Tag: proudly south african (Page 1 of 4)

Marisol Candles

Hi, my name is Megan, and I am addicted to watching candle pouring videos. I love to see the wax slide through into the mould, and watch as it slowly hardens and takes on a whole new form. I love to see people’s creativity brought to life, and I am on the edge of my seat as they uncover what has been created.

I think the algorithm saw this, and recommended that I start following Marisol Candles. This business is owned by two beautiful ladies who are showing how gorgeous the feminine shape is, and making candles unlike any that I have seen before. Their whole differentiating factor is that they are focused on celebration and representation. And their candles are absolutely gorgeous!


About Marisol

Your Names: Erin and Mitchel Walls

Your Business Name: Marisol

Social media handles: Website, Facebook and Instagram

3 fun facts about each of you:

Erin

  1. Makes really good playlists
  2. Can lift heavy things
  3. Strangely addicted to pomegranates

Mitchel

  1. Professional napper
  2. Very interested in crypto currency
  3. Feta pasta connoisseur

Can you tell me a little bit more about the business: We abruptly started our business out of our dad’s kitchen in January- much to his dismay, and we never expected the response we received in such a short space of time. As sisters, who are best friends but completely different, we formed an amazing team. We took creativity and finance, craftsmanship and marketing, and put them together to create Marisol Candles.

What makes your candles so unique: In terms of what makes them unique, is not just the candles themselves, but our business as a whole. We are two sisters who have a passion for people, for local businesses and empowering women. We believe, or rather hope, that this comes through when people look at our site, interact or buy from us. We truly love what we do. Also, our candles look and smell great, if we must say so ourselves.

Who would enjoy your candles: In terms of who enjoys the candles, our customer base is predominantly female. However, we have brought in a wide range of candles that people can choose from. We believe our candles are stylish and are the perfect gift and/or or coffee table statement piece.

How can people order these from you: We now have a super simple, easy to use website! We used to work through DM, however as we grew, we realised it was not going to work.

What are your favourite designs: Mitchel’s favorite design is our new curvy ladies, and Erin’s is the David sculpture candle! However, we love them all.

Which is your most popular candle: Our most popular candle is for sure our original lovely ladies!

What emotions do you want these to evoke: We said to ourselves from the beginning, that we want our candles to be open to interpretation. Some people buy them and feel empowered, some buy them because they are pretty and some simply buy them because they want a candle. It is entirely up to the customer. However, empowerment is definitely a core concept of ours, as well as celebration and representation.

What quote do you live by: “Just do it, feel the fear and do it anyway.” It sounds so cheesy, but really it has been our motto for the past 3 months since we started. You cannot grow and learn if you do not take the steps. We have learnt an unexplainable amount, and we really couldn’t be more grateful.

Anything else you want to add: In terms of ending it off, we just want to say to any small business owners, or those who want to start, do it. It may seem scary, but you will learn so much.


Closing Thoughts

I love how gorgeous and special each of these candles are. I love that they are handmade with love, and that they represent the diverse beauty in South Africa.

Getting to know the ladies behind this brand has been am absolute treat as well, and I can’t wait to see them continue to grow and reach new heights.

Please continue to support small businesses where possible, and help to spread the word about these gorgeous candles. Can’t you imagine them lit and flickering in your bathroom? Or even on your bedside table? I know that I can, and I can’t wait to place my order for some.


SKIN Functional

My Thoughts

Recently I have was gifted 2 products from SKIN Functional – the Texture and Blemish Tonic, and The Powerful Vitamin A. My 2 main skin concerns are uneven skin texture and pigmentation. My pigmentation has got worse since my early-onset menopause (thanks to my stem cell transplant), and I have been going for more regular facials and peels to try to rectify this. However, I also know the importance of great skincare products that work in conjuction with your professional treatments.

I have heard so much about SKIN Functional, and they have been all over my social media. I have seen them being recommended in Facebook groups, and I have been dying to try them for myself.

When my products arrived, they came with a small quote card, as well as a personalised product usage guideline for the specific products that they had sent me. The guidelines included the time of the day that I should use these, and how much of each product I should apply. As a first time user of SKIN Functional I really appreciated this and it made me feel like they really care about their clients and want everyone to get the most out of these products.

I knew that I wanted to feature them on my blog, and hopefully let more people know just how wonderful these products are, and how their customer care is above and beyond what is expected.


Interview

Your name: Kevin Khosa

Business name: SKIN functional

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website

3 fun facts about you: Vibrant, Funny and Interesting

What is SKIN Functional: SKIN functional is a South African skincare company that formulates using optimal concentrations of effective and trusted ingredients to restore the skin’s optimal functioning. Products that deliver potent treatments with reproducible results at an accessible price point.

What makes your products different to other brands: SKIN functional formulates products backed by clinical data and uses optimal concentrations of effective and trusted ingredients. SKIN functional provides honourable skintelligence to debunk the many myths and misinformation that the skincare information is riddled with.

What is your most popular item: 10% Niacinamide – Blemish Corrector

Which product is your favourite: Liquid Moisturiser

What is the one product that you think everyone should own: Everyone should have the Daily Moisturiser as it is a staple in maintaining overall skin health along with anti-oxidant and anti-ageing benefits.

How do people know which products to purchase: There is an option to shop by product, active ingredient, skin concern or skin type function on our website. We have a guide per indication as well. Alternatively customers are able to visit our shop for personalised guidance. If that isn’t convenient they are able to whatsapp, call or send us a DM for personalised guidance.

Where can people purchase your products from: SKIN functional’s website.

Who do you think would benefit from using your products: SKIN functional can be used by all genders, all skin types across all ages. We have people of all ages using our products with the youngest being only 4 years old.

What skin conditions and concerns can your products assist with: SKIN functional products address all common skin concerns. Acne, Ageing, Pigmentation, Dryness, Acne scars, Textural Irregularities, Sensitivity and Stretch Marks.

What are some of your most popular active ingredients: Retinol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Azelic Acid

Quote you live by: Be yourself for yourself


You Can Win!

Another exciting recent development is the Ultimate Skincare Duo. For a limited time only, Skin Functional and Noa and Co have joined forces to create the ULTIMATE SKINCARE DUO featuring the bestseller from each brand. You can now get a potent combination of SKIN functional’s Hydration Juice and Noa & Co.’s Collagen Creamer at a once off price. Use code SFXNOA20 and you will automatically get 20 % off this incredible bundle.

Don’t let your skin and body suffer this seasonal change and get your hands on this incredible deal and give your body the wellness boost it deserves.

STAND A CHANCE TO WIN A YEARS’ SUPPLY OF PRODUCTS!

If you purchase this bundle using code SFXNOA20 and follow both Skin Functional and Noa & Co on Instagram, your name will automatically be entered into a lucky draw to WIN a years’ supply of two products per month from each brand. Don’t miss out on this incredible deal!


In Closing…

I have been really impressed with these products, and can definitely see a difference in my skin texture and feel like I am glowing! I have had so many compliments from my friends and family, and feel like this is all due to SKIN Functional and ensuring that I am taking the best care possible of my skin.

Before starting vs 7 days in
7 days in vs 14 days in

Pop them a message, send them a DM and follow them on social media. I promise that you won’t be disappointed!


Entle Cosmetics

I am always on the hunt for local cosmetic brands, and eyeshadow palettes with vibrant colouring and gorgeous pay-off. And then, Entle Cosmetics decided to enter the party with all her glitters, lumo colours, as well as an everyday palette.

Guys, my mind is literally blown at the beauty of these palettes, as well as the thought, consideration and love that Thandokazi has put into each of her offerings. I am sure you are going to love them too!


Getting to know Entle Cosmetics

Your name: Thandokazi Xulubana

Business name: Entle Cosmetics

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website

3 fun facts about you:

  • I’m a qualified software engineer that loves makeup/fashion, which you hardly find in I.T.
  • I am terrified of animals that crawl.
  • I loved drawing cartoon characters in primary and high school.

Can you tell me a little more about your business: The Holdings company is called ‘Nokwakha’, which is my Grandmother’s name, and our cosmetics division is called ‘Entle’

Entle means beauty in my native tongue isiXhosa, we derived it from the name ‘Mbalente’, which is why we have 3 leaves on our logo. ‘Mbalentle’ means ‘Beautiful Flower’.

At Entle Cosmetics, we believe that everyone is born beautiful, you do not need to change the shape of your face because you are beautiful the way you are.

Our makeup is not made to change how people look, but to enhance people’s natural beauty. Our intention is to bring out the creativity in you, after all – makeup is art! Our brand embraces every culture, race and class (I do not want to go into too much detail around this part, as we will only reveal the vision on our next collection – I can’t wait for our next launch).

What pushed you to start this business: I got tired of not being able to get the quality and packaging I liked when I shopped for makeup. I am someone who loves people, and I would experience horrible customer service in some of the makeup stores I went to, which is why we always strive to be a brand that cares about the people we serve, and I always do follow ups with our clients asking about their experience with our brand.

Why is being cruelty-free so important to you: I have seen a lot of videos around makeup testing on animals and I could not stomach it. I am an animal lover, I literally cry and get mad when I see animals being mistreated. It angers me that as people we sit back and take videos of people raping animals or kill them for their horns. I love nature and the wilderness, so this is why this is important to me.

What makes your makeup products so unique: I cannot say that our makeup products are unique, because I know you will find similar quality products somewhere else… but I can promise you that you will not find the same experience that we create for our clients. We are not just selling makeup products, but we are selling a brand experience.

Our goal is to give all our clients a world class service, premium quality eyeshadow shades and elegant packaging, with a personal touch to each product.

Which is your personal favourite product: Wow, this is a difficult question because they are all my favorites, it all depends on the occasion. If I am going to the mall, I wear Anelisa. If I am going out for dinner, I mix Khanya with Buhle Bendalo (or Anelisa). When I go to Church, I wear Buhle Bendalo.

How can people purchase from you: We have our Facebook, and Instagram, shop which can be used to purchase our products. We also have our Shopify online store which is where the bulk of our orders come from.

People can also DM us for orders, and our banking details, if they want to do direct deposit.

Who do you think would enjoy your makeup: Makeup artists, people who are not afraid to be different, or standout, and those who like to wear less makeup as well. Our collection caters for those who love glam, and glitz, and for those who love nude colors.

What do you want people to feel when they use your products: I want them to feel undefined joy, to feel confident and cared for…because every package is packed with care and love.

Quote you live by: Never look at “negative situations” as problems, but look at them as challenges, an opportunity for you to grow and do great.

Anything else you want to add: Each palette has a dedicated name, for this collection we chose Xhosa names and their meanings define each palette:

Khanya eyeshadow palette – Khanya means shine, illuminate. We chose this name because the glitter shades represent the shine in Khanya, the palette packaging represents the illumination.

Buhle Bendalo eyeshadow palette – Buhle Bendalo means natural beauty. We chose this name because of Buhle’s nude/calm shades and the packaging that reflects in natural lighting, giving it a sparkling touch.

Anelisa eyeshadow palette – Anelisa means to fulfill. We chose this name because we felt like this eyeshadow fulfills your soft and full glam looks. You have both matte and glitter shades in one palette, each shade complements the next one.


In closing…

Don’t these palettes speak to you? And with their prices starting form only R299.99 per palette, they are affordable and cover a wide range of colours and textures. I know that I definitely want to add all of them to my collection, but I am super keen to try the glitters and stars in the Anelisa Palette first.

Thando has also launched a 10 piece marble makeup brush set in a cylinder case – even though I seem to collect different makeup brushes, I always feel that having a case to keep them safe and allow for easy travel is something everyone needs. Plus, how freaking gorgeous is the set?

Please show your love and support for Thando and Entle Cosmetics. She was an absolute joy to chat with, and I love that she is determined to change the way customers feel and are treated throughout their purchase and experience of her product.

I can’t wait to see what you create with these!


Willow Asks Why?

A friend I went to school with has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration. I have seen how she has raised two beautiful children, and how she is constantly working to make South Africa a better place for the next generation. I have seen her raise difficult questions, work with others, and teach her children to be kind, considerate and loving towards others.

I saw her announce that she had started co-writing a book series named “Delightful Tales About Difficult Topics”, with the first book being “Willow Asks Why?”. I wanted to know more. This series of books is to be enjoyed by parents and their children together, and to show a way of speaking through difficult questions that kids may have – especially in all their honesty and innocence.


Your names: Kimberley Clow & Graham Geiger-Kirige

Business name: Delightful Tales About Difficult Topics

Social media handles: Instagram, Facebook and Website.

3 fun facts about you:
Kim:
* I am currently reading Brene Brown’s latest book, The Gifts Of Imperfection
* Unashamedly obsessed with reality television.
* In 2021; I am learning to speak Xhosa

Graham:
* Life Motto: “Beards Before Razors”
* Firm believer in tea bags being removed BEFORE milk is added.
* Proud father of 8 house plants (I have read the book to them)

Tell me a little more about the book you have written:
‘Willow asks Why?’ is a story about the ever-curious Willow, who begins to question why there seems to be a different set of rules, for people of different races. Packed with light-hearted illustrations, the powerful message is that we should always question the world around us and learn to see the ‘invisible’ roles that privilege & structural racism play. Only then can we challenge them.

What age group is this aimed at:
The book aims to spark conversations with kids of all ages, however if we had to give a specific age range, we’d say particularly kids between the ages of 2 and 4, as this is when they’re most vulnerable to societal stereotypes and prejudices.

What was the inspiration behind the book:
Kim is a mother of two and has a diverse family. Naturally, she began searching for locally produced children’s books that would more accurately reflect the members of her own family. She managed to find a few but not nearly enough and decided to write her own story with a focus on promoting diversity & inclusion, in a South African context.

Graham is a lifelong family friend of Kim’s, a freelance Copywriter and part time woodwork teacher at the Little Warthogs Playschool – run by his wife, an early childhood development specialist. So when Kim pitched her idea of a children’s book series promoting diversity & inclusion, Graham swapped his power tools for a pen & paper.

Where can people purchase one from:
You can order ‘Willow asks Why?’ on our website.

What is the price of the book:
Our retail price is R120 and 15% of the profits of every book purchased will go to ARNSA – The Anti-Racism Organisation of South Africa. They work closely with the Ahmed Kathrada and Nelson Mandela Foundations among many others to ensure that organisations are equipped to deal with racism within communities. Jump on to their website to find out more about their various initiatives and collaborators.

Why is this book so special to you:
Kim:
It’s a daily reminder of the strength my children gave me to step out of my comfort zone; and write a story that I believe in. There is massive racial bias in South Africa; and I would like to play an active role in trying to change this.

Graham:
Learning to navigate your way through the world can be tough, let alone when you’ve barely cut your first tooth! Working on this book was special because it has the potential to help kids ask critical questions, discuss difficult topics in an open way and hopefully make a confusing world, slightly less confusing.

Why do you think this is a conversation we should be having with kids:
Kids may begin identifying with race as early as 6 months old; and may start generalising by 2, therefore it’s super important to have these conversations as early as possible, before any misconceptions become ingrained. If kids can learn to discuss these problems when they’re young, they have the power and time to help change it.

Quote you live by:
Kim: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
Graham: “Reading is an exercise in empathy”

Anything else you want to add:
‘Willow asks Why?’ is the first book of a series, ‘Delightful Tales About Difficult Topics’. As the name suggests, the goal of each book will be to make it easier for parents to have open & honest conversations about complex topics, not covered enough within the children’s book genre. We have some ideas for future topics but no concrete decisions have been made, so watch this space!


I am so honoured to have been able to chat to amazing people like Kim and Graham, as well as Toys With Roots last year. We need to be aware of the way we speak to and about others, and we need to show our children the importance of acceptance, inclusion, and kindness.

This book is so needed in South Africa, and I could not be more proud of these wonderful people who have taken the step and making changes for our futures.


Philippa French

When my friend Jane Linley-Thomas posted about some gorgeous earrings that she had had made by ladies living in Valley of 1000 Hills, I knew that I had discovered an absolute gem! Not only is this project empowering women, but it is also providing them with a skill that can be passed from generation to generation, and giving them a chance to earn an income so they can offer a better life for them and their families.

Philippa Spark is the wonderful lady behind this great project, and when I reached out to her to see if I could feature this business on my blog, she immediately jumped on it. And seeing the creations that have been made have really reminded me of how much I love these – and what a great Christmas gift they would make.


Your name: Philippa Spark

Business name: Philippa French

Social media handles: Instagram; Facebook and Twitter

3 fun facts about you:
• My perfect day would start with champagne and end with… champagne.
• I would love to meet, and even have lunch with, Kamala Harris.
• My dream home would be a petite penthouse apartment in the 6th or 7th arrondissement of Paris with an outdoor terrace overlooking the roof tops and chimney pots of the city I love most in the world.

Tell me a bit more about what you do:
I work with women and some men in the Valley of 1000 Hills on the outskirts of Durban, South Africa, creating beautiful, bespoke beaded items for customers the world over.

What makes your jewellery so special:
We use only the best quality glass beads out of the Czech Republic and we use only the best quality beaders. We invest a huge amount of time in proper training and therefore we have an incredible team, creating the “best of the best” items possible.

Do you do custom orders:
Yes, absolutely.

How can people order from you:
Most customers order through Instagram, which is working very well. I am always available to help and to reply to any queries that come through to me.

What is your personal favourite set:
I have many! There are so many different items to love, so it is tricky to choose, however, I do love the new range I have just launched called the “Saint Cloud” range – named after a suburb in Paris (naturally).

What have been your most popular items:
• The entire Frida range.
• Tassel earrings of all shapes and colour combinations imagineable.

Why do you encourage people to support local:
We need to do what we can to support our people. As a country we need to unite and this is a fine way to do it. We are stronger together.

Can you tell me a little more about the ladies that make these works of art:
At present we have a team of twelve ladies and one man who work with us pretty much full time. They are all (every single one of them) supporting their families through their craft and as such, every single order facilitates the upliftment and the support of multiple families in the area. A fact that makes my heart soar with joy.

Quote you live by:
“What is meant for you will not pass you by.”
“Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.”

Anything else you wish to add:
I wish only the best for our entrepreneurs, for our country, for the world. Today and every day.


Aren’t these beyond gorgeous? And wouldn’t they make such a divine Christmas gift? Please consider supporting local businesses when choosing your gifts – and what better than something unique, handmade, and put together with so much love. And I love their Christmas baubles too! Every year husband and I choose a special decoration for the year – I think I may have to order some of these for 2020.


Msulwa Life

When I first discovered Msulwa Life, it was through their reusable cotton rounds. I had begun to truly be aware of the waste I was producing during my skincare, and was desperate to find an alternative. I didn’t want to use the regular cotton wool or cotton rounds for cleansing and toning my face, and immediately placed an order for their collection of reusable cotton rounds – and have honestly never looked back. And then I began following them, and was amazed by all that they had on offer – from skincare, to soaps, to scrubbies, and so much more. I reached out to Megan and asked if I could do a feature on her, as I really feel we should all be more aware of not only our waste, but also using products that are kind to our environment and our skin.

Reusable Facial Rounds

Your name: Megan Miller

Business name: Msulwa Life

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website

Tell me a bit more about your business: Msulwa Life is a South African online store that creates and sells unique eco-friendly and natural products. Msulwa is an isiZulu word that means Pure, Innocent and Clean in English. We loved these meanings as it perfectly represents our brand’s vision, together with being South African. The Pure reflects that our products are free from harmful chemicals, the Innocent reflects that we don’t use animal products and are cruelty free and the Clean reflects that our products are eco-friendly, protecting the environment in as many ways as possible.

What are 3 fun facts about you:
1) I never follow a recipe – I prefer experimenting in the kitchen!
2) I like to ride motorbikes and do adventurous activities
3) I’m always thinking of new and creative projects

What made you decide to start this business: The concept and dream of Msulwa Life has been on my mind for a few years. I qualified as a Biokineticist in 2014 and then headed over to the UK and Europe where I worked abroad for 5 years as a Carer and then as a 2nd Stewardess/ Personal Trainer on a Superyacht. This is where I was exposed to a large amount of unnecessary waste and at the same time saw new ways of being more of a conscious and environmentally aware person. Over the years working abroad, my appreciation and love for South Africa was cemented and I came to realise Africa is my remarkable home and where I decided to return! I came back in February 2020, where I began Msulwa Life, running this eco store online which launched in March 2020.09.

What makes your products so unique: Msulwa Life’s products are unique because they all strive to achieve all 3 of the Pure, Innocent and Clean aspects that represent our brand and Msulwa meaning. We believe that these are the 3 vital components that we all should strive to align in our lives in order to achieve an optimal human lifestyle that is in harmony with the earth.
We therefore create and source products that are Vegan, Plastic Free, Natural, Chemical Free, Organic, Zero Waste, Cruelty free and Sustainable.

What is your personal favourite product: The Natural Body Moisturizer with Geranium & Lavender together with the Natural Facial Moisturiser with Sea Buckthorn are my Favourite! They really are refreshing, nutritious and are amazing on the skin.

What have been your most popular items: The most popular product is the Reusable Facial Rounds – I have been really impressed by how many people have switched from disposable cotton rounds and are so much more eco-conscious! The rounds have often been chosen with the Konjac Sponges, Bamboo Toothbrushes, Tooth Treatment Paste, Organic Dental Floss and Msulwa Soaps!

Why do you wish people would make use of more eco-friendly items: I had learnt great appreciation for Health and the Environment after a lot of research of how important our food and product choices are to our bodies and the Earth. I discovered that a Plant Based diet has been seen to be the healthiest diet for humans. This also exposed me to the devastating impact of the animal agricultural industry on our food quality, the shocking animal brutality and that this industry is the biggest contributor to global warming and environmental destruction – it was a huge realisation on how unaware we all are of this industry. I wanted to create more environmental awareness to South Africans and provide products that easily help people transition into a more sustainable lifestyle. The earth is at a critical stage of its survival, and if everyone started to be active and take individual responsibility, we can make drastic improvements to the earth’s and our health!

How can people purchase from you:
• Visiting our online store is the easiest way to browse through our whole Msulwa Life’s product range.
• Enjoy reading the product descriptions and learning about how each product will benefit you and your eco-friendly lifestyle.
• Add your chosen items to your cart and then choose from many secure online payments options including EFT, credit/debit card, Payfast and Zapper.
• Once you have made your order, we will instantly receive it and then begin putting it all together for you.
• When your parcel is ready, you will be notified with your Courier’s tracking number via email. Easily follow your parcels journey all the way to your door which will take 2-4 days.
• We securely courier all over South Africa!

Quote you live by:

“When your passion and purpose are greater than your fears and excuses, you will find a way.”

Anonymous

Enjoying what you do and having a desire for what you want to achieve, is really the foundation for success. I haven’t yet got close to my environmental and business goals, but I feel I am on the right track!
I knew that I would only reach my full potential and be the most effective in the world when I pursue my passions and utilise my skills in directions that I was truly interested in, and this is Msulwa Life.

Anything else you want to add: I qualified as a Biokineticist in 2014 and then headed over to the UK and Europe where I worked abroad for 5 years as a Carer and then as a 2nd Stewardess/ Personal Trainer on a Superyacht. This is where I was exposed to a large amount of unnecessary waste and at the same time saw new ways of being more of a conscious and an environmentally aware person.


I can’t wait to purchase more items from this stunning range, and also to know that I am doing all I can to live a better life, and protect our beautiful world.

Which of these are on your wishlist? I would definitely recommend the reusable cotton rounds for each and every person.

Thank you Megan for your time, your passion, but most of all for wanting to make a real difference and spread kindness everywhere. You are one in a million.


21 Folds

When Carmen from 21 Folds reached out to me with regard to doing a collab, I spent some time looking through her posts and creations, and couldn’t actually believe that these detailed, tiny earrings were handmade with so much love and talent.  She has a process to get here, and every piece is unique.  Owning a pair of 21 Folds earrings is literally like owning a piece of art!

Yesterday we met up as she had created a pair just for me, and I had to hold myself back from giving her a great big squeeze (#socialdistancing), so we settled for elbow taps and squeals.  I immediately came home, threw on the earrings and put together a crazy makeup look to match the magic of my unicorn origami earrings.

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The earrings also reminded me why I am so obsessed with unicorns…

“When you hear hoofbeats look for horses not zebras.”

This is a saying that is common in the medical fraternity, and means that doctors should always look for the most common reason for the specific symptoms the patient is experiencing – so rather than assuming the person has a rare disease, assume it is something “normal”.  It is for this reason that rare patients are often referred to as zebras.  However, I think we should be known as unicorns as we are so rare, magical, and often a little crazy!  We shouldn’t exist, but we do, and we often try spread love and positivity wherever we are.

However, I digress, let’s get back to Carmen and her beyond-your-wildest-dreams talent!


Your name:  Carmen Esterhuizen

Business name:  21Folds

Social media handles:  Facebook, Instagram, and Website

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3 funs facts about you:

  1. I am a complete fantasy, scifi and DnD geek. I helped launch sci-fi and fantasy indie publisher Stubborn Raven and edited my husband’s short story for publishing.
  2. I for sure have ADHD, watermelon and mash potatoes are some of my favourite foods, but not together…never together.
  3. My husband & I are obsessed with travel and I have been to over 30 countries, on many a shoestring-budget but it is always an adventure.

Not so fun facts but facts nonetheless:
I have a Post grad in business from Wits business school, this has allowed me to consult in various fields and allows for a lot of insight in my own practice and businesses. #canrecommend
I’m a practicing audiologist and speech therapist, my practice is at Milpark hospital, I love my work in the medical field.

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Tell me a bit more about your business:  21Folds is still brand spanking new and currently we offer paper origami earrings as our main product! I can’t say it better than our about page so here it is:

A celebration of the intricacies of paper folding and the joy of wearing a piece of art. Each piece is designed with thought and made with passion. Welcome to 21Folds, where I blend art and adornment!

I create origami masterpieces that you can wear. But to me it’s more than jewelry – these origami pieces are the manifestation of what makes creating so amazing and fulfilling: An unavoidable wonderlust, forgetting about perfection and celebrating the wonderful, and the willingness to collaborate with my fellow human.

The variety of collections, which is the paper type and pattern, and the folds, are chosen and created in such a way that you will be able to find the collection style that speaks to you.

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Why origami: A friend actually left her origami book with some paper behind when she immigrated and I decided to pick it up one day in November last year, it frustrated the hell out of me so I just kept forging ahead until one day the technique clicked. Once it clicked I was really hooked on it and just kept escalating to more complex folds! (I always had some sort of folding gene where every school newsletter was folded up into a tiny square to get lost in the bottom of my backpack until the end of the term.)

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Have you always been interested in creative things: Yeah, I’ve always dabbled in something or the other, be it painting large murals on our house walls, editing books, building a desk (a circular-saw is for sure one of the best birthday gifts I have received recently) or just doodling. I was one of those kids that did every single extra-mural activity be it sports, arts or culture. Everything interested me (just not accounting). I think I enjoy learning a new skill and problem solving the most of all and it leads me into various creative spaces. Origami just seems to keep my interest more than most things., possibly a true passion has been born.

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Why did you start this business:  I received origami earrings as a gift over Christmas while traveling in Chille and Argentina, it was at the time where origami really became a pass-time for me, and I was like – ‘I could fold that’ and just started experimenting and creating more and more different folds and designs, pushing to get them smaller and smaller. I initially planned to start in selected store fronts and markets first and get a feel for what works before launching online but then covid hit so I had to pivot and push all my resources into developing a website and solidify my concept, and here we are!

So to sum it up, basically I started more out of pure joy of creating and the need to share that love and passion.

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What makes your earrings so unique:  Well even if I try the chances of me making two pieces exactly the same is very slim. Each paper pattern unfolds in its own way, I have an idea of where to place certain colours on certain folds to try and place a pattern in a specific spot, but in general I just let the folds go where they want. I also strive to collaborate with other artists, and humans are at the core of my inspiration for my art.

Do you do custom orders:  Not yet but soon! At the moment my focus is on solidifying my brand and growing a following, there will however be some limited edition (one of a kind type) ranges coming out!

What has been your favourite pair of earrings that you have created:  Oh gosh it’s like picking your favorite child! The Mori & Mukai collections are possibly my own personal favourites, not just because of the earring designs but because of the amazing women they were inspired by, it feels like the two women are polar opposites – one creative, artsy and a fashion designer and the other a doctor, astronaut and scientist. Both of these resonate with me, I love that I can be a medical professional and an origami artist, a DnD geek and a netball jock, I like that different things can occupy the same space. I think that’s true creativity.

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How can people order from you:  Online from my store www.21folds.com. Soon in some selected stores, and hopefully international shipping will be available in the near future.

Who do you think would enjoy your creations: Anybody that loves origami, art and design and appreciates the intricacies of the technique and how it blends with the art. I try to design something for everyone.

Quote you live by:

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious” Albert Einstein

“Fake it till you make it”

Anything else you want to add:  It takes 21 folds for me to fold the iconic crane, my first origami animal I folded, thus 21folds was born!

I have two adorable spaniels, you can check out their shenanigans on @a_bork_able!

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We are launching a giveaway today on my social media platforms, where you can win a pair of the gorgeous unicorn earrings for yourself.  These are not available for sale on Carmen’s website, and simply can’t hold a value due to the uniqueness and love!

Thank you so much Carmen for all that you are doing, and for sharing your talent with us.  You truly are one in a million, and I can’t wait to see more people wearing these beautiful creations.

Have you ever tried origami?  And what have you created?


 

KwirkNation

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

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

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

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


Your name: Sammy Nyoni

Business name: KwirkNation

Social media handles: Instagram, Facebook and Website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

Sometimes I Feel; Emotional Development Resources

I met Sarah when she bought one of our Rare Bears in an online auction, and I immediately clicked with her when she came through to collect the teddy.  We sat outside and spoke for ages, and have stayed in contact ever since.  Her heart is so pure, and she honestly does all she can to make the world a better, happier, and safer place.  She volunteers her time at a local safe house, and helps many kiddies realise their emotions that they are battling through, as well as actually overcome any negativity that they have been carrying around unable to fully understand.

She very kindly sponsored one of the prizes for my current giveaway, and I really think her products should be in every home, as well as every school.

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“It’s a lot easier to be angry at someone than it is to tell them you’re hurt.”

– Tom Gates


Your name: Sarah Allen

Business name: Sometimes I Feel; Emotional Development Resources

Social media handles:  Facebook, Instagram and Website.

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3 fun facts about you:
1) I’m an artist as well (I especially love doing pet portraits and wildlife drawings/paintings)
2) I’ve been told I have a memory like and elephant and I usually remember the things I’m not supposed too
3) I LOVE chocolate

Tell me a bit more about your business: Sometimes I Feel are children’s emotional development resources to help them learn about and explore different feelings.  I believe that I can’t change the world but I can change the world for a child; and I believe you can too!

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Where did the passion for this come from: I am firstly an OT and Play Therapist working here in Johannesburg as a volunteer in underprivileged communities and babies home. I originally come from the U.K. and when I saw how few resources we have to meet the needs of the children I was working with here, I decided to create my own. Originally for my own practice (as I’d brought some from the U.K. but the kids couldn’t connect to them here) but then it developed as more people saw the books and cards and wanted them, so I decided to start producing more. As I grew in confidence, my passion and creativity also grew to create new and innovative products to meet the needs of parents, therapists, educators and children across this country.

What makes your products different: They are specially geared towards South African children. I have spent hours working with the children and learning about issues/feelings/emotions that effect them and have created resources to meet their needs. They are also multi ethnic which many products currently in the social and emotional sector currently are not. My products are always used and tested by a range of South African kids to ensure that they work in our context.

They are South African produced and made; I work closely with a South African printer here in Johannesburg. The paper we use is Non-Tearable and Wipeable to make them long lasting.

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How do you get inspired for your books: By the children I work with daily, their continually inspire me; I see the need, the passion, how they respond to my products and that’s what encourages me and drives me to create new products for them. I’ve been so inspired by the response of the people I have met who have bought, used, engaged with my products; the fact that businesses would sponsor print runs to get them to the children who need them fills me with joy and pushes me on to create more to meet peoples. Our country is lacking in high quality South African resources inspired by our diverse communities and environment; This also inspires me to also ensure that I am creating culturally relevant and diverse products.

How can people order from you: You can order directly from me, via my Facebook page (I have a shop on there) or email address (sarahallen40@icloud.com)

Who do you think would benefit from owning these: Schools, Therapists, Parents and children

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I see you have recently done a new book – please tell me more: So I’ve actually produced 2 new products that I’m excited about. I’ve created the Sometimes I Feel 2 Book set which carries on from the first one but explores different emotions, is slightly more advanced but follows the same principles as the first one.
And the second is my new Conflict Resolution game for teens and tweens; exploring different scenarios that adolescents face and how they might deal with them, I’m an interactive way.

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What was your very first book/product you wrote/created:
It was the Sometimes I Feel book set; I wrote the book to help younger children learn about feelings and begin to name them. I also wrote it for the educators I was working with at the time in the townships to have a resource to use with their children in the classroom to discuss feelings like sad, happy, angry, scared.
I then added in the flashcards because the book was a great starting point but it didn’t go far enough. Teachers, therapists and parents needed something tangible to help their children identify how they were feeling at any particular point or when discussing certain topics so I made the flashcards to stick in the wall or lay them out on the floor and the child can point to how they are feeling which opens up a discussion.
Often children (and adults) don’t have to words to express how they are feeling but they can point to a picture that reflects their feelings.

If you could recommend just one thing for people to start off with from your range, what would it be: I would start with the Sometimes I Feel Book Set (You get a book and a set of flashcards for R300) it was the first product and my initial go-to. Followed on quickly by the Sometimes I Feel Board Game which the kids LOVE. It puts into action what you have learned in the book and gives you ways to manage your overwhelming feelings.

What do you do in your spare time: What spare time?! 😉 I like to take my dogs for walks, watching movies, hanging out and laughing with friends, explore this beautiful country and play the piano.

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Have you always had such a big heart for others: Yes 🙂 my favourite dress up costume as a child was a nurses outfit so I think my care for people has always been there.
I knew I would probably go into a caring profession.

I love connecting with people, meeting people from all different walks of life. But I especially have always loved young children; their excitement, zest for life and their capacity for love, despite some facing so many challenges.

Quote you live by: ‘Tea helps everything’ 😉 and ‘Just do it’

Anything else you want to add: 🌟 Personalised Books are now available for you children, grandchildren, kids birthdays, cousins…make your child feel extra special with this gift 💝

🌟 They are written and illustrated by me. They rhyme for ease of reading and have proven to be very popular so far!

🌟 Follow this link to view the stories and the options (prices start from R199! 😊

Buy here!

 

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I absolutely adore all of Sarah’s creations, and I am sure that you do too!  These are wonderful resources to help speak through any emotions, events, or issues that your children/family/students may be experiencing.  And I remember always wanting a personalised book when I was growing up.

If you haven’t yet, please enter our competition on Facebook here, and on Instagram here.  Entries close on Friday and you really don’t want to miss out!

Thank you Sarah for allowing me to interview you, and for all you are doing to bring joy to the world.  I am so lucky to know you.


 

Eleven2 Skin Care

Discovering proudly South African skincare is something I am always on the hunt for.  I want to find skincare products that are made with love, passion, and are there to truly make a difference.  I want to find products that are created for South African skins, for our weather, and that aren’t just full of chemicals to get absorbed into our skin.  And to be fair, I also don’t want to be spending an exorbitant amount on skincare products – especially thanks to Covid forcing us to tighten our belts even more.

I have found some truly wonderful brands on social media, and one such brand is Eleven2 Skin Care.  Their products look absolutely divine, and the duo behind this are passionate about luxury skincare that is affordable for all.


Your name:  Sharon

Business name:  Eleven2 Skin Care

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Social media handles:  Instagram, Facebook and Website.

What are 3 fun facts about you:
I’m quite an average human.. I love my family, food and animals 🙂

Tell me a bit more about your business:
We are a mother-daughter duo. We are both so passionate about natural skin care and offering a luxury range at an affordable price.

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Where did the idea for this come from:  Serious health concerns prompted passionate vegan and entrepreneur Sharon Jansen Van Vuuren to take an honest hard look at her diet and what was going into her body, but also what she was applying onto her skin.

Since the skin, the largest organ of our bodies, is porous and absorbs a lot of what we put on it, she knew it was time to eliminate any products which contained harmful toxins and cancer-causing chemicals.

Frustrated at the lack of natural and organic skincare products to choose from, Sharon and her daughter Leigh, took to tirelessly learning and researching the science behind what makes a skincare range function optimally to deliver great results, be totally natural, and use only the highest performing botanicals.

And so Eleven2 skincare range was born. With hand-picked ingredients that are gentle enough so as not to irritate the skin, but with healing properties to ensure your skin feels nourished and cared for.  Free from harmful synthetics and artificial fragrances, this artisan skincare range is affordable yet boasts a luxurious feel, and remains 100% committed to producing products that won’t harm our bodies, the environment or our oceans.

Hence all products (except the 10ml lip scrubs) come in recyclable glass containers eliminating plastic pollution and staying true to its cause.

With clean beauty on the rise, Eleven2 has made it easy for conscious consumers to know their choices are ethically sound and haven’t harmed any animals or our beautiful earth.

When Sharon isn’t conjuring up ideas with Leigh or creating business modules, you can find her walking her bull terrier Kenny and his sister, a rescue called Roxy, along the beautiful West Coast beaches of Cape Town.

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What does your name mean:
Its a really long story… Eleven2 is the nickname my husband gave me before we were married 10 years ago. the shortened version is that it involves the 11th hole on the golf course. That’s all I’m allowed to say 🙂

Why did you choose to use glass containers:
From a health point of view, glass does not contain harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals like BPA and phthalates. So, nothing can leach into your product from a glass jar or bottle. Also when glass is recycled it gets turned into more glass, so it can be recycled over and over and never lose its integrity.

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What makes your skincare products different:
Even though we are a luxury brand, our range is affordable – we want everyone to be able to benefit from natural and vegan products

What skin types would benefit from your products:
All skin types. We have a few products suited for mature or dry skin and a few products in our range that are suited for oily skins. We are working on an active acne range too.

What is your personal favourite product:
I personally love the Rosehip concentrate, it contains beautiful organic oils

If you could recommend just 3 products for people to start off with, what would they be:
Definitely our Face Wash, Rose Mask and the Moisturizer to start

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How can people order from you:
Our website was recently launched, which makes it very easy to shop online.But we are also happy to take orders via DM on Instagram or WhatsApp (073 048 5757)

Quote you live by: Treat others the way you want to be treated

Anything else you want to add: My daughter (and business partner) has been instrumental in launching this range – really, all credit goes to her!

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Don’t these sound absolutely gorgeous?  I know that I definitely want to give them a go, and am waiting for pay day to place my order.  The masks are what caught my eye initially, but as their range has grown and expanded so had my interest!

Thank you so much Sharon for allowing me to chat to you, and for making such a lovely skincare line available for all.  I wish you only good things.


 

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