You guys! I have been so flipping excited about doing this blog post, as these are the most gorgeous unique dolls that are created by Igna. Every time I see another one of her posts showing her latest designs brought to life. The thing I love best about these is that they are all so special & all have their own personality. So before I continue blubbing on, I will let Mox & Louise speak for herself…
Name: Igna (Louise) Schwartz – Louise is my middle name, and was my grandmother’s name. She was the creative vein in the family tree. Using her name for this venture is like a little nod of acknowledgement. The Mox part is basically a “nickname” for mosquitopress, which is also my email. “Mosquitopress” is a very interesting story, not really relevant here, but if you are interested, let me know!
How can people order from you: South Africans (locals!) are welcome to contact me directly via Instagram or email.
What makes your goodies different to others: I’m currently working on a authentication site (using QR codes) where you will be able to register your doll as an original and unique Mox & Louise creation, a one of a kind art doll. Future plans are to set up my own online shop, but until then my dolls are only available directly from me or from Etsy. Not keen on commissions as I like to follow my own muse, but let’s discuss.
Tell me more about what you do: I’m mostly self-taught as far as sewing goes, and that started when I was six. I can remember sewing on my mother’s sewing machine on the dining room table and not being able to reach the pedal unless I did it standing up! The first things I sewed were dolls’ clothes of course and later on clothes for myself. Later in life as an art student it was a very helpful skill as I could dress myself in all kinds of crazy as well as make soft sculptures.
So, after many years in advertising I quit to raise my boys. My creativity always needed an outlet though so at first I painted. Fun, happy whimsical paintings. Then came the bohemian handbag phase. About 1000 hand-stitched and beaded OTT boho handbags later I was totally over it. The bag business grew too big and started losing it’s shine for me. Admin, CMT issues, crazy production schedules – it was really not appealing any more. But it was huge fun while it lasted!
Next came Ebony & Ivory, a partnership with an old friend. We’ve been in business now for almost 16 years and jointly own a ribbon, craft and vintage shop in Cape Town. (check out ebonyandivoryribbons.co.za or Instagram or on Facebook if you want). That’s still going strong, but I started feeling the need for a different creative outlet. Something where I didn’t need to consider bulk production, or costings, or any of that grown up retail stuff. I just wanted to quietly potter and create again in my studio, at my own pace, just sommer doing things I love with no pressure. Initially I played around with textile jewellery and all kinds of experimental nicknacks. Then one day, for no apparent reason, I decided to made a doll. In all the years I sewed and made stuff, I never once made a doll! So this calling was totally out the blue. I tried making a few dolls, all of them technically failures. As I was driving along one day, a picture of a doll flashed through my head. I couldn’t wait to get home to try it, and voilá! The first little Mox & Louise art doll saw the light! She was really weird and quirky, but a few dolls later I got the hang of it. I think what makes my dolls different to others are their whimsy and physical attributes. It’s a combination of fabric and wire and paint and buttons and dressing up and theatre. They are inhabitants of my imagination, and each one are created spontaneously without pattern or plan.
Favourite products: not sure if we are talking dolls here. If so, that’s a hard one as I am part of a very creative, imaginative and dynamic doll community on Instagram. There are some truly wonderful doll artists out there! If it’s a general question…my new thing is natural, organic locally made cosmetics. Honeybush goodies. Lotions and potions. Makers tapping into our amazing array of local plants and traditions to create very good products.
The Quote I live by: Don’t postpone any fun you could be having today till tomorrow.
This was such a fun “chat” to have, & I am so grateful that Igna took time out of her extremely busy schedule to answer my questions & let me know a little more about her very special business. Make sure you follow her on her social media platforms & order one of your very own – I am still trying to decide which ones are my favourite as I just adore them all!
With 2 ladies at my work expecting their own little miracles, babies are definitely on the brain! I have always much preferred supporting a small business & getting something special for baby showers, although can’t resist popping into the chain stores for a few cute little outfits!
While exploring the world of social media, I came across this great little business that makes the most gorgeous custom baby mobiles & toys. Her images immediately drew me in & I knew that I had to order some of these goodies for my friends.
Tell me a bit more about what you do: I create mostly hand sewn baby décor items. I have recently dusted of my sewing machine as well to combine the two to create items.
When did you start & what made you want to start this business: I started in January this year. I made mobiles before as gifts for my friends who encouraged me to start this. It has been so much fun and I have surpassed my expectations of what I thought would come from it.
What did you do before this: It is a part-time hobby business. My day job is as a scientist in the food industry.
Do you do custom pieces: YES!! I am not a fan of repeating the same item and love a new challenge! So custom orders are most welcome and encouraged.
What are some of your most popular pieces: Woodlands and llama themed orders as well as baby gyms and dangles.
Can people still order from you for Christmas: Currently I am a bit busy so will not be taking new orders but orders can be placed for shipping in January.
How do people place an order with you: They can email me or send a message via IG or Facebook.
Why do you encourage people to support local: Local small businesses form out of a passion for their trade. To support that makes for a happy a passionate individual (which is good for society) and creates the opportunity for the business to grow and thus lead to potential job creation.
Quote you live by:If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. – Napoleon Hill
Don’t you think that her creations are absolutely gorgeous? They will fit in with any theme & truly be the finishing touch in any baby room (or even a small child’s room really). I will show you pics of what I have ordered when they arrive & my friend who is receiving them – just have to keep it under wraps until then… But boy oh boy am I super excited to see how these come out!
Please remember to support local. I just love Kim & her majestic designs! There are so many different creations & themes that I honestly can’t tell you which is my favourite – although of course the unicorn is right up there for me.
When looking for clothing for your precious miracles, don’t you love finding handmade items that are unique & beautiful? Don’t you love knowing that these have been designed by a fellow parent & that they come from a place of passion for only the very best for your mini-me?
I know that when I have a child this is what I will look for, & that when I am getting something special for a friend’s little one, this is what I love to find! I was so thrilled to discover Ella & Jo, & as I found out more about why she started this business, & why she loves what she does, I knew that she deserves all our love & support.
More about what you do: I am 24 years old turning 25 in January.
I am almost 7 months pregnant with a little girl due on the 3rd January. Still working hard as ever running Ella & Jo and also working a half day job in Real Estates
(For Ella & Jo I do everything myself from pattern making, garment making, fabric buying, thread cutting, invoicing, liaising with clients, packaging and arranging daily deliveries).
I have recently gotten sales marketing agents on board and also 1 lady to assist me with sewing once or twice a week and 1 lady to assist with the crocheting of our new rugs to be launched very soon).
Why did you decide to start a children’s clothing brand: I became interested in sewing at the age 6 years old as my mom used to make clothing for my brothers and I. My mom and I always used to comment on baby clothing when we were at the shops and suggest better idea’s. (She is a very huge inspiration to me).
At the Age of 6 I was begging to sew by myself but my mom always bought me plastic sewing machine toy and tools instead.
At the age of 9 is when I actually started sewing my own dolls clothes and odd projects on my own with her machine and also by hand.
What makes your goodies different to others: All the Ella & Jo products are uniquely designed by me and made by me too..
You will not find our garments anywhere else.
What is also new is our hand made printing that we have recently started.
Our items are all hand made and a lot of time and effort is put into each garment.
Who taught you to sew: My mom – as I got older I got better than her though and now she asks me to take in and adjust her items when needed. 🙂
How can people order from you: Our website is to be launched in the next month or two. In the meantime if people are wanting to place an order they can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or comment or inbox our Facebook page or Instagram feed.
We are stocked in a few boutiques and stores and are branching out to Vredendal JHB slowly and Ballito Durban next week.
What is your favourite product: I don’t really have one favourite, I have a few…
New Summer frilly bloomer and my hand made print inspired for my little daughter for her summer closet.
Our boys car “daddys little classic vest” Which was hand drawn by my brother especially for the Ella & Jo range. (The first one to wear the item was his 3 year old son – Who mom and I now help take care of).
Quote you live by: Work Hard, Dream Big, Stay Humble.
(My brother that has just passed away less than a year ago – This is the message he left for me on our kitchen chalk board so it is now what I follow and I wont give up pursuing my dreams)
Anything else you want to add: Starting up a business is extremely hard especially when doing it all by yourself. (started up with no funds or investors).
It can be completely challenging/ frustrating and lots of late nights and hard hard work! Luckily I have a loving and very supportive partner that understands the late night hours I put in and having to sacrifice most weekends by working.
Main key is to never let anyone run you down, never give up and keep pushing for your dream because you can make it happen!
Hard work, Dedication, Motivation and Persistence.
Of course the unicorn cushions are my absolute favourite, but I know that if I had a child of my own to love & spoil then I wouldn’t be able to choose what I love the most. I love how these are proper little kids clothing & decor, & they truly make me so happy just to look at!
Wishing you all the very best Kelsea, & we can’t wait to see pics of your little girl when she arrives 🙂
Scrolling through Facebook one day I cam across a page called Lulupie. They do paperless patterns which means that they print the actual pattern on the fabric so all you have to do is cut out the design & sew it together. Plus they can even make your own fabric with a design of your choice, so pretty much you can get exactly what you want, & it can be a one-of-a-kind clothing.
I contacted the page & gave them an idea that I have for Rare Diseases SA, & was absolutely blown away by her love as well as her excitement for this project. I think you can tell a lot by how a person comes across in their messages, & by their wanting to help a charity, so although I have never actually met Lurinda I feel like I have made a friend for life. We have been chatting almost on a daily basis & I knew that she was someone that I wanted to find out more about & feature on my blog.
Your names: Paul Prinsloo (Graphic Designer and artist); Lurinda Prinsloo (Occupational Therapist by day, admin and personal liaison for Lulupie at night)
Name of your business: Lulupie
How did you come up with the name: We tried to find an interesting combination of our names and the name of our daughter, Lucia. So, Lu(rinda)Lu(cia)P(aul)ie was born!
What do you do? We specialise in hand drawn custom designs for print on a number of different bases. We are mainly focused on fabric printing at the moment, but we are looking at expanding to other mediums in the near future! Watch this space…
How did you come up with this concept? I (Lurinda) taught myself to sew while pregnant with our daughter, and I came across the world of custom printed fabric. I was amazed! Paul then came up with the brilliant idea of combining our individual loves of sewing and design into a business venture – and here we are!
What did you do before this? Paul was (and still is) a work-at-home dad! He mostly did freelance design work before we started with Lulupie. Lurinda works full time as an Occupational Therapist at the Cerebral Palsy Association (Eastern Cape).
How can people order from you, & what are your prices (roughly)? People can contact us via our Facebook page, or email us at email@example.com. Our design fees range from R120 to R400, depending on the design and if you want it for exclusive use or not. Printing costs then depend on what you want your design printed on, and is added onto the design fee.
Anything else that you would like to add? We recently launched a new product that we are very excited about – Paperless Patterns! We teamed up with a digital pattern designer from SA, and we are working with her to print her patterns directly onto fabric, in the design and size that the client wants. So you just cut and sew! We currently have the Ladies Leggings pattern available in this format.
This concept literally makes me so happy, & I will post an update once I get my custom-designed tights! Thank you Lulupie for all your love & creativity. You are absolutely amazing.
“That’s the thing about true love, dearie. It can slip through your fingers. It’s the most powerful magic in the world, the only magic powerful enough to break any curse. It must be protected at all costs.”
Growing up I LOVED fairytales! In fact, I still love them… I think the idea of “happily ever after” is something that we can never grow out of.
Do you remember the story of Rumpelstiltskin? He could spin straw into gold, & when I reminded myself of this, I knew that Melissa could not have chosen a more apt name for her business!
Rumpelstiltskin is her baby, & she creates handmade sewn toys (without a pattern I may add!) for so many people. And one thing that really blew me away is that even though this is her own small home-business, she still finds it in her heart to give away her toys to others that are less fortunate simply to brighten their day.
Earlier this year I was hospitalised for PCP Pneumonia & my lungs were taking huge strain. They were only functioning at 30% & the doctors weren’t sure if I would pull through. They quickly put me on to all sorts of treatment (I am still on antibiotics – 6 months later) & I was allowed to go home after 2 weeks. And this is what I came home to! A set of happy, healthy lungs! This cushion reminds me every day about how far I have come & that I need to take care of & listen to my body… After I had received this I knew I had to get to know Melissa more, & we have developed a special friendship – despite never having met in person.
Your name: Melissa Marneweck
Some interesting/fun facts about you: I love baking and all things art. I’ve been a gym instructor; an ambulance assistant; arts facilitator; an author and lots more. I love learning new things and trying them out.
Your business name: Rumplestiltskin
When did you start: 2015 on Facebook. But I have been making toys since around 1995.
What did you do before this: Arts facilitator for water affairs.
How/why did you start: I’ve always loved sketching.designing and all forms of crafts and art.
What do you love most about having your own business: Being home with my son!
What have been some of your biggest battles with running your own business: Long hours & having to do it all.
What is your main objective for your businesses: To help others and become a household name.
She sent me a unicorn cushion that she had made for me for my birthday, just to make me smile! And believe me it did. I love the magic, rainbows & positivity that everything around unicorns possesses.
Please contact this amazing lady if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind toy/creation. They each have their own personalities & are absolutely beautiful. I feel truly honoured to have some of her toys in my home.