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Tag: loving local

Wendy’s Art

Isn’t it amazing how the social media algorithms show us pages and groups that we may find interesting, or that fit into our lives just so perfectly?

Recently Wendy’s Art came up as a page that I may like, and I was immediately interested in her Mini-Impe’s – then as I spent some time browsing through her art I knew that I had to interview Wendy for my blog. She is so talented, and offers unique gift ideas that will be treasured forever.

I am so grateful that Wendy took the time to answer my questions, and that I got to learn more about her as a person and her gorgeous art that she creates!


Your name: Wendy Smit

Business name: Wendy’s Art

Social media handles: Facebook; Instagram; Twitter and Tiktok

3 fun facts about you:

  • I’m a perfectionist but only when it comes to my art, for the rest I am actually very easy going
  • I LOOOOVE any form of potato!
  • I’m a real busy body, before I am done with the one project I already knows what the next one will be. I cannot sit still for 5 minutes
  • I was a teacher but I hated it ☺
  • I am a true believer that anything anyone can do I can do as well. So my husband knows to by me power tools these days instead of the more traditional presents
  • I love travelling

Have you always been artistic: 100% yes, ever since I can remember

What makes your art so unique: As I have gained experience over the years my art has change allot. I would say my art is completely realistic in an unrealistic way if that makes sense.

How would you describe your style of art: Funky, modern and personal. Some reason when it comes to my paintings I love and prefer to paint women

Which is your personal favourite piece that you have done:

Monochrome Painting is probably my favourite colour combinations

Colour Painting

Pencil Sketches

Mini-Impe’s (I love all my mini-impes so hard to pick favourites here)

Please tell me a little more about your Mini Impe’s: I love creating them because the mini impersonators are realistic but also not. Each and every piece excites me as much as it does the owner so all my energy and love goes into each piece. I love the fact that people can recognise themselves in the mini-impes. They are a great conversation point for everyone visiting with people guessing what mimi-impe represents who in the family and reliving at the same time the experience the mini-impe portrays. For me it’s a much nicer way to capture memories than the traditional photos on a wall. 

How can people order from you: All orders can be done through my website.

Who is your target audience for these products: For the mini-impe’s its everyone that wants to capture memories in a unique and fun way

Quote you live by:

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.

Benjamin Franklin

Anything else you want to add: To be able to do what you love doing the most in the world and to call it your work, is for me living my dream


I know that I definitely want to order a Mini-Impe for my home – but trying to decide which moment I want captured is proving to be the most difficult part. Perhaps our wedding day? Or should I capture our “normal”? Or the fact that we survived lockdown and everything that 2020 threw our way?

Wendy, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions and for allowing me to feature you on my blog. I absolutely love everything you have on offer and really appreciate the person that you are.


Backdrop Shop

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.


 

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Your name: My name is Casandra Swart

Business name: My business is called Backdrop Shop SA & Flatlay Boards SA

Social media handles: Backdrop Shop SA – Facebook, Instagram and Website.  Flatlay Boards SA – Facebook, Instagram and Website.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!


 

Loving Local

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


Jislaaik Online Shop

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?

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Facebook & Instagram


Muppie Lounge

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.

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Facebook & Instagram


Made Wild

Made Wild is a proudly South African blog created by someone who felt the need to celebrate and embrace the South African heritage and culture.

In addition to providing you the best quality T’s we are passionate about travel, good food and coffee, great friends, long evenings around the campfire and a spirit of adventure!

When joining our #MadeWildFamily you will find a lot more than just some lekke T’s to wear, you will also discover a whole new world of all things travel and local related.

We are blessed to live in a country rich in diversity, we just have to keep on searching for the beauty and joy deep down to appreciate it.

So get out your vellies, pack the coolerbox and join us for a roadtrip through our precious country!

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventure, we have nothing to lose and a world to see” Made Wild

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Facebook & Instagram


Modern Crete Decor

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.”

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Facebook & Instagram


Olive & Arrow Creative

My name is Charise and I am the founder of Olive & Arrow Creative. Olive & Arrow Creative was born long before it got a name, creativity has always been part of my life

I live for the beautiful moments in life.

I absolutely love what I do and the journey of meeting new people who quite often become friends.

My style of work is modern and simple but stems from a deep love for what I do and this, in combination with your idea, gives way to the perfect end result.

Creativity is a force of enchantment – not entirely human in its origins

I will forever be changed by this book – Olive & Arrow Creative

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Facebook & Instagram


Bundu Beard

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.

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Facebook & Instagram


Living That Oil Life

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.

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Facebook & Instagram


Viveca Handcrafted Jewellery

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.

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Facebook & Instagram


Hermanuspietersfontein Wines

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…

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Flowercrowns & Treatment

If I had to describe my blog using 3 bullet points, it would include:

  • Kindness
  • Proudly South African
  • Awareness

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.

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I am so amazed by the gorgeous products that we have right here in South Africa – & this is a prize jam-packed with so much love, time, talent & passion.

Follow all their social media pages now & get ready to enter the giveaway of a lifetime!

Which part of the prize are you most excited about?


 

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