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!
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!
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
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.”
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
Have you ever been to a local burger restaurant that has the most delicious smoked mayonnaise? Or have you tried to make smoked food and realised that it is actually a lot of effort? I never thought that I would be able to make delicious smoked food, and it has nearly always been my choice of flavours when we are able to eat out.
And then, I discovered Smoked Flavours. Made from 100% wood chips, Smoked Flavours is an easy healthier way to get a traditional smoky flavour into any meal. It is ideal for meat, marinades, sauces, basting, cheeses, dips. Their products instantly adds smoke flavour to almost any food that would benefit from real smoke flavour and aroma. Dash or brush on any meat, poultry, or vegetable – since it is very concentrated, use sparingly as a few drops will be sufficient. These are made from smoldering damp wood chips to generate as much smoke as possible. This smoke is then funnelled into a condenser where it is cooled and so results in the formation of condensation. This condensation is collected, filtered and purified. The end product is highly concentrated liquid smoke which has the same flavour of the wood type used, you are then able to achieve the same taste that would be generated by traditional smoking processes. Hickory & Mixed Hardwood are vegan & vegetarian friendly.
How did this business start: My interest in liquid smoke started in late 2012 when I found a recipe online for Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken) where one of the key ingredients was liquid smoke. I searched high and low for it in South Africa but came up empty handed, this was when I searched for international manufacturers. Once I finally received my first bottle and was able to complete the Chicken Makhani I was hooked.
Soon I was trying it on steaks, beef burgers, chicken breasts and even pasta sauces. Liquid smoke’s versatility got me thinking and I realised that there was a gap in the market, this is when I started researching it in earnest.
It contains no PAHs (potentially carcinogenic components) and adds no calories or fat. It works wonders in curries, vegetarian dishes, sauces, cheese, dips, and marinades or even directly on meat or fish – giving indoor cooking the flavour of outdoor cooking. Plus it’s kosher and halaal. Some flavours are also suitable for vegans.
The manufacture of liquid smoke is quite complex and goes through a few stages before it becomes the great tasting product we know. It is 100% natural wood flavour and there are no artificial flavours.
Damp wood chips from your selected wood type are heated to smouldering point in a large retort, this generates more smoke than actually setting the wood alight. This smoke is funnelled into a compression chamber where this rapidly cools the smoke, causing condensation. This condensation is filtered purified and aged for anything from a few months to a year.
We have different variants; Mesquite, Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Mixed Hardwood and European Beech. Hickory is the most popular wood used for smoking and so is the one most people are familiar with. It works well with meat and sauces/marinades for pork, chicken & beef. Mixed hardwood is a combination of hickory and oak, both are hard woods so this works on the same items as the Hickory. Finally the European Beech is a softer wood and so is therefore a good all-round smoke that can be used on meat, sauces, marinades as well as seafood, fish and cheeses & dips.
The possibilities of what can be achieved with liquid smoke are endless, if you have an imagination you will be able to create some spectacular meals. The European Beech in particular enables you to get a smoky flavour into things that you would never associate being enhanced by the flavour of smoke. Last year a catering customer of ours made a Smoked Cardamom Ice-cream! There is also a rage in the US where liquid smoke is being used in cocktails.
Which is your personal favourite product: Extremely difficult to say; I use every product myself! The smoked salt and olive oil we use on a daily basis as it provides a more complex flavour and different notes to any dish. Cherry is a favourite on nachos, Hickory and Mixed Hardwood on meats, Beech on everything and I like using the Apple to give a more pronounced smoky note to gammon, especially when prepared in the oven or a pressure cooker. Pulled pork is transformed with Beech added to it!
What have been your most popular products: Hickory and Mixed Hardwood are certainly the better sellers as most people are familiar with Hickory smoked meat products. European Beech is the most versatile of the flavours, which makes it very popular for retail and commercial applications, especially for burger sauces and vegan protein options.
Tell me a bit more about these product flavours: Liquid smoke in not readily available in South Africa and smoked food is becoming increasingly popular. Liquid smoke enables you easily add a smoky flavour to any meal by adding it during the cooking process or even to prepared meals. It is made from real wood chips and contains no artificial flavourings or colourants. The same taste you get from a traditional smoker, is the same taste you get from our liquid smoke. Hickory – most familiar smoke flavour, used on bacon, ribs & chicken breasts. Best results when used with “heavier” meats like beef & pork. Ideal for marinade, basting, potjie, soup or pasta sauce. Mesquite – Best results when used with “heavier” meats like beef & game. Ideal for marinade, basting or potjie Hickory & Oak – Common woods used for smoking, good with red meat, pork & game. To be used in marinade, basting sauce, pasta sauce or biltong recipe. Beech – Very versatile and mild liquid smoke and so the liquid smoke works well when used to flavour fish, mayo, dips, butter or cream cheeses with no bitter aftertaste. Made with hardwood chips. Applewood – Probably the most used fruit smoke wood, the flavour is milder and sweeter than Hickory. Ideal for poultry, beef, pork (especially ham), game birds, lamb and some seafood. A mild with a subtle sweet, fruity flavour. Cherrywood – Slightly sweet fruity smoke that’s great with just about everything. It is a very dark liquid smoke so will impart a deep, golden-brown finish to the meal. A sweet mild, fruity flavour.
Where can people purchase these from: We have a list of distributors (expanding all the time) across South Africa, with further expansion planned for Namibia and Botswana. We have our products available through our online shop as well; we ship to your door for a nominal fee. www.smokedflavours.co.za/shop or www.smokedflavours.co.za/stockists
Do you have any recommended recipes to try these out: My personal favourite and biggest crowd pleaser is Beech smoked mayo; it makes any dip come alive and burgers are no longer made in our house without it!! You can download our free recipes here.
What are the different products you have available: • Liquid Smoke: Apple, Beech, Cherry, Hickory, Hickory & Oak, Mesquite – 125ml • Smoked Salt: Hickory smoked salt – 100ml & 325ml • Smoked Olive Oil: Smoked olive oil & Chilli smoked olive oil • Liquid Smoke: Bulk packaging for commercial applications.
What makes your products so unique: It is immensely versatile and can be used for anything from curries, marinades, sauces, ice-cream, cocktails, chillies, olives, cheeses, meats, tofu… You see what I mean?!
Who do you think would enjoy these: Anyone with a love for food and an adventurous taste palate, as well as vegetarians and vegans. Our products are sourced from reputable production facilities in the US and Europe with Kosher and Halaal certification from the manufacturers. We are in the process of obtaining local Halaal certification from SANHA as well.
Quote you live by: Cooking is an act of love.
We are going to be launching a competition this week, so make sure you keep an eye out on our social media! No house should be without these products, and I can definitely recommend the Smoked Olive Oil and Smoked Salt for everyone – we can’t imagine making meals without them now and have definitely experimented in every possible way with seeing just how far we can push our tastebuds and what does really work for us. So far we have loved it all.
Thank you Theunis for this great product. I can’t wait to see more recipes and experiments with everything available, and to see these more readily available in restaurants and friends’ kitchens.
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.
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.”
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.
I love beautiful art. I love pictures that make you think, pictures that you can spend hours looking at, and images that evoke emotions in you that you may not have been experiencing initially. I love hand-drawn art, that you can see the skill and time put into it. But most of all I love seeing people’s creativity coming through in their own special way.
I was drawn to Ilse through her yoga mats initially, and then I discovered there was so much more than “just” these mats. I saw her posts about her art special she is currently running (believe me, you will want to check these out), and I got totally sucked into her website and the wide array of art that she offers. I felt like I had walked through a portal into a whole new world, and that night I even dreamt about some of the pieces I had seen. That’s when I knew I needed to reach out to Ilse and find out more about NovaWoolf, and get to know the creator.
Tell me a bit more about Nova Woolf:
NovaWoolf is the result of the creative and idealistic part of myself merging with the pragmatic, strategic part. It’s my sacred space to dream and to do, and to share it all with you. It started as only an Instagram page, where I could post my drawings and thoughts. This quickly grew into my own creative studio where I had been offering my design & illustrations services, selling my artwork, and I’ve participated in art exhibitions, locally and internationally. A lot has happened very quickly in the last couple of years and my business is constantly evolving. One day, I was looking for a fresh canvas for my artwork & posted a mockup of one of my paintings called “MoonMagic” onto a yoga mat! It made so much sense, since I practice yoga and my choices for yoga mats at the time were essentially limited to pink plastic or purple plastic!! I really wanted to create something magical that is kind to our bodies and to our planet – something I would actually use every day. The yoga mat mockup post received an overwhelming response, so it only made sense that I pursue this further & create my own conscious luxury yoga lifestyle brand. There are so many things in the pipeline for NovaWoolf Art and NovaWoolf Yoga & I’m beyond excited to see where this all goes!!
I see you have stunning yoga mats – please tell me about them: NovaWoolf yoga mats (and soon-to-be released yoga props!!!) reflect an equal measure of scientific engineering, and thoughtfully curated art, to create a magical product that will become a treasured part of your yoga story. I believe this type of integration between body & mind, emotional value & physical performance, ecological consciousness & personal satisfaction are key to living a balanced, healthy, abundant life. I believe in quality over quantity, consciously curating your life and only owning items that add value to your life.
Our products are truly exceptional! Each NovaWoolf yoga mat is created from hand-painted designs, and all our mats are extra-large and extra thick to support all bodies and to cushion the joints. They are also biodegradable, vegan, and made from natural and recycled materials. They are free from PVC and toxins often found in other yoga mats and are created to be kind to your body and our precious planet.
Our yoga mats are specially engineered and meticulously tested to offer you only the best-quality and performance features, to ensure that you are fully supported during any style of yoga practice and in any environment.
We are very excited that we will soon be releasing an extended range of yoga props (cork blocks and straps) and you are the first to know!! 😀 And there will be loads more to come in the future! We have a very long list of dreams, to say the least.
Why are your products so different to others:
NovaWoolf is not just another lifestyle, or fitness brand. It is borne from the values characteristic of an atelier. Each product is created with the utmost care and conscious intention to add magic and beauty to the world. Each product is thoughtfully created, meticulously tested, refined, refined some more, and then lovingly handed over to the wonderful community we have come to love and authentically connect with. We do not simply aim to ‘sell’, but to share our story with the world. I still cannot get over how incredibly wonderful it is that something I painted one late night while processing my thoughts in the privacy of my home and listening to my favourite artists in the background, can end up on a product that someone else, someone anywhere on the planet, uses every day! This to me is extremely special and is one of the main motivations that lies behind everything I do, and now that NovaWoolf as a company does. The other primary motivation that keeps us centred on creating what we do, is that the world is in desperate need of more light, more beauty, more conscious creators, more kindness in every way possible. We are simply doing our part to create the world that we would like to live in : one where humans live in harmony with nature, practice compassion and non-violence to all creatures, where connection is more important than competition, and where holistic wellness and balance are prioritised.
What would you call the style of art that you do:
I suppose my visual style is a bit ambiguous. It has oscillated between contemporary minimalist illustrations with a monochromatic colour palette, vs. colourful, layered, more abstract expressive, ink and watercolour works. The overarching, or connecting, qualities of my work is usually expressive, loopy lines, and emotive subject matter that explores themes of healing, growth, transformation, and integration.
I suppose it’s worth mentioning that I studied design at Vega and went on to work as an art director, then strategist, designer / illustrator, stylist… you name it, I’ve done it! My design background has been hugely influential, since I was always comfortable working digitally. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve started returning to my traditional art supplies. I’ve fallen in love with painting again and as a result I will be very hesitant to return to digital illustrations in the future, as I have been doing previously. I also studied psychology and completed my MA in social & psychological research, so this theoretical background, combined with my own lived experience, is the reason behind my emotive subject matter.
Moving forward, my monochromatic illustrations are something of the past as I am focusing now more on colour, traditional media, saying my goodbyes to thinking in black and white, and embracing a much more intuitive, richer, more joyously complex, divinely connected, layered and joyful existence 🙂
What inspires you to create these:
My art is just an expression of whatever it is that is moving through me. I know that sounds extremely contrived, but it’s the only way I can authentically describe it. It used to be quite an intensely anxious, heavy experience, but it has recently become a much more enjoyable and light, yet much more complex, experience. So, to answer your question – it all comes from within myself, or through myself, I’m not even 100% sure… It’s an almost mystical process for me – I generally don’t plan ahead too much and I create intuitively and almost while in a bit of a trance. Generally, I set up my favourite music, create a comfy safe space, and just kind of see what needs to be expressed.
What Emotions do you want these art pieces to evoke in people:
I can’t say that I have an agenda or an expectation of the outcome, of how other people receive or perceive anything I do, to be honest. I create what I want /need to, I share it freely, and I’m super grateful that others seem to find value in it.
Have you always been creative:
Yeah, as a child I did a lot of competitive dancing, singing, poetry performances, I played piano, guitar for a little while as well, and just basically participated in any creative pursuits I could at school. I was never really much into sports, although I did play netball and hockey – not particularly well, but I did it hehe. Thank goodness I’ve found yoga, hiking, and more recently, rock climbing, as an adult! Then of course pursuing creative studies at Vega and working in the creative world has also been a huge part of my life. I’ve kind of come full circle after pursuing psychological research as well, as I now lecture research to creative students at Vega , where I started 🙂 I love that I have finally found a way to balance my creative side with my scientific, strategic side and that I’m able to finally satisfy all the different parts of myself – by being an artist /designer, researcher and lecturer, and business owner & director! I always knew a 9-5 was not going to do it for me, so I’ve had to create my own path and I’m finally starting to see the fruits of all the struggle, self-doubt, feelings of misdirection, and isolation. This is what I think conscious, intentional, creative living is all about.
Do you do custom pieces:
Absolutely! I’ve done many commissions for clients locally, and globally.
How can people order from you:
Either via my online store, or by getting in touch via email, or simply via social media messaging.
How has this lockdown affected your business:
Gosh – it’s been terrible, but then its been ok again. Naturally, not being able to trade at all for so many weeks in lockdown has had a major impact financially. However, the silver lining is that now, more than ever, South Africans are finally awakening to E-commerce, after quite a slow uptake in previous years. I’m extremely grateful that E-commerce has been given the green light again and that we are back in business!
Why do you encourage people to support local:
So many reasons! The preservation of local businesses support the preservation of communities and causes; it ensures that macro-scale policies support the communities most affected by them; it ensures the recycling of revenue back into the local economy instead of flighting profits from local pockets abroad to support external structures; it also supports more job creation and improved protection of individual livelihoods and wellbeing; and it supports sustainable living as local businesses are more invested in living in harmony with the resources in their immediate environment that they depend on.
Beyond all this – its true that when you purchase from a small local business, someone does a little happy dance! At NovaWoolf, that someone is me & I 1000% make sure those dances actually happen!
Quote you live by:
Oh gosh, there are SO many. If I absolutely had to choose one, it would be this:
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
It always reminds me that magic happens when you can successfully balance creativity with strategy, planning with letting go, light with dark, yin with yang, art with science. The ancient teachings of yoga, and the science of contemporary psychology both echo this idea of integration and wholeness, rather than the way of individuation, separation and disconnection we have been immersed in in the modern world.
Isn’t Ilse an absolute treat? And doesn’t her art speak to your very essence? I am SO glad that I stumbled across more of her talent, and could definitely picture a whole wall in our house being adorned with different pieces from her.
And let’s take a moment to appreciate her yoga mats… Imagine the talking point they would be? And being able to practice yoga in your backyard and truly feel connected to the earth with a beautiful mat at your feet. Now THAT would get me out and doing it more often.
Please continue to support local wherever possible. And pop over to Ilse’s social media pages to see more of what she has been up to.
A plant-based diet is definitely something I have been more aware of – especially since watching the Netflix movie, The Game Changers. It shows the importance of loving your body, & only feeding it the very best that it deserves. Husband & I have been more conscious of what we have been eating, & our favourite place to go for a date is The Jozi Girl Eatery at Broadacres Centre.
Other than the absolutely delicious food (I am busy working my way through the menu & trying something new every time), the whole vibe is just so relaxed & stunning. Plus they are pet-friendly, with water bowls & treats at the ready. Could you ask for much more?
Tell me more about Jozi Girl Eatery: It is a small plant-based eatery serving fresh, wholesome foods
Where did the passion for plant-based living come from: I love living a plant-based lifestyle! By eating this way I feel so amazing! I feel healthy and energised. I don’t only eat this way for health reasons but also for the animals and the environment.
Why do you encourage others to try a plant-based diet: Same as above, the only advice I can give is to be kind to yourself when you start the journey, we are only human
Is everything on your menu 100% vegan: Yes, we have vegan alternatives for everything on the menu
What is your favourite item on your menu: Eeeek such a tough choice but it has to be smashed avo
What seems to be the most popular item: Our Coconut Crazy smoothie bowl
Do you do takeaways: Yes we do
Quote you live by: Nourish and Flourish
Anything else you want to add: There is something on the menu for everyone! Even fur babies are welcome, we have water bowls and treats available
I absolutely love visiting this restaurant, & make every excuse to go there again – meetings, visits, or spoils with friends. Just note they aren’t open on Mondays & don’t have a liquor license. However, if you are choosing a healthier lifestyle then this makes perfect sense!
Yesterday I tried their new Vegan Frappuccino in Chai Spice, as well as their Bean & Quinoa Salad. Their meals are huge so make sure you go there hungry, as when you lay your eyes on the delicious treats you will need to sample those too (the chocolate-filled doughnuts are out of this world).
Thank you Lorna for encouraging us all to live a better life & for providing the most delicious, healthy meals ever.
Since getting out of hospital & actually being able to swallow my food (one of the fabulous symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis is constantly choking on food, & there would often be days where I would go without being able to eat properly) means that I have picked up quite a bit of extra weight. In fact when I went into hospital to have my port & perm cath out, every nurse who saw me & knows me from previously commented on my weight. It was rather embarrassing & has made me very self-conscious about what I look like. I love my food & it has been 15 years since I was properly able to actually enjoy a meal so I have been making up for lost time in a big (excuse the pun!) way.
But, it has been a couple of months of going cray-cray & now I need to settle down & start living a healthier life. So the very first thing I am going to do is start following a healthier eating plan. I am not going to diet as such, as I dread those words & find it is so much easier to break a diet than it is to maintain a healthy way of life.
Whilst on my explorations of what recipes speak to me, & what I should go get to stock up my grocery cupboard (whilst trying very hard to avoid all the Easter eggs & others sugary treats). And then, I found Le Famished Cat – & I was lost for a good couple of hours. My tastebuds were tingling & I knew that I wanted to try some of these for myself. Plus, you guys, she is in South Africa so doesn’t tell you about all these crazy ingredients that are nearly impossible to get hold of!
How did you get into this: A pure love for all things food
What is the main focus of your blog: As the name suggests, I am always hungry and thinking about food. I started the blog to have a space on the internet where I could write and share my recipes and love for all things delicious.
If you have any digestive issues, or are looking to lead a healthier life, then my blog is for you, because almost all of my recipes are either Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan or IBS Friendly.
While I am not a vegan (cannot ever give up eggs), I focus on a healthier plant-forward approach to eating, as well as nourishing gut friendly recipes. Occasionally, you will find some naughty treats – because seriously guys, what is life without chocolate?
Healthy living should not feel like a chore, it should be fun and delicious and I hope to inspire you every day.
I also focus on travel here and there and love to provide my readers with as many practical tips as I can.
Have you always been interested in food: Yes, since I was a little girl – I think my interest was piqued after watching countless Ready Steady Cook episodes on BCC. I would then go into the kitchen and see what I could rustle up with the ingredients on hand. It was only in Grade 11 when I started taking cooking classes at school that I realised I was in love with being in the kitchen. Thinking back, my first real food memory was watching my Sito (granny in Lebanese) make all sorts of Lebanese foods on the weekends – I would often help, but mostly I just wanted to eat what she was making because it always smelled so good.
Where do you get majority of your recipes from: Because of the fact that I only eat certain foods – I create all my own recipes and if they are someone else’s I will credit accordingly
What are a few ingredients that every household should have: Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, A Mature Cheddar, Peanut Butter, Blueberries, Banana, Sweet Potatoes, Eggs, Fresh Herbs and Avocado. Oooh also coconut milk & almond milk.
What is your favourite shop to visit to get yummy snacks: Checkers have a new range called Simple Truth which is affordable, innovative and healthy. They make fruit gummies and reduced sugar cookies that I love. And their Salted Caramel Coconut Chips are like crack 😊
Fresh Earth also have some yummy healthy baked goods
Quote you live by: Treat others how you would want to be treated & Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Don’t these look absolutely divine? And the recipes are really easy to follow as well – even for nerds like myself who can literally only cook the absolute basics. Hopefully one day I can even show you pics of my amazing meals that I have learnt from Cat.
I really appreciate her taking the time to answer my questions & constantly bringing us delicious, healthy recipes. I am a huge fan!
Our friend that currently lives with us is a vegan and I have always been interested to see what she comes up with for her meals. She has even allowed me to sample some of these (yum!) & I think is secretly converting my dogs into vegans too as they sample everything on her plate & “help” her finish these all off…
We have spoken at length about why she has chosen to go vegan (her love for animals) & how this was a gentle progression from being vegetarian to a full-blown vegan. She isn’t one of those that will force it into anyone’s face, or make you follow her beliefs – which I truly appreciate. However, it occurred to me that she is saving the planet through her choices & she is doing the very best that she can. What am I doing to make the world a better place for future generations?
I then met Herman at The Field Market earlier this month & was very intrigued by his business, as well as his ideas in general. He was so kind & welcoming, & answered my questions without hesitation.
How did you get started & why did you want to start doing what you do: I had an issue with finding great veggie patties. Two years down the line I’ve perfected my recipe. So many trials and errors but slow I brought everything together. From processing the veggies to blending my own spice blend.
How long have you been a vegan for: I’ve been vegan just under a year. I’ve been vegetarian for 5 years before.
Why have you chosen to become vegan: There a several reason why I became vegan. My first and foremost reason was health and the benefits of eating only a plant based diet. Environmentally and humanitarian reasons are also weighing heavily on my mind
Why are your burger patties different to others & so delicious: My patties are handmade, 100% veggies with no soy, beans or fillers. I take care that each patty is perfect and do quality control of each batch.
Where can people order your patties from, & how much are they: My patties are available at Yan health health store in Bedford centre and online on our website. My patties are R10 per patty with a minimum order of 6.
What motto do you live by: My motto is “do whatever you want as long as you don’t harm anyone or anything ”
Anything else you would like to add: I would like to ask people to buy local, an imported product does not mean it’s better- but it definitely has a carbon footprint bigger than you might think.
I had a vegan burger myself tonight, & absolutely adored it! It was crunchy on the outside & super flavourful. Plus my body was much happier being fed with a healthier option & I will be buying more of these for the future. Plus they arrive frozen so they are easy to store for any emergencies or when husband suddenly decides he is hungry (believe me, this happens often).
I am very excited for the Vegan Hippy Market & to try more of these delicious meals. Will I see you there?
When you meet someone, the first thing you notice is their face & their skin. After suffering from teenage acne, & also having very pale skin that scars easily I have always put some research into what I am using on my skin. Thanks to FB & Instagram’s algorithms they now suggest different skincare products & houses that they think I may like, & Bella Boneca popped up on both – so this was definitely a sign from the universe that I needed to look into them a bit more & start following them!
But as it happens, life gets hectic & I was in ICU for a week & then unfortunately time just got away from me. I then saw an invite to an event that they are hosting in JHB next month (Beautiful Because Breakfast) & knew that this time I needed to do something about it. Plus the MD’s name is also Megan (as is mine, in case you didn’t know) which did make me chuckle a bit. She very graciously took time out of her busy schedule to answer some of my questions!
Your name: Megan Clunnie Business name: BellaBoneca Social media handles: Facebook here, & Instagram here What do you do: I am the founder and CEO of BellaBoneca and I have recently purchased a company called Lifestyle on location which is a mobile spa and events company. I am also a wife, a ”dog mom to 4 🐶” and a proud auntie and a “running” enthusiast.
Why are you different to other beauty products:
1. Our products don’t contain any ingredients that may be harmful to your body. Our skin is the largest organ and is able to absorb the ingredients used in everyday products. Some of these ingredients may be harmful and its best to try and avoid products that use them.
2. Our products contain oils and vitamins that rejuvenate and restore the skins natural balance resulting in healthy glowing skin.
3. Our products don’t harm the environment-the body wash etc is not a pollutant when it reaches our water system.
4. Our products are vegan friendly and are not tested on animals.
Where can people buy products from:
You can shop online or at any of our corporate salons operated by Lifestyle on Location.
Tell me more about your event happening: The event is taking place on the 29th September at Olives and Plates in Sandton. The event is a ‘ time out’ for woman of all ages who would like a little ‘me time’. The name #beautifulbecause for me represents that we are all beautiful because we were created woman and that we need to celebrate that. We often think we will only be beautiful when we have lots 5kgs or if we could get rid of these wrinkles and that is not true. Yes it’s important to take care of our bodies (and our minds) but our true beauty is really from within. The event will have 2 guest speakers, stunning gift bags and great food. Guests will also be treated to hand massage or neck and shoulder massages. It will be a nice relaxed morning.
Why are you passionate about what you do: I love developing beautiful products that work and people get great results from but that don’t harm. It’s giving people a safer option. I love all the interesting and wonderful people I get to meet and I love the creativity that is able to flow when you are an entrepreneur. Quote you live by: live a life you will remember
Don’t these sound absolutely beautiful?! Let me know your thoughts once you have tried them out for yourself
When I found out about this, I vowed that I was going to do my little bit to be more eco-friendly. I have chosen to say “NO!” to plastic bags at all the shops, & carry my own fabric bags with me. If I forget them at home or in the car, then it is too bad for me & I just have to make multiple trips to get everything inside. We don’t get takeaways often, but when we do, I say no to straws. Fruit & veggies at the shops do not need to be put into that flimsy plastic bag to be weighed the whole time, & I am really just trying to take note of how I can make a difference.
Whilst I was sitting back & thinking about all of this, a friend’s post popped up on my Facebook, & I was reminded of her kind heart & what a difference she is making in the world.
Gemma & I met when we were studying Beauty Therapy together, & have stayed friends through the years. Although we don’t get to see each other as often as I wish we could, I am extremely grateful for social media so we have been able to stay in contact & see what the other one is up to! Gem has 2 GORGEOUS little boys, is a super healthy vegan-yoga-loving lady, & in between all of this started up her very own range of cruelty-free lifestyle apparel which promotes a kinder lifestyle. I am SO proud of her & everything that she has achieved, & knew that when I wanted to write something about living “kind”, she had to be my feature.
How long have you been running for: Started about 2.5 years ago with only one item.
What did you do before this: Heath and lifestyle consultant (absolutely nothing to do with the fashion industry)
Some ideas of products you have: We have a variety of cruelty free items available which includes leather free handbags, purses, card holders , work bags and handbags, shopping bags and re-usable produce bags (remember what I said earlier about those thin plastic bags for weighing fruit & veggies?). We also have a small range of clothing items and jewelry all proudly made here in Durban SA, and also just came out with hemp items as options! So Ecogemgem as a small business is really growing and changing as the different demands become alive, and all items are designed by myself personally. We even offer bespoke items so people often contact us looking for personalised items within our range, so it’s always fun and fresh to see what the week might hold!
Motto you live by: Be kind to every kind
I am so proud of my friend & all that she has achieved. Plus her kindness has taught me a lot, & shown me to be more aware of what is happening around us. If we all made one small lifestyle change, we could really make a massive difference in the world.
Make sure you check out her social media & order your products from Gemma. You won’t be disappointed!
And to Gemma, thank you for your amazing heart. Thank you for encouraging us all to be kind & make a better world for all of us. I am so grateful to have you as my friend!