Tag: handcrafted

Charlie Loves…

Whilst exploring social media I “met” Charlie, & I have never looked back.  Her creations immediately drew me in, & I found myself placing her pages at the top of my “to view” list for the day so I could keep up to date with what she was making & ensure I didn’t miss out on anything.  When I finally got the courage to actually reach out & make contact with this lovely lady, my heart simply exploded with love.  You see, Charlie is not only an amazingly talented South African woman, but she is also someone who truly cares about everyone & wants to empower others.

This feature has been a long time coming & I am so thrilled to finally be able to introduce you to the one & only CHARLIE LOVES STUDIO.

Your name: Charlene Stothers
Your business name: Charlie Loves
Social media handles: Facebook and Instagram

What do you do:  A stay at home mama to Little Red (4 years) and Little Snow (2 years) and I design and handcraft artisinal dolls for Charlie Loves. Its all about loving what I do and sharing the love. I’m a doll making mama with a cause 🙂 Aristotle said that “At the intersection where your gifts, talents and abilities meet a human need, there-in you will discover your purpose”. I love this quote. Part of my cause is using my gifts to empower women in townships and use a portion of the sales to raise funds to feed children in need.

How did you get into this:  I suppose the dream began in a little girl (a.k.a. Charlie), during a time when imaginative adventures were lived through Enid Blyton books, dreams could be had and anything was possible. Off-course as time passed, the dream was shadowed by grown up ambition and responsibilities. But be that as it may, the magic still lingered . . .The glow of the embers of Charlie Loves was “accidentally” fanned during a difficult time when I experienced the pain of losing one I love so dearly. It was during this time that sweet and unassuming Little Red asked for a Unicorn Doll. A world of creativity became a comforting distraction, and the small sweet arms of my 3 year old “Little Red” and 1 year “Little Snow” brought inspiration, hope and purpose. Life was precious, relationships mattered and I knew it…purpose drove me, to be true to myself and make a difference to others. The more I created, the more I found myself lost in a familiar and wonderful world of playful delight, imagination and creativity . . . It brings such delight to me and my own children, I knew I had something that I had to share …

How long have you been doing this for:  I tested the market in December 2017 just before Christmas and after the astounding success and acceptance of Primrose the Unicorn, I made a decision to pursue Charlie Loves at the end of January 2018. It was only until recently that I decided that I am going to pursue this with intent as a social entrepreneur. It was and still is a scary thing to commit to – now I cannot fail, I have a couple of women and a bigger cause that is depending on our success. No pressure 🙂

What did you do before this:  I’m a Risk Manager by profession, but have taken a sabbatical for the last 4 years to be a stay at home mom and part time photographer. The nudge was however circumstantial and one that I am grateful for. When I was 9 months pregnant, the company I was working for was restructuring. It was a bit bitter sweet as uncertainty and change is always scary. But fortune favors the bold. I took my voluntary severance package and my priority remained on our young family. My husband and I made the necessary sacrifices and I am so so grateful for his support. I must admit that the biggest struggle at this time was one of significance and the words unemployed made it worse. However in life there are many seasons and we should always see opportunities and continue to make choices that drive us forward towards our goals. I dont know if Primrose would ever have been born if it wasn’t for my role as mama and my break from the corporate scene. With my youngest baby reaching the 2 year old milestone, I am now more open to consulting opportunities and pursuing my creative dreams and purpose.

Why do you think handmade is better:  Oh I love this question. Because so much of heart and love goes into handcrafted items. Handcrafted items are special and unique – they are not mass produced and they take many hours – the consumer knows that so it lends to a bespoke feel. One of the comments I will never forget is someone looking at what I do, and saying, “its a work of art!” – Blow me away why don’t you 🙂 No two pieces are ever identical and I can vouch for that myself – I tried.

Now when I see a maker at a market – I value their creation their effort and their time cos I know that what they put out is actually a piece of them, its their design, their handiwork and their time…all very personal. If you looking for a unique treasures that are organically designed and are handcrafted quality – then handmade is the way to go.26992428_1826326094327026_3441981023479017053_n

What is your favourite toy:  Currently my favourite toy is a beautiful handmade doll from Canada. I made friends with the little dollies maker on instagram and was so blessed to have won her in a giveaway. My dollies maker has a huge global following but her humility and openness is also what makes my dolly so special. Like me she was a stay at home mom and her journey inspires and encourages me. Every initiative had a start and because she didn’t give up, her dolls are sought world wide and pinned over and over and over. So much heart, love and personality is in that heirloom piece. How can she not be my favorite. Little Red named her Sunshine and she is a constant inspiration to me.

Where are you based:  Jozi, Mnzansi 🙂

What quote do you live by:  Soli Deo Gloria – its a Latin term that I had with me since my young days in corporate and it gives me purpose and perspective. And apparently I’m not the only one, renowned composer, Johann Sebastian Bach used it to sign off his work.
For me it answers that question so many people ask. Why am I here? It sees the bigger picture, that its not all about me, its about my God design and using this to help others and ultimately glorify God. I see myself and everyone else on this planet created beautifully and with intent, full of purpose and possibility.

Anything else you want to add:  Yes, that Megan is an absolute inspiration to me. When I “met” Megan online, she was so incredibly sweet and bubbly and I didn’t know her story, but I liked her already 🙂 – When I sell a doll (or even when I don’t), I love to connect with the people who follow my journey. I want them to know that there is a person behind their doll, with lots of heart and soul. But be that as it may, my blessing came from meeting SO many beautiful people who have touched me and shared my journey with me -people who I otherwise would never have known. They are the fuel that keeps me going – I am so grateful. I could never have done it without their support. Megan has been this to me. Always commenting and encouraging me. As she shared her story with me, her courage and beauty shone through so brightly and she made such an impression on me. How can I ever put in words how my heart feels to know that Primrose is part of her journey and she is a beautiful part of my story. I am so honored.

Don’t these beautiful creations make you want to be a child again?  Don’t you want to lie in bed & create a whole imaginary life for them before closing your eyes & cuddling them closer for a night of good dreams & happiness?

I know I do!


Sunkissed Handmade

As you can tell my the title of my blog, I ADORE flowercrowns!  I have a few from chain stores, but my favourite are definitely handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces of art that I will treasure forever.

Recently I got in touch with Samantha from Sunkissed Handmade as she is SUPER talented, & her social media pics completely blow me away every time.  She makes truly unique headpieces ranging from flowercrowns to mermaid crowns & beyond.  She can even put together DIY kits so you can personalise your crown exactly the way you want one.

With festival themes being the “in” thing right now, you may want to place your order with her soon & get your very own!Mermaid

Your name: Samantha Hanlon

Your business name: Sunkissed Handmade

Social media handles: Facebook & Instagram

What exactly do you do: I custom make Flower crowns and Accessories

How did you get into this: I have always been creative and have been fortunate enough to follow my creative passions through my career path. I started out as a graphic artist and fashion designer, moving to photography ten years ago. I love doing styled photo shoots and with my background it made sense to do the styling myself. Nothing makes an editorial shoot look more unique than the perfect headdress, so I started making headpieces for my shoots. Soon other photographers started ordering custom pieces from me and so did my portrait clients, I set up a Facebook page and the rest is history. I sell off Facebook and Instagram, I also have an online store on Hello Pretty. I don’t keep a lot of stock, I prefer custom orders but I sometimes make up items to sell as I am inspired to do so.

What are your most popular items: The Festival Floral Headbands are currently my most popular seller, a lot of clients order custom pieces for themed parties. “Havannah nights” has been a huge theme trend this winter season. In summer my jewelled mermaid crowns are definitely my biggest seller.
I also make DIY flowercrown packs for parties and gifts and those are very popular too.

What are your favourite items: I love making custom orders, especially when a client simply sends me a photo of their outfit or a colour palette/theme and asks me to use my imagination to create something beautiful to compliment their outfit.
I have always loved the whole D&G, Baroque, Rococo vibe and recently launched a jewelled headband and haircomb range that is quite popular with brides.Baroque_sparkle

How can people place their orders: Email is best, send me a message on crowns@sunkissedstudio.co.za and I will be happy to quote you.

Can they order custom pieces: Absolutely.

What is your price range: My price range varies between R50 for basic headbands and up to R500 for over the top custom head dresses.

What quote do you live by: My tagline is “Free your inner Flower Child”Sunkissed_fllowercrownSunkissed_goldflowersSunkissed_mermaid

Any other info you want to add: You are welcome to follow my photography on Facebook & Instagram All photos shown in this article are by Sunkissedstudio Photography

I am based in Cape Town, but deliver orders across South Africa.

Samantha very kindly even made me my own flowercrown & had this delivered to me (what a way to start my week!), & I can promise you that her work is of the highest quality & truly remarkable.  I know I will be ordering more from her – any excuse to rock my flowercrown.  She pays attention to every detail – including the packaging of her products & her client care is out of this world.

Thank you for starting my week off on such a high note, & I can’t wait to chat to you again x


Ruby & Rose

I absolutely LOVE handmade toys, & being someone who loves to crochet, I understand how much love & time gets poured into even the most simple of creations.  These are not simple “things” that anyone can buy from any store, but rather something special that should be treasured forever.  Through my blog about Jislaaik! Online Store, I came across Ruby & Rose Crochet.  I love the look of all their work, & the fact that Michelle is empowering women & upskilling them is truly the cherry on top!

Your name:  Michelle Pillay
Business name:  Ruby & Rose Crochet
Social media handles:  Facebook & Instagram
What do you do:  I’m a wife and a mom to four school going children, so I spend my days running around after them.  Extra murals, sport matches etc. I’m a stay-at-home mom and do all the  run around of buying the yarns for the ladies that I empower and delivering it to them and then  collecting the finished items and delivering or couriering them to the clients.  I do all the advertising and sourcing of clients.  I have always had a love for yarn because my grannies used to knit and crochet items for their grandchildren.

How long have you been crocheting for:  I have always known how to knit and am a beginner crocheter.
Why do you love what you do:  Firstly I’m empowering women who are not employed and are able to make an extra income while still being able to take care of their kids.
How can people order from you:  I finally have my own website, after two and a half years of hard work.

Do you do custom orders:  We do a lot of custom orders for clients which we love to do.
Why do you encourage buying handmade:  Handmade items just have some kind of value , not in the money sense, you can feel the love and energy in each item. It’s an item that a child would cherish and keep and possibly hand down to their children. We have never had an unhappy customer.
What is your favourite toy/product:  Each and every new item I love, but my favourites would be the beautiful Ballerina mice, the gorgeous Girl and Boy bunny and the unicorn range.

Quote you live by:  I don’t have a quote, but believe in Positive Energy and staying positive. Stay away from the negativity.

These products are really all so beautiful & would make a perfect gift for somebody else, or even yourself!  These are something that would be treasured forever & are so unique.  I could spend hours looking through all the images of these gorgeous handmade goodies, & I hope that you do the same.


Bits & Blobs

Have you ever watched a clip/video & been completely mesmerized, so you carry on watching what they have available & before you know it a couple of hours have passed?  This is what happened when I came across Bits & Blobs on Instagram & Facebook.  She makes absolutely gorgeous slimes & squishy things, & her videos are BEAUTIFUL.


When I reached out to her & told her a little bit about my story, & my anxiety, she responded immediately & was so helpful with providing me with information as well as info about the different types of goo she makes.  When these arrived I literally did a little happy dance, & immediately threw them into my bag as I was on my way to my monthly hospital admission.  When I arrived in hospital I took them out & immediately started poking & squishing them.  The different consistencies & feelings on my fingers was something I have never experienced, & playing with these took me away from my stress & I felt like a kid again!

I was so impressed with the customer care I received, as well as the quality of product that I received that I knew that I wanted to feature them on my blog!  Plus the smell of them is absolutely yummy & your hands smell good for ages after you have finished playing with them.

Your Name: Azraa

Your Business Name: bits and blobs

How long have you been doing this for: I’ve been obsessed with slime for almost 3 years and always loved to buy slime from stores at the mall. I finally had the opportunity to turn my obsession into a business venture, and it’s been almost 1 and a half years!

What did you do before this: I worked for a family business in retail 🙂

How did you get into this: I saw videos of a Thai account on Instagram that made the most awesome slimes I’ve ever seen. Ever since then I was hooked!

What products do you sell: I sell slime and slime supplies such as glue, clay, slushy beads and colorful foam beads to add to your slime! I also sell slime kits which is super popular since you get to add in everything yourself and it makes it even more fun!
I got together with a company and formulated glue that is specifically designed to make slime but it can also be used for office purposes as well 🙂

Which is your favorite: DEFINITELY cloud slime. Although it is the hardest and most time consuming slime to make, the texture is so unique and fluffy. I could play with it for hours! It took me MONTHS to perfect the recipe and I am very proud of it.

Why do you think these are so popular: Slime is popular because of all the different colors that you can add to it and the textures you can make. It also smells good and is used for the purpose of stress relief. I personally love slime because it keeps me going on a daily basis. I even carry slime with me in my bag at all times!

The 3 that I got from their website are:

Barbie’s Lipgloss

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Cotton Candy Dippin’ Dots

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Blue Slush

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I know that I will definitely be ordering more in the future!  These are a form of treatment in their own way; relieving stress & anxiety whilst providing hours of fun.  Make sure you check out their social media to see the beautiful videos there & place your own orders 🙂



Magic is all around us – you just have to believe!

A symptom of Myasthenia Gravis is struggling to swallow, & this is the one that I battle with most of all.  There have been times that I have gone days without being able to eat anything, & when I am really battling I can’t even swallow my own saliva.  This means that I am often not getting the correct nutrition that my body needs.  Plus I should be trying to get in extra as a lot of my medication depletes the natural goodness in my body!

I have tried so many protein shakes, multivitamins & so on, but have never found anything that have made a big difference or that taste really delicious.  It is difficult enough to swallow, but when something tastes bad it makes it almost impossible!


Whilst looking for more ideas of a product that I haven’t tried, I came across a company called Wazoogles – and they have a unicorn as their logo.  I mean, it was just the universe telling me that this product was something that I had to try!  I contacted their “Unicorn Ops Manager” – Jason, & he replied with a whole lot of information about this fantastic product as well as sending me samples of their superfood protein blends.

Wazoogles Superfood is a handcrafted, organic superfood, & pea protein blend, made of ethically harvested ingredients sourced from some of the most exotic places & nutritionally dense plants known to mankind.  But the best thing is that they are produced locally – in Cape Town!


They have 5 flavours:
CHOCOLATE MOONDUST “Ancient Mayan Cacao”
VANILLA SKY – “Pure Madagascan Vanilla Bean”
UNICORN BERRY “Egyptian Red Hibiscus Flower & Camu Camu Berry”
PLANT POWER – “Baobab Fruit, Moringa Leaf and Spirulina”
KUNGFU COFFEE “With a cinnamon kick!”

The names themselves seem to conjur up all sorts of magical images!  Each pack also has recipes on the back for a smoothie; a breakfast smoothie bowl & a post-workout recovery shake.  Obviously you can create your own, but you can also get some inspiration from their Instagram account & other users.

Wazoogles Superfood Protein Shake is a 100% organic delicious blend of some of the most vibrant & nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Every scoop is bursting with antioxidants, living enzymes, essential minerals, plant-based protein, and a wide spectrum of vital nutrients, yet is completely free of added sugars, chemicals, colourants, flavourants, or fillers. Ideal as a delicious nutrient dense smoothie or breakfast
smoothie bowl. Perfect for elevating your daily nutrition intake or to use as high performance athletic fuel.
Each serving has been carefully formulated to nourish your body at a cellular level and support overall health through helping to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce cravings, and provide sustained energy.

Both husband & I have been trying these protein blends out in different ways, & we both agreed that these are the most filling protein blends we have ever had – in fact the above breakfast smoothie bowl kept me full right up until supper.  I can’t decide which one I like the most, but I know that these will definitely be a staple in my home going forward.

My body has been so grateful to me since I have started with these, & I can definitely feel that I have more energy & no longer feel so lethargic.  Their social media is so inspiring, & is constantly encouraging me to make healthier choices as well as to feed my body the goodness that it needs rather than rubbish.  Their FB page is one you should definitely follow!

Thank you Wazoogles for truly making a difference in my life.  I am never going to look back.  You can order their products online, or even get them from some health shops.  Make sure this is on your grocery list!


Here are some of their ingredients (& benefits!):

Chia Seeds “The gold of the ancient Aztecs”
The richest plant source of omegas-3’s on this planet, also rich in calcium, fiber, and protein.
Maca Root “The Incan warrior power food”
A highly intelligent adaptogenic food boosting immune, hormone & energy systems.
Heirloom Cacao “The Mayan food of the Gods”
The highest concentration of antioxidants and magnesium of any plant known to man.
Hemp Protein “The plant of life”
The most complete, edible, usable and digestible protein in the entire plant kingdom.
Mesquite “The Native American white carob”
An extremely protein and nutrient rich, slow release food, that effectively balances blood sugar.
Lucuma Fruit “The creamy Peruvian superfruit”
Abundant in beta-carotene, niacin, and iron with significant amounts of calcium and vitamin B3.
Hibiscus Flower “The ancient Egyptian tonic flower”
Rich in vitamin C & antioxidants, this food assists in maintaining cholesterol & blood pressure control.
Camu Camu Berry “The Amazonian rain forest superberry”
The highest concentration of vitamin C of any plant known to man, incredible immune system
MORINGA LEAF “The miracle tree of life”
12 times the vitamin C of oranges, 17 times the calcium of milk and 25 times the iron of spinach.
SPIRULINA “The alkaline sun energy superfood”
The highest protein content of any food on the planet, extremely alkalising and rich in antioxidants .
BAOBAB FRUIT “The ancient African superfruit”
A prebiotic food for gut health, higher vit C than oranges, calcium than milk & antioxidants than goji berries.
Their Synergistic Vegan Protein Blend
A perfect combination of chia, hemp and water extracted French grown yellow pea protein, covering all amino acids in the spectrum [all essential and non-essential]. These are some of the most easily absorbable and digestible proteins on the planet.


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