Tag: pet friendly

Sunkissedstudio Design

Some time ago I wrote a blog about Samantha’s business, Sunkissed Handmade. I am a huge fan of her beautiful headgear, flower crowns, mermaid crowns and every single design she presents.  This past week I saw another post on her page where she showed the fact that she can now turn you/a loved one into a MERMAID, as well as creating digital art of your pets.  Now I don’t know about you, but I have always dreamt about being a magical being and this honestly excites me so much.  Plus I know that my animals are royalty at heart so her creations are right at the top of my birthday wishlist!


Your name: Samantha Hanlon

Business name: Sunkissedstudio Design

Social media handles: Design – Facebook; Handmade – Facebook and Instagram; Photography – Facebook and Instagram

Tell me a bit more about how this business came about:  I have been running my own business as a freelance photographer and designer for almost 12 years now. Before I decided to work for myself, I worked as a fashion designer for suppliers to top retail stores and international brands.
I have been focusing on my photography and crown-making mostly, but when this lockdown started, I realised that it would need to change my focus.
My clients have come to expect a certain level of pretty, light and happy imagery from my photography and a delight for princesses, young and old, in my crowns. I wanted to offer the same feeling but in something digital.
I decided to promote my design page and particularly the fantasy portraits, as a whimsical escape from the harsh reality of life. They make the perfect gift in a time when we can’t leave our homes to actually give loved ones presents, and there are no courier costs involved. The A4 digital image can be sent to anyone with an email address anywhere in the world!


Have you always been so creative:  Yes, absolutely.
I studied Textile design and then fashion design and worked in the fashion industry for many years as a graphic artist and designer, which is where I honed my photoshop skills, which came in handy when I started doing photography. I always have a creative project on the go.

Please can you tell me a bit more about the specials you are running at the moment:
I am currently offering A4 digital portraits for just R250 each during lockdown.
I have a variety of themes to choose from but an happy to make custom orders too.

Murphy - Copy

Where did these ideas come from:
I have always photoshopped fantasy images for fun, usually for birthday cards or making memes.  It always makes people so happy to get something personalised and meaningful as a gift.

Which have been your favourite mermaid & pet portraits:
I have to say, one of my favourites is the mermaid – purrmaid portrait I did of my cat Lilly.
I enjoy doing each artwork and love hearing how much my clients love them.


Can people still order from you during lockdown & how will they receive their images:  Yes! I email your digital file to you, so it’s easy.

Who do you think your ideal clients would be:  My ideal clients are the same amazing people who love my photography and crowns.

“They are day dreamers and night thinkers, they love music, books, movies , art, sunsets, forests and oceans and all things that make this world a more beautiful place. They are people with imagination.”

What do you need from people to create these images:
I need 3-5 photographs emailed to me. I do offer some guidelines as to which sort of images work best.  You can email these through to me.

How has lockdown affected your business:
I have been unable to run my small business, I am a single mother and also support my parents and handicapped brother. So quitting is not an option.
Thankfully creativity is my super-power and I can draw on my experience and talent to keep providing for my family.


Quote you live by:
“A person who is a master in the art of living makes little distinction between their work and their play, their labour and their leisure, their mind and their body, their education and their recreation, their love and their religion.
They hardly know which is which and simply pursue their vision of excellence and grace, whatever they do.
Leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing. To them they are always doing both”
― James A. Michener

Anything else you want to add:
Please support small businesses at this time. There is no such thing as an “essential” or” non-essential” business.
Every business is essential to the person who earns a living from it.

“Have courage and be kind….and keep day dreaming”

Theodore - Copy


Please follow all of Sam’s beautiful pages and support her artistic talent.  These would make great birthday gifts, lockdown happiness, anniversary gifts, or even simply just-because.  If you have always dreamed of magic, or if your daughter/niece/friend has a vivid imagination; why not make it a reality.  Or if your pets personality makes you picture them as a dame from the 1920s, or a court jester, or even a student at Hogwarts – make this happen by contacting Sam.  Her talent truly knows no bounds and she is one of the kindest people I have ever dealt with.

Pet Portraits

One of my favourite people in the world, Jane Linley-Thomas, recently posted about a portrait she was getting done of a very special family member – their adorable dog.  Now, if you know anything about me, you would know that my animals are number one in my life.  In fact, I think that we treat them better than some people do their kids.  No judgement, but I often think they deserve that unwavering love more than humans do…

I immediately went to check out the social media of Pet Portraits & fell in love with everything that I saw!  I knew I had to get to know them a little better, & really think this is a great idea as a Christmas gift (there is less than 2 months to go people).

Your name: Bruce McNabb

Business name: Pet Portraits

Social media handles: Facebook & Instagram

Tell me a little more about what you do:  My main business is WiWe Workwear – an e-Commerce company that partners with factories and industry in the procurement of workwear, footwear and PPE. Pet Portraits is a “feel good” hobby business that I do on the side.


Have you always been artistic:  I am not sure I would label myself as artistic however I do feel I have a good eye for what looks good, especially with my business. Aside from the portraits, my creativity is also expressed through music – I play a variety of instruments.

Why the idea with pets:  This idea was originally just an idea I had as a birthday present for my younger brother. He loves his dog Billy who he affectionately renamed Sir William of Everton. I felt that nickname deserved a portrait to justify that so I got creative. Based on that birthday gift I was inundated with requests for other people so I figured I should start a business. The feedback I have had has been crazy and people are loving getting their pets made into family heirlooms. It is incredibly rewarding.

How can people place an order with you:  Through the business email, petportraitssa@gmail.com

What are your price ranges for these works of art:  R2000 for the artwork, canvas and vintage framing. Leading up to Christmas this year I have decided to give a 10% discount. I offer 2 portraits for R3500.


What makes your art stand out in comparison to others:  Funnily enough there isn’t any competitors in SA at this point, however the nature of the business is so personal that every portrait is utterly unique. International competitors seem to focus on block canvassing whereas I feel the vintage framing really adds a massive difference. I want every portrait to be classic and presented proudly in homes.

Quote you live by:  Go local!

If you are an animal lover like me, these will definitely catch your attention & will be a great piece of art to display in your home & will form a talking point for years to come.

Please let me know if you decide to get one for yourself – I would love to see them!


Happy Paws

Recently I attended the Field Market here in Joburg.  It was my first one, but I know that I will be attending more in the future.  Their description is what really drew me in: “At our open-air market nestled along the Braamfontein spruit life is unhurried. Stroll underneath the trees through stalls that lure and inspire with local handcrafted goods. Then stay a while to enjoy a variety of food & beverages, live music and the relaxed atmosphere.

Doesn’t that just draw you in to go exploring & see what is on offer?  I loved that it was only locally made goods, & the fact that it is pet friendly is an even bigger bonus! I didn’t take my girls with me this time as I wanted to suss out the scene & see if they would be comfortable there – which I am sure they would be as it is not overcrowded or too hectic.  In fact it is a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, & although I was on my own I was greeted by random strangers & made to feel completely at home.  Oh how I love a good market!


One of the stores that I stumbled across was Happy Paws – an organic dog product company.  My chihuahua has had a terribly dry nose ever since we moved from KZN to Gauteng & I just have not known what to do.  I have been using coconut oil on her nose & have been adding this to her food, but to no avail.  When I mentioned this to the lady at the stand, she immediately recommended the balm to me.  I bought some, (along with dog treats, because these pooches are pampered!) & returned home to try it out.  My Jack Russell also gets a reaction to grass on her belly, so I decided to apply some of the balm to this area too.  Well, it really worked!  Lola’s nose is much smoother, & Stella is no longer scratching herself raw.  And the treats?  Well, even my cat wanted in on the action.  They all adored them!


Your name: Karin Kruger

Your business name: Happy Paws organic dog products

Social media handles: Facebook

Tell me a bit more about your business: All organic, hand made spoils for doggies. People have changed the way they treat their furry friends…thank goodness! We no longer just see them as dogs, but they have become a part of the family. We all love spoiling family, so why not our fur babies. They give us unconditional love, and we want to return the favor. I’ve done extensive research on all aspects of caring for our furry family members, and want to share my knowledge (and products) with as many people as possible.


Why did you start this: A few years ago our senior dog was diagnosed with pancreatitis & was border line diabetic, I was convinced the dog food we were giving him was just making things worse. I started my research…. I started making home cooked (doggy friendly) meals for them, and I thought “hold on, what else can I do better than the products at the supermarket”. I took a step back and started with the simple things….organic shampoo? Why not? I made it, tried it and immediately knew I was on to something great!

What makes your products so unique: Organic, home made, proudly South African, eg. the beeswax in my paw balm is locally sourced from a 14 year old beekeeper.


What are the most popular products: Great question, this depends on the market. At The Field market the treats sold out, this was because people were there to picnic and wanted treats for their doggies. On average I would say the paw balm. This product is not just to moisturize their paws, but can be used on any itchy, irritated skin….dry noses, insect bites…a miracle balm.

Do you make this all yourself, & how did you decide on the ‘recipes’: I make it all myself. I would research recipes vs ingredients. If there’s harsh chemicals, salt, sugar or ingredients I know are toxic to dogs I know the recipe is fake. If I would NEVER use an ingredient on my pups, or have them try it, I won’t use it in my products.

Why do your animals mean so much to you: They’re our babies. They are part of our family and we’ll do anything to make their lives as comfortable as possible. This does mean that we have no couch, bed space or privacy.

Where can people buy your products from:Your Dog’s Party”, an online shop. Send me a direct Facebook message, or follow my Facebook page to see what markets we’ll be attending.

Do you make custom treats for dogs with dietary requirements: I’ve never had to, but I do have recipes should I get specific requests.

Quote you live by: Love is a four legged word


And so, I leave you with this…  Take care of your animals the way you would wish to be treated.  Show them the life that they deserve, & try give them as much love as you possibly can.  They don’t deserve anything less!



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