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KwirkNation

One thing that I have learnt about myself recently is that I am completely overwhelmed by lockdown emotionally, and I often feel like I need to just word vomit my feelings down onto paper so they no longer creep around my mind’s dark corners and reappear at the worst possible times.  I have been feeling so bogged down with the stress of trying to keep our family surviving on one salary, and just life in general that I have felt my little depression gremlin rearing his ugly head as he perches on my shoulder reaching his long finger deep into my thoughts.  And I know that I am not the only one going through this!

Sammy

And then, I met the most beautiful Sammy after a post on our local community Facebook group!  My health coach had been telling me for some time that I needed to take the time to journal, but I often feel like I need more guidance and don’t know where to start – so it’s been easier to just “forget” than to push through this block.

But with my new favourite journal from KwirkNation I feel like I can laugh as I get down my “crap” and honestly record my emotions for the day – with a special mood thermometer that is unique to KwirkNation.  I couldn’t WAIT to interview Sammy, and knew that she was the ideal start for Women’s Month.  This #GirlBoss is powerful, fun, and so kind – truly one in a million.  Plus she has offered all my readers a discount when you purchase one of your own and use code FLOWERCROWNS.

Keep scrolling to see why you need one of these journals in your life!


Your name: Sammy Nyoni

Business name: KwirkNation

Social media handles: Instagram, Facebook and Website.

What are 3 fun facts about you: I’m really good at memorising numbers, my favourite colour is black, I have to end every meal with something sweet no matter how full I am.

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Tell me a little more about your business: KwirkNation is a brand created for women, by women. What sets us apart from the crowd is our use of profanity to create lots of haha moments for all the quirky ladies in the country. There is this stigma that makes it seem as though using profanity as a woman is frowned upon or ‘unlady’ like which is something we would like to change through our content and merchandise.

Where did the idea for this come from: Last year I lost my hearing and a couple of other things were topsy turvy at the same time. I found myself just going through the motions, sinking deeper and deeper into a depression hole. This was until I took to writing my thoughts down more often, really focusing on not only the negative but also the positive that I had to be thankful for each day. I would make use of the regular journals with never ending blank pages that didn’t guide me down the path to gratitude or fill me with positivity to take on the day. This is why “Fuck this Kak” was created.

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Have you always enjoyed journaling: I have. I consider myself a creative writer with lots of ideas and lots of things to say so I journal to keep track of all these thoughts and ideas.

Who do you think would enjoy your journal: Our journal is definitely for quirky women who love a good laugh and aren’t opposed to using cuss words. Women who are fighters, some fighting battles that everyone else may not see. Women who fall but get back up with optimism and a kick-ass attitude . Women who live, eat and breathe sarcasm and profanity.

How can people place an order from you: At the moment our journal is available on our store and all of your loyal followers can use the promo code FLOWERCROWNS to get 10% off.

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I know you have another idea in the pipeline – can you tell me a bit more: We have an awesome new vent journal launching very very soon which will be our second edition in our series of quirky journals. Stay tuned to our Instagram page for the deets!

Quote you live by: “FUCK IT!!! Just do it!”

Anything else you want to add: We also have a “FORK” range launching soon with some exciting merchandise!

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I’m also a sucker for amazing branding and packaging, and Sammy truly exceeded all my expectations with hers (that’s why I had to include all of the images above).

And honestly, if you haven’t yet, try journaling.  You will be amazed at what it does to you emotionally, and this great journal for gatvol South African women is the perfect way to guide you on this journey whilst providing a guaranteed giggle!

Thank you Sammy for your love, passion and kind heart.  I have never met anyone like you, and can’t wait for this lockdown to be over so I can finally give you a hug and not our regular elbow/foot tap.  I wish you only success and happiness with everything KwirkNation, and can’t wait to see your Fork range.


 

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Dear Deer

During lockdown I received my very own satin pillowcase.  I had been wanting one for ages, and then finally I managed to get one – from a local business nogal!  I also got a Moyoko Unicorn Brush (with argan-infused tips) after reading so many positive reviews and realising that I need to start taking better care of myself.

Chelle from Dear Deer was so helpful, and my parcel arrived with my very own hand sanitiser and set of gloves – this will never go amiss during this time as I’m sure you can agree.  I have seen a difference in my skin and hair, and don’t wake up with such knotted curls any more.  In fact I often have to fight husband for it as he likes the feeling of the satin against his skin too – I think perhaps I should have ordered more than one!

Chelle has very graciously allowed me to interview her about Dear Deer, and I really appreciate her time, and her passion that she has poured into this,


Your name:  Chelle

Your business name:  Dear Deer

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Social media handles:  Facebook, Instagram and Website

Tell me a bit more about your business:   Years ago Justine came to my desk at work and asked if I could make her a satin pillow slip … I thought she was nuts but since that’s what I love most about her I happily made her one … then two … then her sister wanted, then some of her friends … soon I was making so many I thought “hey I could make a business out of this” … so I did!
At the time my mother was dying of cancer and it made me think about when my time came to pass thru the pearly gates what good had I done in my life to deserve my wings up in heaven so I decided Dear Deer would be an awesome way for me to raise funds for all the charities I hold very close to my heart, so for many years the only profits I took I donated to charity.

I will always be thankful to Justine not only for being one of my most loyal and inspiring Dear Deer darlings, but for the constant support always believing in me and my little business. Your kindness and the years of too much fun (and bubbles) and side splitting giggles mean the world to me.

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How did you decide on the name for your business:  Wish I had a good story for this but I don’t lol

Where did the idea for this business come from:  I just loved the story Bambi when I was little and that scene from Cinderella when all the woodland animals were dressing her for the ball … that’s pretty much my logo inspiration 🙂

What are the different products that you stock:  Satin pillow slips & now face masks, and I’m now starting to stock a few of my other fav beauty brands 🙂

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I see you are also making beautiful face masks – tell me about these:   Polyester satin is known to be less absorbent than cotton (and many other fabrics).
Because of the quick-drying properties and smooth satin surface, it is also known to be antibacterial and hypoallergenic.
Daily washing is recommended. PLEASE also wash before 1st use.

There is a little pocket opening you can use to insert a surgical mask (or a dried wet/baby wipe).  Cut them to the shape of the mask and insert for added protection. Remove when you wash your mask every evening.

Elastic can be adjusted for better fit.

Dear Deer satin is also Vegan & Peta approved.

Please take note that the masks have not been medically approved.
After not being able to find a mask myself, I decided to make one (OK, a few) after doing a ton of internet research.
They’ve been made according to my high standards, which I feel complies with my own safety and wellbeing.
Hopefully this will reassure you!

I feel like wearing ‘something’ is better than having nothing at all,
even if it’s just to prevent us from sneezing or coughing on others.
It also prevents us from touching our face.

I encourage you all to STAY HOME, be responsible and most importantly, be kind and helpful to others.

Why did you decide on satin pillowcases & not silk:  Dear Deer is PETA approved!

We support beauty without cruelty 100%. We believe that all animals and insects are equal, and we would never exploit that in the name of vanity.

The process involved in making silk is an unethical practice. Silk worms are sensate and produce endorphins along with physical responses to pain. Along with that, in the name of beauty, satin is a much better alternative to silk as polyester doesn’t absorb moisture like natural fabrics do, therefore keeping your skin hydrated and looking great.

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Why do you recommend satin pillowcases:  Besides all the awesome beauty benefits it’s just nice getting into bed and feeling like an absolute princess 🙂

Being a polyester material, satin doesn’t absorb moisture the way natural fibres like cotton do. As we all know, one of the many reasons our skin can look tired, dry and lined is due to lack of hydration. Sleeping on satin minimises facial lines, wrinkles and puffiness.

Another plus? Satin won’t absorb your expensive night creams.

Sleeping on satin not only has great beauty benefits, but satin is also hypoallergenic and come recommended by plastic surgeons after cosmetic surgery. Doctors also suggest sleeping on satin for cancer patients during chemotherapy and radiotherapy, due to their skin becoming very sensitive.

Dear Deer pillow slips help your hair maintain it’s natural moisture and this helps prevent dry frizziness, split ends and breakage.

They also keep your hair looking shiny and help your blowouts last longer.

How can people order from you:  From our online store.

How has this lockdown affected your business:  It didn’t really most of my products are listed as essentials 🙂

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Why do you encourage people to support local:  I encourage woman to support each other more, share your learnings and inspire each other to well !
You will be surprised how much those you are helping will help you too.

Quote you live by:  Be kind, and success comes to those who put in the work !

Anything else you want to add:  So much lol but considering everything that is going on in the world right now, I would like to encourage woman to support each other, specially in business, there is more than enough room for us to all shine and be successful 🙂

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Have you ever slept on a satin pillowcase?  And did you feel a difference?

If you haven’t yet, I would really recommend you purchasing one from this great business.  Believe me, you will thank me for it!

To sum it up, these are some of the benefits of using a satin pillowcase:

  • Maintains natural moisture balance in your hair & skin.
  • Prevents hair loss, split ends & damage.
  • Helps your blowouts last longer.
  • Prevents dry, frizzy & dull hair.
  • Keeps hair shiny.
  • Gentler on eyelashes, extensions & braids.
  • Minimizes facial wrinkles & puffiness.
  • Won’t absorb face creams and serums.
  • Soothing on the skin after facial treatments or procedures.
  • Anti-aging.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Recommended by doctors for chemo patients.
  • Great for preventing knotty “bed head” for babies & kids.

She has also added some stunning beauty products to her online store, so it really is a one stop shop!


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T. Knots

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.

Your name:  Taryn Wessels

Business name:  T. Knots

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Social media pages:  Facebook and Instagram

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!!

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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!

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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!

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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”

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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.


 

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Pink Cosmetics

I started following Pink Cosmetics way before I even started this blog.  I was drawn to their products, and very quickly knew that I had to place an order to try some of their products for myself.  I have seen how their name has grown and grown, and I constantly see them being recommended in beauty groups that I am part of – in fact their solid brush cleanser is probably the reason we have more clean brushes in South Africa as it is just so easy to use.

I had never had the opportunity to meet Janet face-to-face as she stays in the Western Cape and I am in Gauteng – that is until Beauty Revolution happened (just before lockdown!).  I couldn’t stop myself from skipping up to her and giddily introducing myself.  She is someone I admire so much, and I trust her products 100%.  They smell beautiful, look beautiful, and make you feel beautiful using them.

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Janet & me at her stand at Beauty Revolution

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Nomsa & Janet at Beauty Revolution

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Lanie (Lanie Soaps), Andrea (Maria Cosmetics), Janet (Pink Cosmetics) & me (fan-girling)

I have been wanting to interview Janet for the longest time, and am SO excited about being able to feature her today.  And if there is one item I can personally recommend, it’s the brush cleaner – did you know you should be washing your brushes and sponges every week to avoid makeup build up and residue of other colours mixing together?  Plus bacteria can build up in the brushes and cause acne and skin irritation – yuck!


Your name:  Janet Pink

Business name:  Pink Cosmetics

Social media handles:  Twitter; Facebook; Instagram; Pinterest; YouTube and Website.

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Tell me, what is PINK:  Pink is products that are beautiful both inside and out. They are vegan and cruelty free, created in small batches by me and my team with no sulphates and parabens and no petrochemicals. Pink is good for your skin and the environment, but they are also pretty and lovely to use. PINK stands for Perfectly Incorporating Natures Knowledge and we use the best from both the plant world and science.

Where did the idea for this business come from:  In 2010, while investigating the skincare products used by my family, I was horrified to discover the dangers of so many ingredients lurking in the vanity aisles of countless products. Many skincare items contained controversial preservatives like parabens, strong sulphates, and petrol derivatives (parafinium). I felt like someone needed to contend with the unfulfilled promises and unethical behavior of these countless products on the market. So, armed with passion and purpose, backed by my beauty therapist degree, I began to educate myself and develop my very own formulations & an ethical skincare range. My aim was to create a wholesome and beautiful range of products that were not only vegan and non-toxic, but also safe for use by the whole family.

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What makes your products different to others:  Our products are not mass produced or imported and relabeled. I literally formulate & manufacture EVERY product myself from scratch. I am staring to outsource my formulas to various labs – as I can’t keep up with the demand anymore. We make small batches to keep ingredients as fresh as possible so they don’t sit on shelves for 2 years. Every product is made with love and passion and a sprinkle of PINK!.

What is your personal favourite product:  That’s hard!!! I love and use them all! I would die without my Superskin moisturizer – so that’s the ONE I would chose.

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Tell me a bit more about your brush cleaner: I get DM’s every weekend from makeup artists, I am cleaning my brushes and thinking of you- that’s makes me so happy. It’s a quick and very effective way to clean your brushes thoroughly. Each one is poured by hand and made with lots of nourishing and cleansing oils in a magic ratio to clean and condition make up brushes.

What have been the most popular items:  Brush cleaners, bathbombs, cherry blossom scrub and our Plump up Hyaluronic serum.

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How has lockdown affected your business:  We have been incredibly blessed to have been super busy during lockdown. I realized I needed to pivot Pink really quickly and started marketing our hand sanitizers and sourcing other PPE – like masks and shields. I have the most amazing and loyal customers and they all supported Pink incredibly. It also gave me the ability to help and support other small businesses who were struggling. I need a holiday – as it’s been just me working most of the time and struggling with out of stock and closed suppliers.

What have been some of your proudest moments during your PINK journey:  Definitely standing in Waterfront Truworths Context store taking a picture with my products on their shelf! Wearing my mask – of course- lol

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How can people order from you:  Directly from our website.

If you had to recommend just 3 products for people to start with, what would they be:  Make up melt- our cleansing balm, a moisturizer suited to their skin type- we have 3, and Pink Clay – our facial scrub and mask in one.

Quote you live by:  Be kind

Anything else you want to add:  Hard work, passion and dedication can make anything happen. Believe in yourself and your dreams, with all your heart and work towards them everyday! No matter who you are, dream big and forge your own path. Who knows, your dream might change the world for good! Mine did.
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity Megan and for being one of my amazing and loyal clients.

Pink Cosmetics


Guys, if I can get behind a skincare and beauty brand, this would be it.  I have been blessed to try quite a few of their products (they also do sample packs of their facial range so you can see which ones you like the most and the improvement in your skin before you purchase the full-size products).  I would definitely say get a trial pack of products, the solid brush cleaner, facial mist, and one of their masks for your first order – from there you will be hooked and will definitely want to increase your range that you own.


 

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Laurie Watson Photography

I met Laurie at a birthday party for a friend’s child & I was instantly drawn to her energy & zest for life. She captured unseen moments, & you could really get an overall feeling for the day when browsing through her pics.

I started following her on social media & we sent messaged back & forth on a few occasions. We bonded over our love for animals, beautiful things & supporting local businesses. We would often send little messages of encouragement to one another, & I am always completely enamored by her style of photography.

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During this nationwide COVID-19 pandemic, people are staying in their homes for at least 2 weeks. Events are being cancelled, birthday parties postponed, & Laurie has been inundated with calls from clients to pull out of their bookings. Guys, this is the reality for so many small businesses.  Their bread & milk. Their survival. Their income.

I knew I wanted to do something, & help where I can. So I reached out to Laurie, & asked if I could do a feature on her & her business. I also spotted a sweet deal that she is currently running, & you can buy a voucher in this regard to save for use once social distancing is over!


Your name: Laurie Watson

Business name: Laurie Watson Photography

Social media handles: Instagram & Facebook

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How did you get into photography: 11 years ago I needed new hearing aids after being a flight administrator for 6 years. My hearing dropped drastically so I did a photography course and started photography out my lounge and from there I didn’t only get new hearing aids but I was able to leave corporate and have been a proud business owner for 10 years now.

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What would you say your style of photography is: My photography is bright, natural and fun. I use the outdoors or the comfort of your own homes as the perfect photography.

Why do you have such a passion for photography: Every shoot and every couple/family/wedding I get to capture just bring so much joy to my heart and soul. Nothing more rewarding than people gaining confidence from my shoots and printing all their photos in their homes and the most rewarding is when they do that happy cry every time I give them their photos.

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What makes you stand out from other photographers: I shoot from my heart and soul because I love it and I want to. Not because I have to and because I need to. It’s a passion, not a hobby.

Whereabouts are you based: In Johannesburg North

Do you travel, & if so, what is your fee: I do, anything up to 30 KMS is no charge

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How can people book a photoshoot with you:  They can email me on: laurie@lwphoto.net

Tell me about the special you are currently offering:  In light of this corona virus – I want to give people something to look forward to when it ends.

1 hour shoot time
Location of your choice
Shoot of your choice
Within JHB area only
Unlimited images all edited in hi res format
Digitally transferred to your WhatsApp and email address via wetransfer
Purchase now and use within 12 months
R850 and not R1450

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What are your favourite kind of photographs to take:  My favorite is families and babies and pets and I specialize in kiddies parties too.

Why do you encourage people to have photoshoots done:  Do it for the kids – without photos of you when you leave this earth they will have no memories alive!

Quote you live by: If you don’t think photos are important – wait till they all you have left.

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I love photographs, & I think having been through all the health issues that I have makes me really appreciate every moment of life – so having reminders of some of these have kept me going & reminded me to keep smiling when I felt like I wanted to curl up in a ball & cry.

Get your voucher for your family photoshoot today. Remember these moments. Help your family to remember them too…


 

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