I love natural wood products. Products that are made with so much love, and hold memory in every grain. Products that have been sawed, and cut, and shaped into something new and special. Products that aren’t just available in bulk from a chain store, but are lovingly individually curated and created.
A friend recommended Fresh Timber to me, and I was intrigued. They claim to bring your Pinterest ideas to life, and their products are absolutely gorgeous. From trinket bowls, to plant stands, to chopping boards, to shelving, to furniture, to planter boxes – they make it all. And this morning I received something of my own…
This gorgeous chopping board arrived safely in it’s own storage box, and I had no idea what was inside. I excitedly opened it up, and couldn’t believe the thought and care that went into this gift. It is personalised with my logo, and is beyond beautiful! In fact, I think I will use it for photos rather than chopping as I can’t bear the thought of any scratches on it… (Don’t judge me!)
Tell me a bit more about your business:
Fresh Timber is a carpentry business focusing on custom wooden creations that move you from your vision board to your ideal living space. The focus is taking the ideas we tend to daydream about and create something tangible we can enjoy in the home for years to come.
Where did the idea for this come from:
I have always had a knack for working with my hands and carving beautiful items from wood for my family. My Oupa encouraged this craft from a young age and I continued it into adulthood. Fresh Timber was born when my wife and I decided to bring together each of our respective skillsets shortly after she was retrenched. We decided we wanted to make the most out of an otherwise unpleasant situation by creatively nurturing our talents along the way.
What makes your products different to others:
We believe in crafting investment pieces that will last and be ideal for your space you have as well as incorporating your own creative flair into the mix. Your dreamy creation should be enjoyed in your home because you dreamt it; instead of only being given the option of “off the shelf” items which can sometimes feel limiting. We love to use trees that are no longer living or have been condemned to a burn pile. When the project calls for specifics in woods, we focus on non-indigenous species from our local sawmills.
What are the different products you currently sell:
We are constantly expanding on new smalls to add to our range alongside our custom larger furniture. Currently, we sell a variety of cutting boards, cheeseboards, endgrain butcher blocks, trinket bowl holders, Lazy Susans and personalized engagement ring boxes.
What is your personal favourite product:
It’s a tough choice because we are friends of variety and creativity in all of our custom work we do. However, our floor and desk lamps are close to our hearts as they are satisfying to make and shed light on a number of skills that come into play in their manufacturing.
Do you do custom pieces: Yes, majority of our work is custom made to our client’s specific spaces in their homes.
How can people order from you:
Some of our smalls items can be ordered on our online shop. Otherwise we can be emailed on email@example.com or on what’s app on 078 5144 541 where we can engage in discussion and vision for the project. An image or two also goes a long way 😉
Why do you encourage people to purchase products from small businesses:
Small to medium enterprises make up a large percentage of South Africa’s economy and growth. By supporting a small business, you not only keep the lights on for that business but you contribute to a growing workforce and to an individual’s livelihood – and that makes all the difference.
Quote you live by:
“It’s great to be alive” – my Oupa.
“The answer will always be no unless you ask.”
Guys don’t you think these are gorgeous?
I can’t yet decide what is my favourite (besides my personalised chopping board of course), but I do have my eye on the pot plant stand and planter boxes. Plus when I saw images of their other work on their social media, I couldn’t but save them as gift ideas for Christmas and upcoming birthdays. And that circular bookshelf above? What a talking piece!
This was such an honour to get to know Ryan and Alison better, and I am sure that we will slowly be adding more of their pieces to our home over time. Pop over to their website and social media to see which is your favourite – then let me know in the comments below.
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!
I spotted these gorgeous shoes on a friend’s timeline and immediately popped her a message to find out where she had got them from – I had to own some for myself! Rose gold is my number one choice in every situation and these just looked so comfy and beautiful. Could I really ask for more?
I began doing my research into this brand, and I absolutely love how family-orientated they are, as well as the fact that you can see their love and passion for what they are doing. There is thought put into every product. I sent Jacqui a message to see if we could chat a little about their brand, and I’m sure that you will fall in love with them as much as I have. Plus they are going to be having a sale soon so make sure you don’t miss out!
Tell me a bit more about your business: The brand was created just after my first born son, Mishka. We had such a hard time finding shoes that were comfortable and stylish (at that time we were dong soft soles only) basically, as his feet grew, so did the brand. We added the kids vellies and later on the adult ranges. I am very much obsessed with my family, and always wanted to create a brand that was a bit more than just a money machine. The brand is extremely passionate about slow fashion, hence the lead time on all orders, we manufacture to order to avoid unnecessary dead stock and sneaky sales to get rid of them. We stand for adventure (though that seems to be a fashion thing these days) and we like to keep things real as far as possible. That is the nutshell 😉
What made you decide to start this business: I had a normal 8-5 job at the time Mishka was born and I had to go back to word after my maternity leave. I hated it! I hated that someone else was raising my baby boy…so I took a leap of faith and quit my job. I was looking for something to do from home and then I saw the cutest leather shoes online…the rest, as they say, is history.
What makes your brand different to others: Thats a difficult one, there are so many great brands out there today…I think out passion for slow fashion and family. There are not a lot of family brands out there.
“We are all in it together.”
My husband is my business partner and best friend, Our boys, Mishka and Maverik (our youngest boy), are the inspiration, models and all round heart of Mish-Mash
What have been your most popular products: The Mikado Kids vellies and the Rose Gold adult vellies.
What is your (& your family’s) personal favourite: My kids don’t like shoes (ironic right hahaha) if they had to choose, Mav likes most of the soft soles, Mish loved his oxblood coloured vellies. I love the black vellies and our summer sandals (I’m more of a plakkie person 😉 My husband loves them all!
Why is Mish-Mash so special: I think the sentiment of Family that we connect to the brand, it makes the brand very sentimental.
What do you want people to feel when they are wearing your products: I want them to feel a part of something, like they are a part of the Mish-Mash Family
Where can people purchase your products from: We are making some enormous in-house changes, for now, the best way would be to email firstname.lastname@example.org as the online store is under construction at the moment. There are also a few stockists around SA, that stock our shoes.
Why do you encourage people to support local: Because it is so very important! To me it is the most obvious thing. Is is so sad that it took a pandemic for people to wake up on this issue. If everyone in SA would support local only, our economy would BOOM. We have everything we need here, skills, product and a ton of heart. We have such diverse cultures and entrepreneurs, why look elsewhere?
How has lockdown affected your business: Very much! People are taking huge financial knocks, If they are struggling, we struggle it is as simple as that.
Quote you live by: I have soooo many, I am a bit of a closet philosopher 🙂 I think in the time we find ourselves now it would have to be “These shadows can not hold you”
Aren’t these gorgeous? And don’t Jacqui’s words make you want to jump over to their social media straight away and place your order? There is nothing I love more than a family-run businesses and seeing heart and soul being poured into each of their products. These are so much more than “just” shoes. They are a little piece of happiness for your feet.
Do you have a favourite from Mish-Mash? Those rose gold beauties are calling my name…
Today is International Tea Day, so what better way to celebrate than with a fabulous local tea brand that is taking this to a whole new level!
If you are cold, tea will warm you; if you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you. -William Ewart Gladstone
I am a huge tea fan, and working from home means I am indulging in many more pots of tea than usual, as well as trying interesting flavours and brews. So when I saw Mütea I was intrigued – in case you didn’t know, Muti is a term for traditional medicine in Southern Africa. It is derived from the Zulu word umuthi, and is now a colloquial word for medicine in general. I loved this play on words, and also the fact that herbal teas are jam-packed with antioxidants and goodness – a natural muti indeed.
Tell me a bit more about your business: mütea is derived from the word ‘muti’, a term for traditional medicine in Southern Africa. mütea medicinal loose leaf tea was created to encourage and maintain a more sustainable approach to overall health and well-being.
How the idea to start this come about: I was drinking herbal tea for health reasons versus resorting to noncritical medication, which I was unprepared to take with its long list of side effects. After 2 months of drinking herbal tea I had resolved my health issue entirely. Byron joked (as my maiden name is Melissa Oosthuizen, emphasis on the double ‘o’ in Oosthuizen) that we should start a tea company calle mootea. We settled on mütea instead.
What makes your tea so special: All the ingredients used are locally, organically and ethically sourced. Our blends make use of a health shotgun effect incorporating numerous herbs with similar health benefits and properties into each blend. Everybody is different, and because our teas are designed for a slow sustainable approach to health and wellness they are gentle enough for daily use to encourage lasting long term health habits. Our teas are also plastic free products making use of a corn starch environmentally friendly plastic alternative for our packaging.
Why do you recommend loose tea leaves: We recommend loose tea leaves for environmental and meditative reasons. Most tea bags have been chemically treated and is an unnecessary manufacturing process which has a negative effect on the environment. It is also a more intentional process to brew loose leaf tea, encouraging a slower more meditative lifestyle.
What are your different flavours: We use various mints, buchu, rooibos and other herbs that enhance the fresh botanical flavour profile of our teas.
Which is your personal favourite: Our detox tea is awesome, rooibos and buchu are two of the eight herbs in that blend giving it an amazing flavour and our sleep tea is also fantastic and works a treat.
What makes your honey different to that you can get in the shops: Our honey is infused with CBD.
I see you have extra & standard strength honey – please explain more: Our honey is meant to be taken daily as part of one’s dietary plan, the extra strength has a bit more CBD in it so it can also be used for more immediate pain management assistance. It is also a richer honey flavour being the fynbos.
Quote you live by: Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
Anything else you want to add: We intend on expanding into other ethically sourced food and beverage products, which we are looking forward to launching hopefully early next year.
I am all for more natural health treatments, and if it is included in a comforting cup of tea what could be better? I also adore the fact that Melissa encourages us all to slow down – lockdown has shown me that so often we are rushing around doing 10 million things for other people, and not truly taking care of ourselves.
So why not pour yourself a lovely cup of tea, sit outside (before it gets too cold!) and just BE.
There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life. -Lin Yutang
These ladies are changing the world & really shaking up the beauty industry. They are filled with love, & support one another with advice & kindness – which is something we all need rather than competition & putting one another down. I reached out to Lanie post-event & we chatted a bit, whilst I felt more & more enamored by her products & bubbly personality.
Tell me a bit more about what you do:
I create luxurious handcrafted artisan soaps that are made with skin loving oils and butters like olive oil and shea butter, that is moisturising to the skin and also paraben and sulphate free as well as a range of beautiful bath and body products including body butter, bath bombs and a male range called The Bearded Nerd by Lanie.
I chose the feather in my logo as it resembles nature and gentleness – The Lanie products are delicate on the skin just like a feather.
How long have you been running this for: Just over a year. At this stage it is my hobby business, but my dream is to one day be successful enough to do what I love full time every day.
Where did the idea for this business come from:
I bought a handcrafted soap from an amazing lady in the Western Cape. I was amazed at how beautiful the soap looked and smelt. Being curious, I started to read up on cold process soap and what struck me was the fact that it does not harm the environment, it is paraben free, sulphate free and you can craft it to make a 100% vegan soap and even a 100% natural bar of soap. I started to be more conscious of what I put on my skin and soon started to teach myself how to create my own soap. I made my very first soap 21 December 2018 (The best feeling in the world!) and since then I have not bought bar soap from the store. I decided I would love to share with others the magic of using handcrafted soap. Lanie Bath and Body was born 28 February 2019.
What makes your products different to store bought items:
I make my products with a lot of love, kindness and care. (I’m a bit of a perfectionist 😊) All products are handcrafted from scratch in small batches to ensure products are fresh and are of great quality. My products are between 96% and 100% natural.
I believe the energy and vibration you put into the universe will be what you attract. So, I choose to reflect love, kindness and joy. My wish is that the same magic will be felt by each person that uses one of the Lanie products.
Where can people buy your products from:
I have sold some of my products on markets and mainly word of mouth. I am super excited to announce that Lanie Bath and Body will have an online store coming soon! My website will be http://www.laniebathandbody.co.za
For 10% discount on your first order use code IAMLANIE at check out.
Who do you think would enjoy your products:
Anyone that loves pretty stuff and who loves a lot of pink! People who are looking to gift other with something unique and different.
Quote you live by:
“Kindness is a free currency from a well that will never dry up” – Lady Gaga
“Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behaviour does.”
I really feel our world desperately needs a lot of love and kindness in order to heal.
Small businesses have been hit the hardest by this nationwide lockdown, & we really need to band together to show our support & purchase the beautiful products that are being produced.
I just had the most stunning bath, & I realised how important it is to take a few minutes out of every day to consciously relax & spend some time on your own self-care. A bath with delicious smelling soaps/bath bombs is my idea of a perfect down time. What do you enjoy most?
At a Christmas market I attended last year I noticed this incredible business that was selling a product called an Increda-peg. I was so interested in what they were offering, & the whole idea behind this business model. And then I saw them popping up in more places, & I saw the need for such a design. So I knew that it was time to reach out, learn more & let you in on their little secret…
Tell me a bit more about what you do: We make Increda-peg, which is not just a peg. These multifunctional pegs will change your life!
What makes Increda-pegs so special: It’s a product of South Africa made from 100% recycled plastic creating jobs and preventing pollution locally. It is also springless, no rust and does not break. Also has a hook function making it multi-functional.
What are some of the uses of these pegs:
Washing peg creating more space on your line.
Camping, it pinches itself on the guy ropes allowing you to hang many things.
Agriculture, pinches on the dripper lines guiding the plants.
Can be used in a wardrobe creating space for scarves, ties, caps costumes etc.
Cable management, running cables, x-mas lights, like a reusable cable tie.
Why do you think more people should be using them: It is a product of South Africa, well priced at R1.00 per peg and are multi-functional. Increda-Peg creates local jobs and prevents pollution. It is a multi-functional peg.
Where can people buy theirs from: It is sold on weekend market country wide, markets are advertised on our social media pages. We also have an online store.
Who would benefit from using these pegs: Everyone will find a use one way or another for the peg.
Why do you encourage people to support local: It creates jobs that are in desperate need and prevents pollution.
Quote you live by: Nelson Mandela, “a winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”
Aren’t these a great idea? We should be thinking of the long-term effects on our beautiful (one-of-a-kind) universe that we live in, & do all we can to save it.
By making small changes in our lives, we can work together to make a big difference. Come on guys, lets all win.
It is the month of love, & I am thrilled to have teamed up with some of my favourite small businesses for another giveaway! It is launching on 17 February 2020. so make sure that you don’t miss out…
I am letting you know a little more about each of these amazing businesses below so read on to get inspired & fall in love.
Enter to win the following:
– R500 voucher from Muppie Lounge
– 1 x Made Wild shirt
– 1 x Gift Box from Modern Crete Decor
– Print from Olive & Arrow Creative
– Shaving soap & brush from Bundubeard
– 2 x bottles of wine from HPF Skapie
– Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet from Living that Oil Life
– Macrame bag tag from Viveca
In 2016, Jislaaik Online Shop was created as an expression of our passion for good-quality, locally-made South African products.
Our range is only supplied by local artisans and creatives who hold to sound ethical values in their production and in their business practices. We aim to provide products that are manufactured to be environmentally sustainable, while also raising social consciousness.
Our collaborations with our suppliers result in unique one-of-a-kind product lines. We love introducing creatives to each other who together with us, bring concepts to realisation that are exquisite and exclusive. We are equally committed to the spirit of Ubuntu. When our collaborations are successful, we donate a portion of the proceeds to worthy causes that fall within the theme of each collaboration.
Our firm belief is that we live in a South Africa where everyone can benefit from the works of their hands and their hearts. Through our blog posts, you get to learn about the inspiration behind the products that feature in our online store.
We know our suppliers. We understand our clientele. We believe that our country possesses great talent that can contribute to positive economic change for everyone. We are good at what we do, and we are true to our purpose in bringing good quality products to the forefront of the South African Online Shopping Industry.
Jislaaik, that sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
A Proudly South-African brand. Everything uniquely designed for the confident woman.
Each range tells a story and all my inspiration comes from you. The life that surrounds us, the beauty of motherhood and the longing of a perfect tomorrow.
All our stuff is either made by hand or carefully designed for your comfort. We are all about lifestyle, confidence and adding a dash of excitement and romance to life.
Stay At Home Mom of four, Marishka, needed a new challenge when the kids went off to school and decided to try something bold and new. She launched the first range 3 months before her last baby went to school and loved it since.
This brand is to empower woman. She believes that we are all worth it.
It’s called a #muppiemoment
She has launched 5 ranges in total since September 2017. Every range means something, it tells a story of where she is in her life.
She started off with T-shirts and have now evolved to dresses, mommy daughter twinning , woman accessories and some creative play tents for kids.
Everything is made by hand, in South Africa by woman who needs the work.
There is something beautiful about the natural cement look that brings so much character to a space. Not only is it modern but also a classic look that dates back to ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt.
Modern Crete is an established company in Somerset West, Western Cape and hand crafts cement décor items. From planters, candle holders, serving slates, door stops to jewellery dishes, Modern Crete’s variety is unlimited.
They are always looking for new items to create.
“We are inspired by our desire to create beautifully crafted décor, furniture and accessories and strive to offer the best service and product quality.”
Classic wet shaving is simply the coolest way to shave. Period. When you start to enjoy something considered by most as a tedious daily chore, you know you are on the right track. Improving your quality of life is not only about doing great things, but also about making small changes that turns boring into fun. Most classic wet shavers look forward to their morning shave, even thinking about what combo they are going to use the night before! It is all about options, quality, exquisite hardware and consumables that nourishes, cleanses and lubricates. Just by being here you have taken the first step in upgrading your life, now take a few more and reclaim your own individuality and style. Classic wet shaving is exactly that; Classic.
It all started out kind of organically, I’d heard about the ditch-and- switch phenomenon sweeping across the States – where moms were trading their store bought cleaners for natural, child-safe alternatives. It’s what kick-started my journey with essential oils. We as a family already watched what we ate so why not everything else? I took the plunge around June 2018 and bought a Young Living Premium starter kit, and switched out our dishwashing soap, all-purpose cleaner and our washing detergent. From my kit I started making my own blend of chill-out rollers for my hubby, Duncan (he calls it his cream soda roller, because it smells incredible), a soothing baby bum balm for our little girl Sloane and a few gifts here and there for my girlfriends’ stork teas.
Then one day I found my friends asking me to whip them something up to help with their eczema, something for dry skin, body butter for our kids and a roller to help with sleep and in late 2019 Living That Oil Life was born. I realised early on that people wanted alternative, “nasties” free products and the health benefits of using high quality essential oils in our products offer that. You might think “oils aren’t for me” but there is literally something for everyone, from moms to bubs and even the dads too. One take away I have from it all is that delving into essential oils has been, and still is, a wonderful journey. I’ve had so much feedback from people wanting to know more and learn more and that’s why I launched a Facebook group where anyone can ask questions, share tips or follow a few of our guides when starting on a similar journey. I’d love for you to join our community and learn more about essential oils and how they can enrich your life.
A mother of two, wife to one, friend to many spectacular souls, daughter, sister and a crafter with a taste for nature and uniqueness.
Hesmarie vd Merwe was born and raised in Limpopo, and currently lives in Bela Bela.
Handmade bohemian jewellery which is so unique, not one ever looks the same.
Viveca is a unique local supplier of creative, handmade products of different mediums for those with a love of the flair of local.
Was it not for “the sheep” we would not have a story to tell.
In the early 1800’s farmers from the Overberg region imported a teacher by the name Hermanus Pieters to teach their children in Dutch, the forerunner to the Afrikaans language. Mostly paid in sheep they used to graze at a fountain where be camped under the Milkwood trees near the sea… This spot soon became known as Hermanus Pieters’ Fontein.
The wine with the longest Afrikaans name in the world…
In 1855, some 20 years his after his passing, the village was named after him. In 1902 the postmaster shortened the name to Hermanus. When, in 2005, we founded our cellar we elected to adopt the original name of our village and pledged all our brand’s label copy to be in Afrikaans.
Operationally, our well equipped 350-tonne urban cellar boasts a large stainless steel component, 20 6000L French foudrés and some 450 small and large French oak barrels. Designed to operate with two winemakers and two assistants; we combine a European mindset and gravity concept to minimize handling and intervention in the winemaking process.
Our 350 Ha conservation conscious farm is located in South Africa’s cool climate premium wine producing region and nestles in the sheltered mountainous area called Sondagskloof. Less than 20% under vine our viticulture strategy focuses on low-yield farming in the interest of quality.
On average 2° cooler than the rest of the Walker Bay region this special piece of earth is an accredited wine ward: Wines of Origin Sondagskloof under auspices of South African Wine and Spirit Institute since 2007.
The minerality in our wines can be traced back to the high clay content in the soils while the cool climate and maritime influences on the vineyards is expressed in natural acidity. The different soil profiles presents the perfect environment for both Bordeaux and Rhône to prosper.
Founded in 2005 for more than a decade already we’re still the only wine producer able to offer an elegant, European styled range of Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet franc, and Bordeaux and Rhône varietal wines under the appellation Wines of Origin Sondagskloof.
Our winemaking philosophy Good Earth makes Better Wine successfully expresses our sense of place which we call The Soul of Sondagskloof.
What is the relevance of a “sheep” in our lives?
Well, everything… Was it not for his sheep Hermanus Pieters would never have camped at the fountain under the milkwoods near the sea and the site was never going to be called Hermanus Pieters’ Fontein. To this end we’re employing a wooley little creature as our story teller…
If I had to describe my blog using 3 bullet points, it would include:
Proudly South African
I am here to show that your diagnosis doesn’t have to define you (I was diagnosed with a rare disease, Myasthenia Gravis in 2004); that we should always try to support the local businesses in South Africa (there is so much talent right under our noses – we just need to look); & that you should always choose kindness in every moment of every day.
I have made some amazing friends through this journey, & hope to continue it for years to come.
You know me by now. I am a definite G & T type of girl, & I love trying out new gins – especially those that are produced & bottled in South Africa. I think we often have the most unique, delicious flavours that give you a little taste of home with every sip.
Pimville Gin is one such gin, & I am sure you are going to want to rush out to get your own once you have read more about this small business.
Tell me a bit more about Pimville Gin: Two friends, Francois and Yongama, got together in early 2018 over a beer (read: a few) and decided they want to make a gin. The two friends met fifteen years earlier at Stellenbosch University, sharing the same mens’ residence. Fifteen years later, with many years of experience in various industries it seemed like destiny.
For them two things were important from day one: (1) to truly encapsulate African essence with the gin, and (2) to be great value. For this reason, Pimville Gin is the spirit of the people.
What makes Pimville Gin so special: It is truly African, with infusions of Maroela fruit, Baobab and African Ginger.
Where did the name come from: This premium African Gin harks back to the story of James Howard Pim, who emigrated from Ireland in 1890 to become a city councillor in Johannesburg.
The first of the Johannesburg townships, Pimville, was named after this remarkable man who was widely regarded as an advocate for Africans.
In 1935, well-known townships like Orlando and Klipspruit joined Pimville to form what has become widely known as Soweto. Our gin is infused with Baobab, Ginger and Maroela fruit to create a truly African expression of flavours.
For us, as the creators, the combination of a European spirit with African flavours and a European man who advocated for Africans tells the perfect story of what makes our Gin so unique. Thus, we bring you Pimville Gin.
What is your personal favourite gin cocktail:Negroni. The Negroni is a popular Italian cocktail, made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel. It is considered an apéritif. A properly made Negroni is stirred, not shaken, and built over ice in an old fashioned or ‘rocks’ glass and garnished with a slice of orange.
What is a perfect Summer gin mix: Slice of grapefruit, double Pimville Gin, lots of ice and tonic.
Why do you think gin has grown so much in popularity? It is a drink that appeals to everyone, young and old, male and female.
I am no fashionista by any means, but I do love finding clothes that make me happy & are cheerful. I have learnt over time what suits my body & my shape, & I know what I enjoy wearing. I also have realised that I am all about comfort right now.
And then I discovered a small business that took me right back to my childhood. It took me back to sunny days, exploring the garden & my aunt’s farm. The bright colours are cheerful & immediately lift your mood. It made me feel like I want to get out & play again. And I have been looking for a pair of dungarees for a very, VERY long time!
Tell me a bit more about your business: My clothing brand is all about apparel for the peacemakers, soul seekers, daydreamers, storytellers and lovers of all kind.
To the Moon is a clothing brand concept that was created from a place of love and passion for fashion. To me, fashion is not the latest style off the runway, but rather a feeling of joy and happiness in the clothing you wear. My brand is a dedicated dungaree fashion label that encourages people from all walks of life to live, play and bounce around in a pair of colorful dungarees. I wanted this label to be a conscious label and therefore my dungarees are sourced and manufactured locally for humans of all sizes, styles and genders.
Where did the name choice come from: When I sign off a birthday card, or when I tell someone that I love them, I use the phrase “I love you to the moon and back”. This label was crafted from love and with love so it just felt like the perfect name.
I also have this sense of astonishing appreciation for the moon and all the magical possibilities that lie beyond.. I wanted to carry this idea into the dungarees – almost like they are your colorful spacesuit that could one day take you to the moon. (Whatever the moon may represent for you)
Why the passion for dungarees: I wanted a pair of dungarees so badly and I was struggling for so long to find a pair of dungarees that I really liked.. something fun, colorful and most importantly comfy and loose-fitting. So I found this gap or niche in the market that I was very happy to fill. There aren’t many denim dungaree-dedicated clothing labels out there.
What makes your dungarees different to others: I think firstly that there literally isn’t another pair of dungarees quite like mine. I use real bull denim that is locally sourced. The fabric is then dyed the 4 different colors that were chosen after long hours looking over colour dye palettes. Each stitch and button has been carefully contemplated and then its finished off with the super fun and retro dungaree buckle.
Which is your personal favourite pair: Oh thats a difficult one… I have one of each colour and I will alternate colors depending on my moon on the day. But if I had to choose I would say the yellow dungaree longs.
Where can people purchase them from: I am currently taking orders online but I am also hoping to have some more time to start selling at markets such as the “I Heart Market” and other markets around KZN.
What is the price range of these:
Dungaree Shorts are R480
Dungaree Longs are R600
Quote you live by: I try to live by a rule (sometimes I’m not very good at sticking to the rule, but I try). Its the five by five rule. If its not going to matter in 5 years, don’t send more than 5 minutes worrying about it.
Anything else you want to add: I am currently working on some skirts made from the dungaree colors and fabric and should be online to purchase soon. I am also starting a linen dungaree range so watch this space 😉
Aren’t these absolutely gorgeous? I am going to order some soon, but need your help deciding which ones to get. Which are your favourite?
I came across this great clothing line a while ago, & when I started reading more about them it truly pulled on my heart & I knew that more people needed to know about this. A girl I went to college with always dresses her daughter in the most gorgeous outfits, & when I saw this brand tagged in one of her posts I immediately set to finding out more!
The top definition of a “sillybilly” is as follows: A person, who acts in a special way and is not afraid to do so. Usually a small, cute, person who is very happy and can make you laugh whenever they want to. Also some one who is very fun to be around and acts in the silliest way possible.
“Why are you so cute, you sillybilly.”
#silly #cute #funny #entertaining #fun
Your Name: Joy
Your Business Name: Sillybilly / Sillybillie. Sillybilly is spelt two ways : SILLYBILLY and SILLYBILLIE . For boys products I use the Y and girls products I use the IE. Just a fun way to distinguish gender fabrics.
What do I do? I create beautiful handmade, affordable quality boys and girls baby harems, bloomers, rompers and suspender skirts…. and this is only the beginning! Michaela, my Down Syndrome daughter, handmakes teething rings and teething bracelets called Beany Biters. These are made from quality silicone beads and wooden rings. Only child safe quality will do!
How did I start? My daughter Megan fell pregnant with my gorgeous grandson, Scott. I relished in this idea of being a grandmother so decided to make him something special and sewed some beautiful harems for her nappy party. When my gift was opened my children suggested I sew to sell and open a business. I had been retrenched a few months earlier so I took the bull by the horns (I will admit I was nervous). I took what little savings I had at the time and bought fabric. I created a few pieces and we created my Instagram and Facebook page and I have never looked back. Sillybilly was born. Having Michaela at home with me most of the time (she loves to thread things) we decided to incorporate baby teethers, made from scratch by her. Beany Biters then started.
What makes my products special? Every stitch, every button and every item is made by me and me alone, from start to finish. I don’t use an assistant or a CMT. In doing this I am able to keep my prices affordable, hence you don’t need to pay a lot of money to dress your baby beautifully. Quality control is of utmost importance. I will even redo the label if it does not look straight. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to Sillybilly.
Most popular item? This has to be my highwaisted girls bloomers. I can’t tell you how many I have made. I think it’s the soft, cool feel and the beautiful colors. Pop them over a nappy on a hot day and “walla” you have a gorgeous baby!
My personal favourite? Every piece I see on a baby is my favourite. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a piece come to life from a flat piece of fabric on a roll.
How do people order? I have an online store. Its proved to be so easy and for me it’s been amazing. Getting orders via email, I get stuck in and courier them off as soon as I can. Please pop in and have a look
My daughter Michaela. Michaela was born with Down Syndrome. She is 23 years old and attends a special needs college called Careways in Kloof, Durban. She loves dancing and dances with Flatfoot Dance company in Durban. Her nickname is Beany (comes from calling her Michaela Bean!) so when we were thinking of a name for her business my daughter in law said “Beany Biters”. She takes great pride in her work and gets super excited when an order for them comes through.
What quote do I live by? Mmmmm a hard one as there are so many. But one that comes to mind is “NEVER DOUBT ONESELF!!!” If I had just doubted myself for second at that nappy party I would not have this precious business.
Anything else to add? My fabrics are mostly chosen by my daughter Megan. She has graphic design flare behind her, young and knows her stuff! She is my amazing marketing lady who runs her own digital marketing business so I’m fortunate to have her run my pages.
My third bedroom is turned into my studio where I have three trusty Bernina machines. Frankly it’s my “happy place!”
I have been married to Ronny for 10 years. He supports me 100% in what I do and love. My whole family is behind me and tell me every day how proud they are. So for this I THANK YOU SILLYBILLY 🙂
With all my friends that are currently pregnant, or just recently given birth to their own gorgeous miracle, I know that they are certainly going to be getting gifts from this company! A mum & daughter duo with a passion for what they do makes my heart so very happy. And does this not remind you that you can set out to achieve whatever you wish; regardless of what society says “no” to?
Please support Sillybilly & Beany Biters. Because we all deserve that little bit of good in our lives!