It used to be quite an intensely anxious, heavy experience, but it has recently become a much more enjoyable and light, yet much more complex, experience. So, to answer your question – it all comes from within myself, or through myself, I’m not even 100% sure… It’s an almost mystical process for me – I generally don’t plan ahead too much and I create intuitively and almost while in a bit of a trance. Generally, I set up my favourite music, create a comfy safe space, and just kind of see what needs to be expressed.
What Emotions do you want these art pieces to evoke in people:
I can’t say that I have an agenda or an expectation of the outcome, of how other people receive or perceive anything I do, to be honest. I create what I want /need to, I share it freely, and I’m super grateful that others seem to find value in it.
Have you always been creative:
Yeah, as a child I did a lot of competitive dancing, singing, poetry performances, I played piano, guitar for a little while as well, and just basically participated in any creative pursuits I could at school. I was never really much into sports, although I did play netball and hockey – not particularly well, but I did it hehe. Thank goodness I’ve found yoga, hiking, and more recently, rock climbing, as an adult! Then of course pursuing creative studies at Vega and working in the creative world has also been a huge part of my life. I’ve kind of come full circle after pursuing psychological research as well, as I now lecture research to creative students at Vega , where I started 🙂 I love that I have finally found a way to balance my creative side with my scientific, strategic side and that I’m able to finally satisfy all the different parts of myself – by being an artist /designer, researcher and lecturer, and business owner & director! I always knew a 9-5 was not going to do it for me, so I’ve had to create my own path and I’m finally starting to see the fruits of all the struggle, self-doubt, feelings of misdirection, and isolation. This is what I think conscious, intentional, creative living is all about.
Do you do custom pieces:
Absolutely! I’ve done many commissions for clients locally, and globally.
How can people order from you:
Either via my online store, or by getting in touch via email, or simply via social media messaging.
How has this lockdown affected your business:
Gosh – it’s been terrible, but then its been ok again. Naturally, not being able to trade at all for so many weeks in lockdown has had a major impact financially. However, the silver lining is that now, more than ever, South Africans are finally awakening to E-commerce, after quite a slow uptake in previous years. I’m extremely grateful that E-commerce has been given the green light again and that we are back in business!
Why do you encourage people to support local:
So many reasons! The preservation of local businesses support the preservation of communities and causes; it ensures that macro-scale policies support the communities most affected by them; it ensures the recycling of revenue back into the local economy instead of flighting profits from local pockets abroad to support external structures; it also supports more job creation and improved protection of individual livelihoods and wellbeing; and it supports sustainable living as local businesses are more invested in living in harmony with the resources in their immediate environment that they depend on.
Beyond all this – its true that when you purchase from a small local business, someone does a little happy dance! At NovaWoolf, that someone is me & I 1000% make sure those dances actually happen!
Quote you live by:
Oh gosh, there are SO many. If I absolutely had to choose one, it would be this:
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
It always reminds me that magic happens when you can successfully balance creativity with strategy, planning with letting go, light with dark, yin with yang, art with science. The ancient teachings of yoga, and the science of contemporary psychology both echo this idea of integration and wholeness, rather than the way of individuation, separation and disconnection we have been immersed in in the modern world.
Isn’t Ilse an absolute treat? And doesn’t her art speak to your very essence? I am SO glad that I stumbled across more of her talent, and could definitely picture a whole wall in our house being adorned with different pieces from her.
And let’s take a moment to appreciate her yoga mats… Imagine the talking point they would be? And being able to practice yoga in your backyard and truly feel connected to the earth with a beautiful mat at your feet. Now THAT would get me out and doing it more often.
Please continue to support local wherever possible. And pop over to Ilse’s social media pages to see more of what she has been up to.
During lockdown I have been spending extra time on growing my skills, attending online classes, and definitely more time on social media! I have been following both of these businesses that I am discussing in this blog for some time, but during lockdown I was able to catch an Instagram live that Cas was doing, and I was immediately drawn into her passion and knowledge. I have been making a conscious effort to head over to her pages on a daily basis to soak up some of her incredible knowledge.
I have bought some flatlay boards from Cas in the past, and then they sat under my bed… I had great plans to use them, but I never felt confident in what I was doing and my photos ended up reflecting that insecurity and lack of knowledge on how to properly use them. Cas has now given me the confidence to pull these out again and keep trying, keep learning, keep experimenting. Blogging has allowed me an outlet and a platform to showcase these great South African small businesses, whilst my social media platforms have allowed me to truly express myself and embrace my flaws, whilst still being able to grow. And I can’t wait to show you more about these great businesses that have truly tipped the scales in my learning to love myself, as well as encourage me to learn new skills.
Your name: My name is Casandra Swart
Business name: My business is called Backdrop Shop SA & Flatlay Boards SA
Tell me a bit more about what you do:
I believe in the moments that become memories. I want to support the creatives who craft these moments into images that will be cherished for a lifetime to come. The Backdrop Shop is a community that welcomes everyone from professional studio photographers to small businesses trying to inject some more beauty into their branding. We love watching you take our designs to the next level by infusing them with your special style.
Who is the person behind the brand: I studied and worked as a graphic designer for 20 years, from the beginning I always knew I would manifest into my own boss, I always had a side hustle and eventually my side hustle became my full time business. It was all up to perfect timing. The time had to be right for me to take the leap. I have an incredibly ambitious and loving husband who supported me and nudged me further to stand on my own. In 2013 I was blessed in another way and became a mother … this now became my main focus and drove me deeper into pursuing my business with all I had. Our family loves to spend time venturing out into the Cape Winelands for a Saturday outing, quiet braais at home, weekends away in new places and Christmas bed evenings watching movies… all those family feels! I have a beautiful group of friends who I love to surround myself with and go on girls dinners and shopping dates. I also love self care and often treat myself to a spa day. I love to listen to podcasts and motivational speakers who inspire me and challenge me all the time. My business is my 2nd child and is my greatest achievement, I am very proud of where I am, how I have grown and what the future still holds.
Where did the idea for this business come from: I started the business in 2012 with a very good friend of mine, we saw a gap in the market where beautiful well priced backdrops where just not available in South Africa for the photography market. With me as the designer and her as photographer we made a great team and designed and manufactured a small range and marketed it online and on social media, the business grew well and we were happy with the progress… again a side hustle for me so I was still working full time. In 2013 we decided to split the business and go our separate ways (friendship and business unfortunately do not always work out) we amicably went our own way and Backdrop Shop was born. I was now at home with a newborn, and a new business… and I thought well you got nothing to lose and (I thought) I had plenty of time with a newborn by my side, she would just sleep and eat right … the side hustle started again.. I worked long days and nights and packed orders, answered mails, sent invoices, designed new ranges when everyone was sleeping. The work I put in paid off and the company did very well. In 2015 I quit my full time job and focused on Backdrop Shop fully, it was what the business needed to move forward even more. I then brought out more ranges, more products… and loved every minute! And then Flatlay Boards SA arrived…
Why the passion for flatlay boards: The flatlay boards were an obvious pivot for the business but I only saw it later in the growth of Backdrop Shop. I love networking and going to business workshops and training… I met so many incredible brands who where small businesses and who loved the backdrops. But my main focus was always on the photographers… my client spec was for the large format printing clientele… and so I thought but why don’t we do something to offer which is smaller/compact and easy to use for smaller product brands. I started researching the idea and noted there was similar ideas overseas… but again not in South Africa.
I just want to point out I have never wanted a business that ships or focuses on the whole world, I have always been focused on delivering to the South African market. This is important as it keeps me focused on my ideal client and what their needs are.
So the flatlay boards were created, we had trial and error moments, it took 8 months doing workshops, engaging with brands who would use the boards and who loved them, we had 5 very successful workshops and got a lot of constructive feedback regarding the boards. I then moved over from our initial wood boards to our plastic boards which then made the board lighter and even nicer to work with… and then introducing our larger mats. My Flatlayboards SA community has grown so much and I thoroughly enjoy engaging with the brands and helping them grow their content and photography skills by using my backgrounds.
Who do you think would benefit from using these: Absolutely anyone! All brands, lifestyle bloggers, mothers, fathers, big corporations! Its really for everyone – if you got an eye for a great pic and need an interesting background instead of your kitchen counter then its for you!
How do you decide what images to use for your boards etc:
Our ranges grow and develop as our clients do, we get special requests for specific designs. The marbles, woods and textures are firm favourites and we keep them as realistic as possible to give you the best result when shooting with them.
Which is your personal favourite one so far:
I love the Greek tiles and the different colour prints … florals/textures and colour!
Which have been your most popular designs:
The marbles are definitely the most popular designs. They’re soft and beautiful and is a great way to start your Flatlay journey.
How can people order from you:
We have a wonderful website, which is updated regularly with new designs and its very easy to navigate and order. Alternatively clients are welcome to personally message me via email, DM on social or whatsapp on our business chat 071 877 0393.
Do you do custom designs:
YES ABSOLUTELY! I love customising prints for clients to match their brand perfectly.
Where can you recommend people get more training on flatlay boards:
I offer one on one training if you need but I always love sharing tips and videos on my social media for clients to go and watch and learn from them.
Quote you live by: Love what you do, do what you love ❤
Anything else you want to add: If there is something you truly believe in, let your heart run with it. Be intentional every day to pursue that thing.
Guys, aren’t these just too beautiful for words? And isn’t Cas someone that we all want as our friend, and enjoy a good glass of wine? I can honestly say that I have learnt so much from her, and will definitely be ordering more flatlays as time goes by and I am wanting to improve the quality of my photos more and more. Her one-on-one classes are like no other, and I would definitely recommend you take a look at her free training over on her social media.
I can’t WAIT to see the pics that you create with some of her stunning backdrops or flatlays, so please do tag me in them. Hopefully I can get some tips from you too!
This time last year I had my fundraiser, The Snow Ball, to raise funds for my life-saving stem cell transplant. I was blown away at the generosity of everyone that I knew, as well as those that I had never met. Liezl was one of those very special people that didn’t even know me, yet sponsored the most gorgeous (& delicious) snowflake biscuits for everyone that attended my event. The biscuits didn’t even make it home as they were all gobbled up at the event!
Then, my friend Jenny spoilt us all at Rare with a box of Christmas-themed cookies, & as soon as I saw them I knew that I had to reach out to Liezl & feature her on my blog. Besides looking absolutely amazing, they are the most yummy biscuits you will ever taste. Read on to find out more about this beautiful lady & her biccy business.
Tell me a bit more about your business: I have been a freelance Graphic Designer since 2013, but having always loved parties and baking and after being encouraged by friends (and my first cookie “order”) I decided to start my party planning business, Sugar & Paper. I call myself “a celebration enthusiast” – I can conceptualise, design, coordinate and style your event, and even bake the tasty treats. A one-stop-shop of good taste!
Where did your passion for baking come from: I have always loved baking and the rule in our house growing up was “you make the mess, you clean it”. So my sister and I baked often! Baking is a productive form of self-expression and communication. It’s also a form of mindfulness and altruism – at the heart of baking for others is the very act of giving. And, although, people pay me for my cookies, it will never cover the amount of time and love I pour into every baked creation.
How did you learn all the amazing royal icing techniques: I have actually never taken a cookie class – I learned through trial and error. Lots of error! Also, YouTube and social media are great places to watch tutorials etc.
What makes your cookies different to those you can get in the shops: My cookies are made with quality ingredients, real butter, free range eggs and lots of love! I think my attention to detail sets me apart.
What are some of the events you make cookies for: I make cookies for birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, corporate events – anything really! Even just to fill your cookie jar at home.
Whereabouts are you based: I am in Linmeyer, Johannebsurg South.
How far in advance should people place an order with you: The sooner the better, as I book up fast! Ideally, I need confirmation and full payment 2 weeks before collection.
Do you sell Christmas cookies, & do you have extra in stock: I haven’t taken Christmas pre-orders as yet this year but have just posted some!
What have been your favourite cookies that you have made so far: It’s so difficult to choose! I love just about every set I send out as it’s a part of my creativity 🙂
Why do you encourage people to support small businesses: I encourage people to support small business because you are helping someone live their dream! Handmade items are always more expensive than store bought, but that’s because they are bespoke – that item that’s handmade, has been created from precious time that was spent designing, searching for materials, creating the product, finishing, packaging, cleaning! It’s also hours of failures, experimentation, frustrations, and moments of pure joy. It’s a piece of their soul, their heart and a moment of someone’s life!
Quote you live by: Don’t sweat the small stuff 😉
Anything else you want to add:
I hope to build Sugar & Paper into a brand that people will immediately think of when it comes to parties. Right now, I seemed to have slid more into the cookie side of my talents, but hope that I will be able to become ever more involved in the design side too.
Aren’t her creations absolutely stunning?
I could spend hours getting lost in Liezl’s images on her social media pages, & can definitely vouch that these cookies taste just as good as they look.
Ok I need to go now, my mouth is watering & I my tummy is grumbling. Liezl I’m coming for you!
A while ago I won a competition that was running on Instagram. The algorithm definitely pushes competitions my way as I LOVE entering & finding new, exciting things. When Bi Parel’s competition appeared on my timeline, I immediately clicked through to see more & loved the style of their clothing. They are so unique & really make a statement. Plus I feel they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion!
When the clothing arrived I immediately went to try it on & I honestly can’t say which I loved the most! They are so artistic & fashionable – in fact they are probably amongst the fanciest clothing I own… I knew I had to share this with all of you, & I am sure you will love it as much as I do.
Your Name: Shaylene Morris Business Name: Bi Parel
What I do: I am the founder and creative director of Bi Parel, I over look all creative aspects relating to Bi Parel especially in designing and manufacturing our product. Bi Parel is a unisex street couture brand that aims to be different from the norm and deliver quality on all form such as fabrication, production and customer service. We are relatively new to the scene but plan to take over the streets of Johannesburg and neighboring provinces very soon. We gain our inspiration not only from the Asian cultures though time but from our South African customers that inspire us every day.
How did the business idea come about: I’ve always been interested in fashion. From a young age I learnt how to sew from my grandmother and mother. It was only in my gap year after high school when I couldn’t afford to buy clothes and was forced to make my own did I realize this could be a business venture as more and more people took interest in my ideas. Thereafter I went to university to further my education.
When is your big launch date: We plan to launch our brand second week of June 2019. Not sure on specific dates as of yet
What makes your clothing so different to others: Each collection is inspired by something different but our feel is always the same. I think our customers look forward to the new inspiration that we drew from each season, as appose to each season being the same as before, with our Asian inspired streetwear designs that already set us apart, our keen eye for inspiration each year excites our customers. They are always looking forward to the next theme of the season.
What are your favourite items from your range: My current favorite items, are our reversible hoodie that we will be releasing in June as well as the reversible bomber jacket. From our research no one has every done a reversal hoodie before so we keen to see how people take to it and our reversible Bomber had a surprising twist to it this season.
How can people order from you? for now we encourage customers to go into our Instagram page and click the link to register for our website launch. They will then be able to purchase our products online by second week of June.
Quote you live by: In the movie Coach Carter, the character Timo Cruz says: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Which I think is a quote everyone should live by.
Aren’t these flipping cool? I really am so spoilt with the bag full of goodies I received from them & I absolutely love wearing them! They are super comfortable & edgy… I can’t wait for their official launch & know that this is a business that we need to keep an eye on.
Sign up now for their newsletter so you are made aware for their launch. Don’t miss out!
adjective – Afrikaans
Southern African slang meaning pleasing; nice
Are you much of a saver? Are you good about keeping your extra change aside for a rainy day? I know I am TERRIBLE at this, but this is also due to the fact that I hardly ever draw actual cash & then have to dig around in my change purse to tip the car guards & so on. However with recent life events I realised the importance of saving a little & putting money aside for those times when I want to spoil myself.
When I was younger I had a bright pink piggy bank that had a special spot in my bedroom. I would do extra chores around the house to get a silver coin, or would proudly add my pocket money into the container & then take it all out so I could count it up & see how close I was to treating myself to something I really wanted. It helped teach me the value of money, & also that I didn’t have to always ask my mum for assistance. She was a single mum & had enough on her plate without me nagging her for a new doll that I HAD to have…
When I came across this gorgeous small business I was so excited! Do we truly remember the value of money? And are we teaching these values to children, or do we simply spoil them rotten so when they are out in the real world they get a complete shock? Sometimes we all need a small reminder to find the good & happiness in life, but still put aside the small change for “just in case”. And these piggy banks will certainly encourage this, whilst forming beautiful decor in your house!
Your name: Charmaine and Kayla Margoczi (mom and daughter)
What do you do: We buy and sell these unique and funky takes on the traditional piggy bank, giving you freedom to chose something to match your style, personality and even favorite animals.
How did your business start: Mom actually fell in love with the concept and found them incredibly unique. We bought a few and decided to see what people’s reactions would be. Turns out they love the little guys and they make quirky individual gifts!
What are some of the different designs: There truly are a number of different animals and patterns. Ranging from dogs to cows to elephants and even dinosaurs. Each animal also has a different pattern and colour to match each persons trendy individuality. Be it floral, skulls, fruit, animal prints on the animals. You name it.
Have you always been creative: We’ve always loved eye catching items. Be it in forms of art, sculptures, decor. We love these money boxes and know that people will fall in love with them too.
How can people order from you: They can contact me on Facebook, Instagram or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you do custom designs: Unfortunately not but we believe there will be something for everyone!
Quote you live by: “You give life to what you give energy to”
Which one is your favourite? I still can’t decide on mine, although I think it is the cow!
Good luck ladies – I just know this is going to be a huge success & you truly deserve it x
Can you believe that 2019 is almost upon us? When I realised that we are now in OCTOBER my mind went to all sorts of places – it is time to start thinking of Christmas (am I allowed to put up my tree yet?); it is our sixth wedding anniversary this month; we are moving offices & home at the end of this month; & planning for 2019 needs to begin. Can you tell I’m Type A personality yet?
I knew I wanted to find a diary to keep track of all my meetings, plans & events – I have millions of notebooks & love finding something fun & pretty that makes work & meetings that much better. Then I came across Millamae & I knew that I had found the most perfect place to order these goodies!
Your name: Sarah & Tracy Business name: MILLAMAE Sweet Stationery
Social media handles:Facebook & Instagram What do you do: We create delicious designs in the form of functional, enviro-friendly, lovable stationery. All our products are proudly designed and produced in Durban. We have an online store and we attend local markets over the festive season.
Where did your love of stationary come from: We were born with it! Why do you wish more people would send handwritten letters rather than emails: To see someone’s handwriting feels very special these days. A letter is like receiving a thoughtful gift and feels so much more personal. My children were fascinated to see a few I kept from my schooldays, they’re lovely keepsakes. And of course, even better when written on beautiful stationery! Tell me more about your 2019 diary you are bringing out: We’ve gone bolder and brighter this year and focused on one size (A5) which has enabled us to bring our followers more designs in this size to choose from. What is your most popular product: Our diaries are a firm favourite, thank you to all our loyal followers who anticipate them annually. Quote you live by: “You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing” Anything else you want to add: Follow us on social media for updates on new product launches or just for inspiration.
Aren’t these just gorgeous? I can’t wait to see what else they come out with & I know I will be placing an order for one of their gorgeous diaries to help me navigate 2019 a whole lot better than I have this year!