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Tag: women empowerment

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.


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MlsBeauty

I have been LOVING experimenting with new makeup, and recently I saw a post from Marie on one of the Facebook groups I am part of, and I was instantly drawn to her charismatic personality as well as her gorgeous makeup that she has created.  She has just launched a new eyeshadow palette, and it has given me all the feels – I can’t wait to get my hands on it (as well as everything else on her website!), and I am sure that you will feel the same when you see the beauty that is MlsBeauty!


Your name: Marie-Louise but I prefer Marie

Business name: Mlsbeauty (Marie-Louise’s Beauty lol), boring I know.

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Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website

Tell me a little more about your business: I first started as a makeup artist about 7 years ago. I’ve always been inspired by American and British makeup artists and brands and always tried to import products from these countries. I saw the need to bring diversity in terms of makeup in SA and launched my cosmetics line 2 years ago.

How long have you been doing makeup for: About 7 years ago. I was looking for a simple eyebrow tutorial on YouTube and became hooked.

Why does makeup make you so happy: It’s a refuge for me. When I’m upset I grab a brush and just go with the flow. When things fall into place I’m suddenly in a good mood.

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What pushed you to start your own makeup line: The need of diversity in the South African Beauty Market.

What is your personal favourite item from your range: Can I pick 2? Cause they are really good. The Black Magic Palette and the Matte Lipstick in Negra, it’s a warm chocolate brown, I mix it with different lipsticks from the range.

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What have been your most popular items: The Matte lipsticks, so far. But there’s a growing interest for the Black Magic Palette. The Black Magic is pretty versatile in colours but is still a neutral palette. I didn’t want to create a palette full of brown shades only, we needed a palette that’s lively, magical but still wearable.

How much do you charge for makeup application:  My makeup rates start from R550.

I see you do makeup lessons too – how can people book with you: People can contact me through emails, DM or WhatsApp. I’m working on a bookings section on my website.

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How can people order items from you: I have all my items on my website, easy, fast and secure website.

What makes your makeup brand so different to others: Inclusivity in every sense of the word. I wanted to create a brand that caters to everyone and where everyone can identify themselves.

Quote you live by: Enhancing the Beauty that already exists. Because that’s the sole purpose of makeup.

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Marie, thank you so much for allowing me to interview you!  Your products are absolutely gorgeous, and so are you.  I love that your products are inspired by Africa, for Africans.

Marie is also currently running a 15% discount on her Black Magic Palette when you use the code WOMEN, so it is under R250 for a really versatile, gorgeous eyeshadow palette.  Please support this wonderful lady, and share her great products with all your friends.


 

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Squishy Tushy

There is currently a lot of drama on social media within the blogger community – and beyond.  I don’t wish to get into it in this post, but I had to mention it, as this is how I first discovered Squishy Tushy.  And this is the reason that I am adding my voice to the #DontShushMe movement here in South Africa.  No longer can I just keep quiet as I see my black friends hurt and judged, or my LGBTQ+ friends marginalized and unable to live freely.  In this day and age, racism and homophobia should not exist, and sadly, it still does.  This movement has made me spend a lot of time looking deep within myself, and realise that by saying nothing, I am adding my voice to those doing the judging.  South African businesses are often not reflecting the beauty of our rainbow nation, and speaking to influencers has reminded me how often the perfect blonde-hair, blue-eyed child is used in advertising campaigns and their mother chosen for brand reviews.  How is that relatable to so much of South Africa? And why are we not speaking up about this?

Nuriyah has had #DontShushMe shirts printed to show support for  this movement, and a portion of the profits are going to be donated to a charity that empowers people of colour.  I ordered one of my own, and then realised that I needed to get to know this strong woman a little more!

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Your name: Nuriyah Gallow

Business name: Squishy Tushy

Social media handles: Business – Facebook, Instagram and Website.  Blog – Facebook, Instagram and Website.

What are 3 fun facts about you:
1. I love to create art / DIY.
2. I am a beginner photographer.
3. I love doing things spontaneously, I don’t mind if it wasn’t planned. I love an adventure and am almost always keen. Let’s take a trip!

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Tell me a bit more about your business:
I started Squishy Tushy almost 1 year ago when I had my 3rd baby girl, Israh. I am a natural creative, so I felt the need to create. This is how a lot of baby brands are started. The thing I love the most is deciding on designs, having the fabric printed, and then seeing it come to life.
I come from a digital marketing background so another aspect I LOVE is doing marketing campaigns, checking the stats and finding out how I can do better.
We are still very new to the industry so I am still learning as I go. it is not as easy as it looks, especially when you are a one man show like me 🙂 I do EVERYTHING except sew. Even down to building my own website 🙂

Where did the passion for these come from:
From being a mom, a creative soul, and having the need to constantly create.

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Tell me about your #DontShushMeShirt:
There are very important conversations going on on social media at the moment. This hashtag was used by a group of mommy bloggers. To show my solidarity I decided to create these tee’s. This is not the first time I did this. In March when another local brand made obscene posts about Jews, I created a tee that reads “regretively” as they used this word accidentally. I am donating the profit from those tees to the holocaust centre here in CT.
With the don’t shush me tees, R50 from each tee will go to a POC charity which will be determined by the mommy bloggers. I love advocating for those who need a voice so even though it has nothing to do with baby clothing, I have the fully functioning ecommerce website and I have the tools to make these tees (yes I cut and press the designs myself), so why not? I have no problem using my platform and voice to help the next person. We are also busy with GBV tees for another NGO, as well as make tees for Milk Matters and R50 of each sale goes to the preemie babas. Ok, I totally went off track but it is all relative.

What is your personal favourite product:
Definitely the rib rompers as well as the printed zip onesies.

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What have been your most popular products:
The rib rompers and fox track sets / bunny track sets.

What makes your products different to those you can buy in a chain store:
You won’t find these exact prints anywhere else. The rib rompers also have a very specific look and feel

Where can people purchase these from:
www.squishytushy.co.za

Why do you encourage people to support small businesses:
So that we can keep the economy growing. If you support small businesses, you are literally helping keep food in the tummies of people in this country.

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Quote you live by:
It’s better to be kind than to be right. 🙂
Always be willing to help others even if it does not benefit you!

Anything else you want to add:
If you own a small business and you think you aren’t getting anywhere, please don’t give up. It takes extreme hard work, long days, long nights, loads of planning and the list goes on! 🙂

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I am so thrilled that I discovered Nuriyah, and know that I will continue to learn from her every single day.  Her baby clothing is absolutely adorable, and so on trend – I am sure that many of you will fall in love with it too, and want pieces for yourself or family members.

And please, if you don’t have kids, consider supporting her through the sale of her statement tees that really are making a difference in the lives of so many.  This woman has an amazingly beautiful heart, and deserves all the love and kindness in the world.


 

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PorcelainHeart

I have been following the beautiful Megan for some time and am always completely blown away by the level of talent that she has.  She creates looks that are incomparable to others, and always stretches her imagination and design abilities to the extreme.

I met her at Beauty Revolution earlier this year, and felt like such a fan girl when I greeted her with a hug.  She was friendly and so sweet to me, so I knew this was someone I had to introduce to the rest of you.

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Lockdown for me has meant many hours spent playing with makeup and experimenting with new looks – nothing like what this professional is capable of, but I am constantly inspired by her creations and spend hours looking at her social media.

Megan holds beauty both inside and out!


Your name:  Megan Marx

Business name:  PorcelainHeart

Social media handles:  Makeup Instagram; Beauty Salon Facebook and Instagram; Design Work Instagram

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What is one word you would use to describe yourself:  I’m probably going to have to say passionate. I am a very passionate person in everything I do, think, say, and believe in.

How did you get into makeup:  I have have always had a huge passion for art. Growing up my Grandfather was an artist and I always really admired his ability to paint beautiful things on a canvas. So the fascination with the artistic side of it was always there. But I only really got into makeup when I was around 14. I was a very insecure girl and I used to use makeup to try and make myself feel better about the way that I looked. Soon, I simply fell in love, and the rest was history. I realised that I could use makeup in the same way my Grandfather used his paint, to create something interesting and beautiful for people to look at.

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How long have you been doing makeup for:  I have been doing makeup for 7 years now.

Have you always been artistic:  I have always been very in touch with my creative side. At school, art was my best subject! I grew up around art, and I truly believe that it’s embedded in my nature.

What is the style of makeup that you are most known for:  I think that I am probably best known for my more creative makeup looks, although I’m not too sure!

What has been your favourite look that you have created:  I think that my favourite look I’ve ever done has got to be my Mona Lisa makeup transformation. That was very challenging but it turned out really well in the end. My first NYX Face Awards look also has a very special place in my heart.

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What inspires you for your makeup looks:  Honestly, I’m inspired by something different everyday. However, I do get a lot of inspiration from editorial makeup looks that I find in magazines and online. I’m obsessed with anything avant-garde. I also tend to save a bunch of inspirational images, and then sometimes mash them together with a twist. Inspiration really does come from a different direction everyday.

Do you give makeup lessons:  I most certainly do! Anyone is welcome to contact me and request a one-on-one makeup lesson. I have also occasionally hosted group makeup master-classes in the past, and I’ll probably do another one again in the near future.

How can people contact you to book a make-up session & where are you based:  Anyone is welcome to send me an email at megmegmarx@gmail.com, call/text me at +27 76 145 0619 or contact me through my website. My studio is based in Mooikloof, Pretoria East.

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What are your 5 essential makeup products:  That’s a really hard question! I have SO many products that I use everyday! If I had to narrow it down, I think I’d have to choose the J.One Red Jelly Pack as a primer, that stuff is amazing!!! I’m also a huge fan of the Catrice Made to Stay 24H Foundation. It lasts all day and doesn’t crack or move. The Benefit Brow Zings Palette in the shade 6 is my everyday brow saviour! I love a soft highlight with my Blushing Hearts: Goddess of Faith triple baked highlighter by I Heart Makeup. And of course, my go to mascara, #LashesOfTheDay Super Volume Mascara by Essence Cosmetics.

What is your favourite drugstore makeup brand:  My personal favourite drugstore makeup brand has got to be either Maybelline, or Makeup Revolution. I also adore Essence. I love almost all of the Essence products that I try.

What is one makeup trend you think every woman needs to know:  I think that one makeup trend every women should have in their arsenal is applying a clean, red-lip. Nothing says power and beauty quite like a bold red lip. My favourite red lip is definitely MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick in the shade “Feels so Grand”. It’s a perfect primary red that looks good on literally everyone.

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Quote you live by:  I think that the quote I live by would actually have to be something my mother always told me as a kid: “Don’t think, just do.” And this had nothing to do with acting impulsively. She meant getting things that need to be done, done, without over thinking them. I apply this to every day of my life. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning with a mountain of work ahead of me, I tell myself, “don’t overthink it, just sit down and do it, you’ll thank yourself later”. Thinking too deeply about the task in front of you, makes the task seem far more daunting.

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Can you see why I am so obsessed with everything Megan?  I know that I am going to be booking a lesson with her as soon as lockdown is over, and I am definitely going to practice my application of a bold red lip – I am also a huge MAC fan but don’t have the one she mentions, so I have added this to my birthday wishlist.

Do you have any make-up looks that you want some help with?  Or do you have any inspiration that you would like to see Megan recreate?


 

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La Luna Blends

I have really seen the benefits of going “natural” with some of my treatments, & this includes the food & drinks that I put into my body.  I am trying to drink more water, & less tea & coffee.  However, when I saw these gorgeous teas at Jozi Girl Eatery, I wanted to find out more about them.  What made them so special?  And what do they actually help with?


Your name: Lorna Jane Eppel

Business name: La Luna Blends

Social media handles: Facebook & Instagram

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Tell me a bit more about your business: I offer unique teas to support women’s health

Where did the idea for these come about: I am a huge tea lover! When I was approached by a company to do this I immediately took the opportunity.

What are the different flavours & their uses: There are two teas, a moon time tea and a sleepy dream time tea. They both have the base ingredient to support hormones but the moon time tea supports our cycle and the sleepy dream time tea assists with relaxing and sleeping.

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What makes your tea different from those we can buy at mainstream shops: This unique loose leaf tea isn’t like anything instore, the moon time tea is a soft pink colour and the sleepy time tea is blue. The beautiful design and packaging can also be upcycled.

Where can people buy your tea from: The Jozi Girl Eatery and Leafy Greens Cafe, online stores coming soon!

Why do you encourage women to drink this tea: This tea has so many hormone-balancing benefits, it assists with cramps, PMS as well as mood and energy levels.

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Quote you live by: Magical blends for magical beings


These really are delicious teas, & you can feel a difference whilst drinking them so you can see the results for yourself.  And with such beautiful packaging, how can you resist?

Lorna has her own blog over at Jozi Girls Eats – give her a follow for more brilliant health hacks & recipes.


 

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In The Jacaranda’s

I feel truly blessed to have a friend who takes the most stunning pictures.

Meghan McCabe has shot my entire family, including my animals & every time I lose my breath as I look through the final results.

I am certainly no model. I am overweight, I am clumsy, & I end up laughing my way through every shoot.  But Meghan makes me feel comfortable & beautiful – & isn’t that what we all need?

This is my absolute favourite time of the year & seeing the gorgeous purple flowers from the Jacaranda’s brings a smile to my face – so what an honour to be photographed by one of the top photographers in a location that makes me believe in fairies once again.

We got to use a stunning dress from Cherry Blossom Dresses, & it was the absolute dream.  It made me feel feminine & sexy at the same time, & fell so beautifully in all the pictures – I am sure you can agree that this was the absolute cherry on top of these gorgeous photos.

I was also extremely honoured to use flowercrowns from Opgedollie & Sunkissed Handmade in my shoots, which made for perfect branding images (given the name of my blog!) as well as bringing out my inner child.

This was an absolute dream come true, & I am forever grateful to Meghan for giving me this opportunity & for her absolute passion for taking stunning pictures.

If you are looking for a photographer in Joburg, & want to be made to feel like a beautiful woman – please contact Meghan.  Her talent speaks for itself.

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RareBear Project

Today I knew I wanted to write about something special – something that has my heart.

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The #RareBearProject is all about supporting our community. From providing support to our Rare families, to creating jobs and income generating opportunities to the woman of Kya Sands. 100% of our income goes straight back into this project.

​For every bear sold for R180, R120 is paid to the creator of the bear, and R60 is placed into improving the marketing platform and distribution of the overall project to ensure sustainability.

The #RareBearProject is a community upliftment program under Rare Diseases South Africa NPC.

Rare Diseases South Africa NPC is a registered NPO and PBO which aims to assist rare disease patients receive access to life-saving treatment and supportive care for improved quality of life.


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The #RareBearProject was launched as part of Rare Diseases South Africa’s 2nd birthday.  Rare Diseases SA (RDSA) had made the decision to commission bears for their newly registered rare disease patients, which could be gifted to them so that they could have a companion to encourage them in their journey of survival. 

BUT, due to the nature of rare diseases, RDSA was looking for unique, handcrafted bears – they wanted BEARS that were RARE.

At the same time a local community project were looking to host a skills clinic for unemployed ladies in the Kya Sands community.

A joint initiative was born,  whereby the ladies were taught the skills to crotchet #RareBears, and a platform to generate income was provided.

This project is now able to address 2 needs: 

1) It creates a “community of love” for Rare Diseases SA patients whereby #RareBears are donated to a rare disease patient via the #Care4Rare programme.

 2) Empowers the ladies of KyaSands and provides them with a skill that enables them to provide for their families.

To date, this project has seen over 70 woman up-skilled in the art of crocheting, and provided them with a sustainable, income generating opportunity by making #RareBears which in turn are either donated to a patient, or sold to the public. 


I have seen these ladies grow from having zero confidence in their abilities, to now being able to crochet almost anything – as long as they have a picture of it.

There are 7 animals in the range – lion, zebra, giraffe, bunny, sheep, elephant & unicorns – but they also do special orders should you so wish.

Please support this beautiful project by visiting their website, & following them on social media (Instagram & Facebook).

I am also running a GIVEAWAY over on my Instagram, so pop over now to win one of their limited edition teddies!  They are so adorable…


 

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