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Tag: support local (Page 1 of 16)

De Crocky

If you follow me on any of my social media platforms, you will know that I really battle with tummy issues and trying to improve my gut health. There is a lot of research that has been done into the relationship between gut health and autoimmune conditions, and I can definitely feel a flare coming on when I eat badly or eat foods that don’t agree with me.

Kombucha has been something that I have always enjoyed, and I am thrilled that there are now more craft kombuchas available that have different flavours, and it is a natural way to help your digestion, rid your body of toxins, and boost your energy.

Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. Not only does it have the same health benefits as tea — it’s also rich in beneficial probiotics. Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases.

healthline

When I heard about De Crocky Kombucha I was immediately interested (keep reading to find out more about all the good they are doing), and when I heard that they are dog people too and this business was actually named after their Cocker Spaniel, I was even more determined to try some for myself and tell all of you about them! So get ready – this is a divine product that I give 5 stars to.


Get to know De Crocky

Your name: Jason De Freitas

Business Name: De Crocky (Pty) Ltd

Social Media Handles: Instagram, Facebook and Website

3 fun facts about yourself:
1) I love Cocker Spaniels
2) I enjoy fitness & health
3) I am a huge fan of Britney Spears (lol)

Please can you tell me about your beautiful dog that this was named after: Daphne was our beautiful Cocker Spaniel who sadly passed away nearly 3 years ago. My husband Ruaan & I got her shortly after we got married. It was a very magical time and she instantly bonded with our little family. Daphne was such a energy and we called her crocodile (the amount of times we came home to a destroyed house…). After she passed, Ruaan & I began developing our business idea that eventually became De Crocky. De Crocky is in honour of Daphne and keeps her spirit alive.

Why Kombucha: Kombucha can be such a versatile beverage. It can be tangy, sweet, sour or salty. It can be all of the above. Besides Taste, Kombucha has great health benefits from its consumption.

High in Glucuronic acid & living probiotics, Kombucha can boost your Immune system, lower your blood pressure & boost Cardiovascular Health.

When I go to a restaurant, there is not much selection for non-alcoholics. Kombucha is a great alternative for someone who doesn’t want a sugary fizzy drink or feels for something more adventurous than water.

What makes your product so unique: Our product is unique because of the way we make it. We want to ensure that every batch of kombucha that we produce is perfect or as close to as perfect as can be. On the pursuit of perfection, we know we will never achieve this, but with every batch we get closer and closer.

De Crocky only ferments in pharmaceutical grade 316 stainless steel. This allows for a more balanced kombucha. We are fully organic, juice our produce in house and have no added nasties. We have a proprietary mix of natural elements that we add to every batch of our kombucha which really harmonizes the flavours and tones of the beverage.

What are some of the benefits of kombucha: Kombucha can detoxify your liver, lowers your blood sugar & aids your gut health. Gut health is immensely important as a healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, improved moods, healthy sleep & effective digestion.

What are your different flavours:

  • African Red (Rooibos, Ginger & Lemon)
  • Blood-Orange Bliss (Orange, Grapefruit & Kalahari Salts)
  • Cheeky Pineapple (Natal Pineapple)
  • Pink-Lady Mint ( Pink Lady Apple with Crushed Mint)
  • Winter Berry ( Winter Berries & Cape Grape)
  • Yellow-Vibes (Turmeric, Ginger & Lemon)

Please tell me more about De Crocky GREEN: De Crocky Green is our initiative to be more sustainable. With this initiative, we buy back our 500ml bottles for R3 per bottle. Simply visit www.decrocky.com and place a order. On checkout, in the promo field, simply type return12 and it will automatically deduct R36 from your total.

When we deliver to your residence, we simply trade the empty bottles with your new order. This allows our customers to save money on their kombucha supply as well as being more green.

Where can people purchase your products from: We have a few retailers in the Johannesburg are namely The Landing (Dunvegan), Gourmet Grocer (Birdhaven) & Oaklands Farm Supply (Athol).

We mostly focus on direct to customer sales. Orders can be placed on www.decrocky.com. We aim for 24 hour delivery as we know the booch cravings are real.

Which is your personal favourite flavour and why: Cheeky Pineapple. Pineapple is my favourite fruit and I believe it makes a unbelievable kombucha.

Why do you think natural health is so important: A few years ago, I was on high doses of antibiotics and my intestinal flora was so diminished. I remember how weird my body felt and it affected my moods. It is only with a good diet and exercise that I started feeling human again. We must remember that how we feed our bodies plays a essential role in our health. Instead of feeding our bodies pills and hyper sterilized foods, we need to feed it more organic vegetables and fruits, fermented foods, less meat, water, exercise & sunlight.

Quote you live by:

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

mae west

Jason hand-delivered my kombucha yesterday – with all COVID protocols and sanitisation in place – in brown paper bags, and recommends that these are best enjoyed chilled. There was even a hand-written note included in my parcel and some information reminding me of their great recycling/re-using idea.

I completely agree with what Jason says about the choice of drinks when we go out – if you are wanting something non-alcoholic, you can either get water or something full of sugar. Wouldn’t it be amazing if De Crocky kombucha was more readily available at restaurants and shops so we could make healthier choices?


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.


The Cavern

At the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.

travel quote

Have you ever been on a holiday and immediately wished that you could return? Have you visited a resort where you were spoilt for choice, surrounded by beauty, and immediately felt your stress melt away as your drive through their gates?

Well, I am lucky enough to have experienced this – and The Cavern is my dream resort and holiday location.

I attended primary school in Hilton, Kwa Zulu Natal and my teacher at the time was Megan Bedingham (nee Carte) – whose family owns and runs The Cavern. As a special treat, our grade was invited to stay at this stunning resort. I remember the excitement at the idea of being able to go away on a holiday, and getting to experience a resort of this caliber. As a family we didn’t go away for holidays, so this was my first ever “holiday” and boy did it set the tone for what I expected going forward!

I remember being blown away at the beauty of the surroundings, the sense of peace that engulfed me, and the walks that left my legs aching for the next few days. Megan was one of my favourite teachers (yes, I was that nerd suck-up child – and I probably still am), and we reconnected over Facebook a while ago. I was so excited to learn that she and her family, along with her sister, are currently running The Cavern, and I knew that I simply HAD to feature them on my blog. Their reviews on local Facebook groups, and from friends who have visited recently have reminded me how spoilt we were to experience it for ourselves and I can’t wait to return with my husband!

Resorts and hotels have taken a terribly hard hit due to lockdown and travel restrictions, but The Cavern was determined to survive, take care of all their staff, and continue to support their outreach program. I think this shows their heart, and the fact that they have never given up on this dream.


Your name: Megan Bedingham

Megan, and her family

Name of your resort: The Cavern Drakensberg Resort

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website.

If you could describe The Cavern in just 3 words, what would they be:
Family, outdoors, home.

Can you tell me a little bit of a history about The Cavern:
The Cavern is a resort set in the Northern Drakensberg mountains. It’s a family business and we celebrate 80 years of many happy returns in 2021. Our story began when our grandfather, Bill, proposed to Ruth in a letter. He wrote; “Ruth, my darling, I plea as never before: Put your trust in me, marry me and be my mate in building up a home and a farm second-to-none in South Africa.” They moved to The Cavern farm in 1941 and so began the building of a dream.

4 children joined the farm animals but sadly after 13 short years Bill got cancer and died. But, Ruth was resilient and steadfast and kept going and fulfilling their dream.

In the 1970s Peter and Anthony, Ruth’s youngest sons, joined the family business. They grew it from a small guest farm to a thriving resort and by the 1980’s the Cavern was in full-swing! Holidays were about making new friends, hiking every mountain and ending each day with an evening activity. It was good fun and a great space to grow up.

Many years on, and we, the third generation, are now at the helm.

The Carte family – and additions!

Why is this such a special place to you:
It is not only a valley of exquisite beauty but a special place where people come to be restored. The mountains have that special kind of magic and they really do rejuvenate weary souls. We adopted Bill’s vision and we still work to fulfil his dream; “Our work is to create beauty, to make the land more fertile, to make our living, to leave the world better than when we came into it“.

Can you tell me more about the Drakensberg Community Outreach:
Our family has always been involved in outreach work but we consolidated our efforts in 2006 and began working through two key initiatives: Royal Drakensberg Primary School and the Khanyisela Project, one independent foundation phase school and 18 pre-schools which are situated in the greater amaZizi village. Our aim is to give children a strong foundation for future learning. More recently we began BabyBoost which focuses on the first 1000 days and so we are developing a continuum for growth, from birth to 10 years. Our mission is for children to learn2read so that they can read2learn.

What is your favourite part of The Cavern:
The hills. They are challenging and hard and yet they provide a space for reflection. The legs ache, the lungs burn but once the climb has been mastered there is a real sense of achievement and with this comes a deep sense of happiness and joy.

What is your differentiating factor to other resorts:
Perhaps that we are family run. We have a wonderful team of staff who work hard to provide wonderful holidays in the great outdoors and we love that people return time and time again.

What is on offer to your visitors:
There is hiking and horse riding, trout fishing, MTB trails, trail running, and we have the most gorgeous Forest Retreat Spa. There are tennis courts, lawn bowls, playgrounds for children and a refreshing pool with slippery slides for the kids. Indoor games when the weather isn’t great but also decks and lounges to just read or relax.
Essentially The Cavern is a special tucked-away romantic getaway for couples, a gentle place to find quiet and solitude, as well as a safe and child-friendly resort with a range of activities for families.

How can people book with you:
Email us: info@cavern.co.za
OR Call: 083 701 5724 OR 036 438 6270

What is included in your bookings:
We offer a fully inclusive package with our daily rates including all meals, teas and guided morning hikes into our exceptional wilderness.

Why do you think people continue to return to The Cavern once they have visited:
The Cavern really is a place where families bond, friendships are formed and memories are made. Many families love to return to something that is familiar and they love to return to rekindle happy memories.

Quote you live by:

“Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good put together that can overwhelm the world”

Desmond Tutu

Anything else you want to add:
The mountains provide such a wonderful space for families. During this pandemic families have needed a place to go because nature nurtures – there is peacefulness in the forests, comfort in the hills and beauty in the surrounds. As 2021 begins, we carefully tread into the next season…


If I could be anywhere right now, I would choose to be at The Cavern.

I would love to be surrounded by the beautiful Drakensberg mountains, taking long walks with Warren and breathing in fresh air. I would love to experience their Forest Retreat Spa, fall down onto a beautiful bed after a long day outside, and belly laugh until my cheeks hurt. I want quality time with my husband without the stress that seems to have been following us all around over the past 12 months – and beyond.

The mountains seem to be singing my name. And I can’t wait to answer her call.


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.


Belani Beauty

Doing makeup is my happy place. It provides me with a chance to show my creativity, escape the stresses of life in 2020, and make myself feel a little more attractive – these #COVIDcurves have destroyed my self-confidence, but getting into my makeup takes me away to a different place.

I discovered these graphic liners through social media, and they have really changed the game when it comes to taking your makeup to the next level, as well as experimenting with new looks.

I reached out to this local business, and asked if I could please feature them on my blog – and their response was so positive and appreciative, that I knew this had to be my very next post!


Your Names: Dineo & Emily Mabunda

Business name: Belani Beauty

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram and Website

Photo by: Ismaeel Bagus

3 fun facts about you: We are responsible for all the content on our page (with the exception of a few photos from a photographer), We designed all of labelling and brand name ourselves, We are sisters.

Tell me a little bit more about your business: We started Belani Beauty because we just felt a little bit stuck in life. We are both commerce students who just wanted to have a creative outlet that was fun and fulfilling. We both stared doing makeup in our early teens and we may not be professionals but we are definitely enthusiasts who like to experiment and switch it up. We want Belani Beauty to represent just that, a brand that will take you out of your makeup comfort zone. We are definitely still a work in progress. We have so many ideas and we are trying to figure out what is next for us. We excited for what the future may hold and we are extremely grateful for all the support we have received in such a short span of time . It’s expected for people to be skeptical of a new business especially in this South African climate but the leap of faith our customers took from the beginning is why we are still up running and we can’t thank them enough for that.

Photo By: Lavanya Wiles

What makes your liners unique: Our liners are unique because we took the time to sample a wide range of manufacturers and vendors so we could ensure the best quality for our customers. They are extremely pigmented, smudge and transfer proof, quick drying, cruelty free and vegan. We currently have a range of 20 colours and we plan on expanding it if our customers are still interested.

How can people place an order with you: People can order our liners on our website or use the shop function on our Instagram page.

Photo by: Ismaeel Bagus

Who do you think would love your liners: I know anyone who has an interest in make up would love our liners, whether you are just an enthusiast or a professional make up artist.

“It’s just a fun and easy way to add something different and eye-catching to your make up looks.”

belani beauty

Where did the idea to start this business come from: We used to save so many pictures of make up looks with graphic liner that would always pop up on our Instagram explore page. We really wanted try these colourful liners and we couldn’t find any beauty business that was selling them in South Africa so we decided why not bring them to SA. We’ve always been told that the key to a successful business is to identify a gap in the market and fill it well once you do. That’s what made us want to follow through with our business because we wanted to put this advice to the test.

Do you need a steady hand to apply these liners: Yes you do need a steady hand to apply the liners with the use of our ‘Detailed brush’ and ‘Ultra Thin Detailed Brush’, which can be found our website, your application will be easy and you’ll get the perfect sharp lines in no time.

Quote you live by: “Just start”

Anything else you want to add: We have so many ideas and concepts for the business and we are currently thinking of a rebrand, we just hope everything goes as planned we don’t know what the future holds for our business holds but again we are so thankful to everybody who has supported and shopped and re-posted on their stories and tagged us in their pictures it’s just so amazing to go on our Instagram page and see all the love from our customers and our followers and we can’t wait for 2021.

Photo by: Ismaeel Bagus
Photo by: Ismaeel Bagus

Aren’t these just so divine? And don’t you want to get your hands on them?

I have been seeing so many stunning graphic eye looks on Pinterest and Instagram, and can’t wait to try these myself with some of Belani Beauty’s graphic liners. My only problem is that there are so many colours that I would like to purchase.

A special thank you to these gorgeous ladies for allowing me to interview them, and for helping to change the game in South African makeup!


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.


Timeless Inc

Being involved in the Rare Disease community, I love hearing stories of hope, of passion, and of overcoming. They inspire me to live a better life, and to never take things for granted.

Recently I attended one of the hikes organised by Fit Like Mummy (such fun! You really need to join one) and at our meal afterwards she brought out some sweet chilli jam. Now, I love trying new things and this was no exception. I reached out for a Fry’s mini chipolota and dunked it into the sauce in front of me. Oh. My. Goodness. I don’t think I have ever tasted anything quite so delicious – my tastebuds were exploding, and I knew that I had to keep trying it!

Natasha told me about how it was made by a mother and her 2 daughters – in fact the daughters both have a condition known as SMA aka Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a group of inherited disorders characterized by a loss of certain nerve cells in the spinal cord called motor neurons or anterior horn cells. Motor neurons receive the nerve impulses transmitted from the brain to the spinal cord (brainstem) and, in turn, transmit the impulses to the muscle via the peripheral nerves. The loss of motor neurons leads to progressive muscle weakness and muscle wasting (atrophy) in muscles closest to the trunk of the body (proximal muscles) such as the shoulders, hips and back. These muscles are necessary for crawling, walking, sitting up and head control. The more severe types of SMA can affect muscles involved in feeding, swallowing and breathing. SMA is divided into subtypes based on age of onset and maximum function achieved. SMA types 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 are inherited as autosomal recessive genetic disorders and are associated with abnormalities (mutations) in the SMN1 and SMA2 genes which are located on chromosome 5.

National organisation for rare disorders

I knew this business was one that I wanted to share on my blog, and also support personally. And I am thrilled to introduce them to you below!


Your name: Kayrashni(Pixie) and Jayrashni(Molly) Sewnarain

Business name: Pimoas trading as Timeless Inc

Social media handles: Facebook and Instagram

3 fun facts about you: Something we can never give up is finding humor in literally everything. If we could pick a time period we could live in, we would pick the 1920’s Prohibition America, it would be exciting or maybe we’ve just watch The Great Gatsby too much 🙂 and lastly we actually watch a lot of food shows and then conjure up our own recipes from there.

Tell me a little more about your business: Our business is an online store selling a range of different products, however we specialize in making our own Hotshotz sauce inspired by a traditional indian taste and a sweet chilli jam. We are experimenting with chilli chocolate and hope to launch that soon.

Tell me about the products you have available: Our two main products at the moment is the Hotshotz sauce and the Hotshotz sweet chilli jam. The sauce can be used as a marinade as well as a dip with samoosas, chilli bites and almost anything. The sweet chilli jam can be used as is or as a glaze on roast chicken, it pairs well with brie cheese and phyllo pastry and on crackers. We even made a chocolate cake with it and it is absolutely divine!

What inspired you to start this business: Inspiration came from our outlook in life and with the encouragement of friends and family to give us independence. Covid 19 has unfortunately hit a lot of industries and we feel we need to make income to support ourselves as our sister is currently not working to be able to support us.

What make your products so unique: Our products are unique because it is so versatile and can be used in almost anything. Also this is our own recipes. Each recipe has been tried and tested and perfected to how we want it.

Tell me a little more about the conditions you have: Our mom is legally blind and does not work. Our sister is in the tourism industry but unfortunately there is still no work. We have a condition called Spinal Muscular Dystrophy. We are at the advanced stages of the disease which is called atrophy. It is the degeneration of muscles over time. We have surpassed all the time lines given to us.

How can people place an order with you: At the moment, orders are placed telephonically (0827864184) or through Facebook and Instagram.

What product is your absolute favourite: Pixie: Absolute favourite is the sauce as it acts as a marinade for meats and is stunning on roast leg of lamb. Molly: Sweet chilli jam as I love the sweetness and the heat combined.

Quote you live by:

“The human spirit is one of ability, perseverance, and courage that no disability can steal away.”

disability awareness

Anything else you want to add: We would like to add that for years we were led to believe that we were not capable of achieving much, yet we knew there is so much we could do. It was only with a little support and encouragement that we found the drive to follow our dreams and make it a reality. This was possible only by surrounding ourselves with positivity and people that uplift us.


I absolutely love these products, and learning more about their journey has made me love them even more. What a brilliant way to turn COVID-19 on it’s head, and also ensure that they are still able to support themselves no matter the circumstances they find themselves in. These sauces and jams are the perfect accompaniment to nearly any meal – even for people like me that can’t usually handle any heat.

Enjoy! Your tastebuds (and family) will thank you x


Nombz Personalized Hats

I first “met” Nombuso during lockdown when she interviewed me for a segment on SABC about living with a rare condition during the pandemic. We have kept in contact, and she often sends me the most beautiful messages to keep me motivated and smiling.

Recently she contacted me to tell me about her most recent venture, where she is personalising Summer straw hats. I don’t know about you, but I have always seen these on Pinterest and Instagram, and have been wanting one of my own for the longest time, but had no idea where to order them from. I immediately jumped up and down, and told her I DEFINITELY wanted one of the blush pink ones. And now, I can’t wait for you to see more about her gorgeous business…


Your name: My name is Nombuso Mahlangu

Business name: Nombz Personalized Hats

Social media handles: Instagram and Twitter but I run my business mostly from WhatsApp: 0726847053 for all orders and enquiries 🌻

3 fun facts about you:
• I’m an avid reader but I sometimes buy more books than I read.
• I’m a good singer and think one day before I die, I’ll be a Superstar.
• I love pets, all pets and I sometimes borrow my neighbors cat without him knowing because Mia (the cat) and I have a special bond.

Tell me a little more about your business:
I started collecting summer hats when I would frequent Mozambique for my summer vacations, which I would take every year in November without fail. I then started seeing other travelers with their own personalized hats even if it wasn’t their names but if it was a group of girls they would all have a theme and embroid their hats accordingly.

One thing bothered me though I never saw those hats personalized in African names or South African names such, Lebo, Asanda, Rorie and I wanted to be the person who brings that joy to everyone by rendering such services.

When I discovered that I can do that, then the most exciting part of learning how to select fonts and digitize was amazing as I work with a guy named Clet, he knows how finicky I am about fonts for the names and he made that process a breeze.

The day I started I think I had two orders from a lady who works at Old Mutual and soon after I used her pictures everyone suddenly wanted.

I am super excited with where my business is going and can’t wait to work with more corporates.

What makes your hats different to others available: hahahahaha I love this question, literally no one can steal your hat because it has your name on it and straw hats are a definite lifesaver for the sun both for your face and shoulders. Plus I even have the super sizes.

How can people order from you: Yay 💃🏽my favorite part, people can reach me directly on WhatsApp 0726847053

Do you do custom orders: Yes, yes and yes that’s the whole point of the company. Doing what you want and how you want it.

What is the price range of these: R250 for the hat with anything you want embroidered + R99 courier fee – Only if you not around Joburg or Pretoria. I have my super size for R350.

Do you deliver throughout South Africa: yes I do 😁

What are your different colour options:
• Cream white
• Black
• Blush pink
• Yellow
• Red
• Beige
• Tan

Quote you live by: Always show up!


I am SO excited to receive my hat – I have asked Nombuso to surprise me with the font and size of the hat. I promise I will be splashing this all over my social media pages, and with the extreme heat we are experiencing currently it is the perfect time to get your order in before she becomes too busy.

Why not get one as a gift for a friend that is getting married? I can just picture how cute this would be on a honeymoon, or even on a girls’ trip.

Nombuso, my dear friend, I am so grateful to have met you and I really wish you all the best with this very exciting venture. Sending you all the love and positive vibes that you deserve x


Bitchin’ Tees

I know, it has been a while since my last blog. The last few weeks have been a blur, with many days rolling into one another, and 12 hour workdays becoming the norm. I feel like I am on a hamster wheel, and could be thrown off at any moment. BUT, I love the work that I do and am so grateful that I do still have a job after lockdown.

My feature today is on a small business that has been on my radar for some time, and I am so excited to be able to feature Bitchin’ Tees on my blog today, as I am sure that you will love Corne and her business as much as I do – plus she makes unicorn gin, which obviously peaked my curiosity even more!

I can’t wait for you to read more about her, get to know this business better, and I am sure that you will want many of her creations for yourself (and your friends).


Your name: Corne Nell

Business name: Bitchin’ Tees

Social media handles: Website, Instagram and Facebook

3 fun facts about you:
I am a jeans and tshirts kinda girl.
Although I am a very proud South African, I am very much a wannabe American – I want to celebrate all of their holidays… I am sure you would have noticed I am an avid follower of Hastag holidays. Any excuse to celebrate.
Apart from our Gin, champagne is my fav drink.

Tell me a little more about what you do:
I am a Tax Accountant by day – I work for an international IT firm’ headoffice where I look after the tax affairs of the South African entities. But by night, my the tshirt ninja makes her appearance. 😊
I studied at RAU / UJ, and I have a masters degree in South African and International Taxation. That kept the left brain Corne happy until I had kids. I started needing a creative outlet….and just after my last baby, I had the slogan tee brainwave. I have always loved slogan tees and my pinterest boards were and still is full of them. My husband has an entrepreneurial streak and he always said I should start up a little business of my own, and boom, the rest is history.

What makes your tees so special:
My tees are made by a mom, for moms! I felt the need to make lovely mommy tees and some passive agressive or quirky tees for those tough mommy days that no one really talks about. I wanted to make mamas smile amid parenting chaos. I wanted moms to feel heard. Bitchin Tees aims to celebrate all the beautiful, quirky, and funny moments of being a mom but keeping it real by letting the t-shirts say what is really on their minds.

What pushed you to start this business:
The need to eventually own my own time is what pushed me to start Bitchin’ Tees. My kids are getting bigger, and I want to be there for them as they need me for school activities etc. Also as mentioned, my husband has this entrepreneurial streak and he encouraged me to start something that I could call my own. Bitchin’ tees is my 4th baby – probably the girl that everyone keeps asking about. lol 😊

I see you have recently added gin to your range – please tell me about these:
This was all my husband. Before lockdown, he and one of his best friends ordered a copper still from Spain – for a hobby…then lockdown happened, and the delivery of our pot was seriously delayed.
Between the first and second alcohol ban, our pot managed to get through the borders and delivered. They then started playing around with rum, whiskey brandy and gin… and we called it Prohibition, cause we were in prohibition. 😊
We were doing research on gins, and flavours and I got the idea of adding edible glitter to our gin, to make it pretty….. and if you know me, you know I like anything and everything with pink, glitter and sparkle. During the research, we found our flagship flavour and an FDA approved alcohol glitter… and BOOM, “Unicorn” was born. At this point, our fantasy range was born and we have a range of gins which are as delicious as they are beautiful to look at! Magical Unicorn, Enchanted Galaxy and Mischievous Mermaids are some of the flavours in the range.

Why do you encourage people to support small businesses:
You know that old saying saying “hand made with love”…. This is why I support small businesses and would like people to support small business. I take so much care in each and every t-shirt that gets made. Getting to know my customer, why they want the slogan they have chosen and getting to be part of their everyday lives when they send me pics with them in their tees. From there a friendship blooms. They know that they are not only invoice number 2689, they are an actual person with a name. In it makes me feel amazing that I get to make a difference in someones lives… to make them feel special.

Do you do custom orders: I do – 60% of my orders are custom. 😊 again, that’s why building the relationship mentioned above is so important for me.

How can people order from you:
Online via my website.
Via Whatsapp 082 579 9648
Via email: hello@bitchintees.co.za

What have been your most popular items:
The most popular items by far were our naughty valentines briefs! Mama’s still got it for their hubbies! Lol.
Quarantine Father’s day and Mother’s day apparel was huge for obvious reasons.
After that – our Tjommies tee was a winner. This was inspired by the owner of Jelebebe Thea Jonker! A bunch of times, my friends just sends me pics of tees and I try it out. And this one was by far a hit.
Our Harry Potter Baby Items was a winner – I have a whole bunch of clients raising little wizards!

What is your personal favourite item: Anything and everything WONDER Woman and glitter …. And there is one specific cup, that I love.

Quote you live by:
Ignorance is bliss. Most of my successful endeavours were achieved when I did not know what was coming my way. If I had known, I might never have gone for it, I might have been too afraid.

Anything else you want to add:
I want Bitchin Tees to be a one-stop shop of happiness for everyone who visits my store. A shop where moms (ladies) can come to shop mainly for themselves, whilst adding little goodies for the rest of the family in the cart as well. We started with ladies T-shirts, and we added caps, tote bags, cups, baby onesies and dad tees to the site. We also now have the gin range, and we have also added the prohibition range of whiskey, rum and brandy to our shop.


Corne, you are SUCH a joy, and I have loved getting to know you better. I can’t wait until we can meet for our cake and coffee, and I definitely need some of that Unicorn Gin in my house!

Please support this stunning business for any custom orders, gift ideas, and just to spread a little more kindness in the world. You won’t regret it.


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.


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