Interview

Pretty Personal with Janine Esterhuizen

Like a hand to a perfectly made glove, so is the story of Janine and Glove Jewellery. Sometimes, when you find something that’s just right, you just know. Janine’s (g)love of SA combines with an eye for beautiful silverwork to create pieces you’ll want to wear forever.

  1. Hello Janine! So, what’s your deal?
    Hello Pretties!  I grew up in the beautiful Eastern Cape. I only moved to Cape Town in 2001, which I absolutely love!  This is home now.  I stay in a beautiful part of Cape Town not known to many called Mikpunt.  It’s a small holding area just outside Durbanville. Here I feel so closed to nature but still have the luxury of living close to town. 
     
    While I was in high school I always knew I wanted to do something creative.  But never ever knew what. Unfortunately we did not have art in school so I could not even explore the possibilities there.  Well, one afternoon 2 weeks before I write my last subject in Matric, my best friend and now bridesmaid asked me what I am going to do next year.  I had no idea…so, I asked her what she is going to do…her answer changed my life!  She continued by telling me she is going to study Jewellery Design and Manufacture at the college in our town.  I thought that was an amazing thing to go study and so the next day I drove to the same college and enrolled in the jewellery course.  So, I started studying jewellery design and manufacturing in 1999.  I finished the course there and decided it’s not enough.  I wanted to come to Cape Town and study further!  So, I carried on studying till 2005 and ended up with a degree in jewellery design and manufacturing.
     
  2. It must have been fate! And how did you go from there to Glove Jewellery?
    When I decided to do my degree I had to find a topic.  I always loved fashion and if I hadn’t gotten the idea to study jewellery I probably would’ve done fashion design.  Anyhow, I thought jewellery and apparel design should work together as a collective and compliment each other rather than try to outshine each another.  So I found a wonderful boutique that was situated in Kloof Street to do my study with.  Then, I had to find a name for my brand. After thinking long and hard I thought of Glove, an accessory to fashion - the perfect name for my brand! And so, Glove Jewellery was established in 2005.  

     

  3. That’s a really great back story. So, aside from fashion, what else do you “Glove”?
    SUMMER, SUMMER, SUMMER!  Is it here yet? (Ed. note: Sadly not. *goes to drown sorrows in a vat of hot chocolate.)
    I absolutely glove summer!  It makes me feel happy and inspired.  There’s so much more to do…like walk on the beach, or lie on it, and swim in the sea…well ok, I glove the sea too. 
     
    Personally I don’t think there is much that makes me feel as happy as doing what I love!  I love making new jewellery and hearing the response at my little market stall every weekend.  At the moment I eat, sleep and live gLove.  I have a great support system in my life (my fiancé), and don’t think I would be able to do it without him.

     

  4. Speaking of jewellery, tell us about the gLovely things you make?
    I lived in the UK for 2 years. I truly believe without that experience I would not be where I am to day.  Before I left I always made a range of wildflower pendants and earrings.  When I came back from the UK I realised how much I love living in South Africa, and wanted to show it in my work.  So, I started making the South African collection which has 5 wildflowers, 5 icons and 5 animals.  Out of that range also came the Africa ring.  So it’s evolved all on its own. 
     
    The wire heart rings I make also led to many more pieces.  The heart wire ring came from the idea of creating a South African Claddagh ring.  I just loved the idea of wearing a ring that means something.  And so came all the other little wire rings and shapes I started to make. At the moment I am obsessed with gifts brides can give their wedding party and family. So I have made new little pendants with special messages stamped on them, and then of course the little knot ring.  Such a sweet gift with a little note that says thanks for helping me tie the knot.

     

  5. Ah, what a great idea. By the way, ever since I started planning this interview, I’ve been singing along to songs by replacing the word “love” with “glove”. Do you ever do that?

    Bahahaha!  Not yet…but I think that is a great idea!  I do change the work love to glove a lot when I write and when I speak.  Here are some funny examples:

    • Spread the Glove
    • No, Glove No Love
    • Lots of Glove

    I love the wordplay. It’s also sweet to hear other variations. A lot of people call it G Heart and always ask what the G stands for. I glove creatives :)

 
And so do we! You can get all gLoved up with items from their Hello Pretty store, or stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter. And if you’re up bright and early on Monday, we might just have a gLovely little something to give away…

Pretty Personal with Karen Kelly

Lovilee by name, Lovilee by nature. When a passion for entertaining combines with a love of pretty things, the result is Lovilee - a blog turned lifestyle and décor store stocked with all sorts of goodies that’ll make dinner parties delightful, weddings wonderful, and any party perfect.

  1. Hello Karen! So, tell us your “Lovilee” story?
    I’m a creative at heart who loves being surrounded by lovilee things. I’m a wife, a mom, and an online shopping addict that loves the colour purple. I believe that you should do what you love and love what you do! Pretty weddings and parties get my blood flowing, and lovilee décor and home accessories frequently wreck my budget.
     
  2. An online shopping addict? A woman after our own heart! So, how did Lovilee happen?
    Lovilee as a blog was born three years ago from a simple idea I had to share the projects I was doing in my new house at the time with friends. I became good friends with Melanie Wessels, who captured my wedding, and together we decided to formalise what I had into a wedding and home décor blog. My sister also came aboard and added a kids’ section, and so we became as we are today.

    Subesquently, they both pursued other ventures, making me the main Lovilee author. In June this year I also started Liefste in collaboration with Marinda May. Liefste is the Afrikaans version of Lovilee and aims to showcase proudly Afrikaans weddings, special occasions, shops, and businesses.

    The Lovilee online store started at the end of last year. After researching multiple options, I stumbled across Hello Pretty, applied to be a vendor, and here we are!
     

  3. And we’re really glad to have you! You’re clearly a very busy lady - where do you get inspiration for all of your projects?
    Hmmm, the two men in my life - my hubby and my little manny - keep me on my toes. I love them to bits.
    I love feeling appreciated, and knowing that I can touch others by bringing a little lovilee into their homes and hearts every day.
     
  4. Speaking of which, tell us a little more about the Lovilee things you make!
    The Lovilee store currently only stocks handmade or self-designed items. The products reflect little bits of me. I love creating little odds and ends that can make a room special or add a unique touch to an occasion.

    Also, in collaboration with Liezel from Match Set Love, I’ve designed some new party packs that are just FUN!
     

  5. We saw those! We’re going to rock those moustaches so hard. Bonus question: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?
    At the moment I’m going to have to go with the “Supergirl” cliché …Juggling marriage, raising manny, housework, Lovilee, and my other ventures is proving quite a task…But my woman superpowers keep me going. :)

Get your hands on some Lovilee items of your own from their Hello Pretty store; get your daily dose of eye candy on the blog; and stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter. Oh, and just between the two of us: If you check back here on Monday morning, we might just have a little something Lovilee to give away!

Pretty Personal with Kristen Morkel

The story of Design Kist is an almost textbook definition of a happy accident. Onse Kristen actually ended up studying textile design on a last-minute whim, and it’s lucky for us that she did! Design Kist is a treasure chest of gorgeous things with a uniquely Mzansi flavour - and Kristen herself is no different.

  1. Hello Kristen! So, how did you land up doing what you do?
    Hello Pretty! :) I’m a textile designer and “owner person” at Design Kist - a Cape Town based surface and textile design studio. I ended up studying textile design on a spontaneous whim when I was 18  (Ed. note: The afternoon that applications closed - cutting it fine!), and within a week I had started classes at CPUT.
     
  2. "Owner person" is an awesome title. We should totally get that on our business cards. Tell us about the wonderful things Design Kist makes!
    We make designer wallpaper, fabric, and digital surface patterns with a uniquely “Mzansi” flavour. Many of the designs start out as hand-drawn sketches, or motifs/images from our handpicked selection of SA designers, which are then translated into seamless patterns to print onto wallpapers and fabrics. This collaborations has resulted in a series of designs with different “handwritings” that still retain a distinct “Design Kist” feel.

    Another special factor is that our products are printed to order, with all printing done locally. Due to the bespoke nature of our products, in most cases we can tweak, recolour and customise to ensure that the product is perfectly tailored to suit our clients’ needs before we print.
     

  3. Even a quick look at the Design Kist collection shows a lot of different influences, or “handwritings”. Is there anything in particular that inspires you?
    There are many Capetonian designers I find inspiring. Right up there are Heather Moore of Skinny laMinx; Jesse Breytenbach of Jezze Prints (Ed. note: Holler, Henri Kuikens!); and Wendren Setzer, owner of The Wren Design (and a former classmate). Watching their creative businesses evolve gave me the confidence to quit my job as a salaried textile designer. I wanted to design in my own name, and create on my own terms, and these women showed me that it was possible. As for my favourite things - right up there are coffee, black ink fineliners, my camera, and books - anything that stimulates/facilitates creativity!
     
  4. With so much inspiration out there, you must be keeping busy! What’s coming up for Design Kist?
    Most of our designs emerge quite intuitively, and as such we try not to adhere to too much of a timetable. Saying that, we’ve been brewing a collection of fresh and vibrant spring florals, which we released on the first day of spring!
     
  5. You have great hair, by the way.
    Why thank you! Five words: Lionel Kim on Buitenkant Street. I met him while dropping off wallpaper samples for a client across the street from my studio. He took one look at my hair, gave me his card, and the rest is history! He actually inspired a soon-to-be-released “scissors” print - just goes to show, inspiration is everywhere!
 
It really is - from cows, to Zoo Biscuits, to hot air balloons. Give your surfaces some Design Kist lovin’ from their Hello Pretty store, and stay updated on new projects in the pipeline through the Design Kist Facebook and Twitter.

Pretty Personal with Ingrid Auret

We all need a little something-something from time to time - and now, you can get sweet and stylish something somethings from Maiden Name. The lovely Ingrid left the daily grind with the intention of creating things that were a little different, and that you were sure to love.

 

  1. Hello Ingrid! Tell us a little “something something” about yourself.
    Well, I originally studied interior design, then started working as an
    exhibition stand designer; but as I’m sure most creatives feel, I hated
    sitting in front of a computer every day doing things other people told me
    to do. I never actually designed anything. I then decided that an 8-5
    office job is very much not for me, so I left the safety of a monthly
    income and started doing freelance stand designs for a company in Holland
    (which I am still doing) - I was very lucky in that regard. My ultimate
    dream is to have my own shop though, so I started Maiden Name as a small
    range and am now hoping to turn it into a loved brand and hopefully a shop
    one day. Other than that, I love food way too much, love cooking and baking
    as well, I am a sports fanatic and think dogs are the best things to ever
    exist. 
     
  2. Ah, a dog person. Oh well, we can’t all be perfect. ;)
    Why did you choose the name “Maiden Name”?

    I never used to like my surname, Auret, but over the last few years I
    have grown to super love it! And knowing that in a few years time I’m
    going to have to say goodbye to my beautiful last name, I actually wanted
    to name the shop Auret, but it didn’t work so well as a logo - so, I decided
    that Maiden Name would work well. So now it’s kind of a tribute to my
    surname, which will one day be my maiden name.
     
  3. That’s a really creative idea! Who and what do you look to for inspiration?
    I am so inspired and proud of where creatives, designers, and entrepreneurs
    in South Africa are at, at the moment. I think we are very much world
    class and I’m so proud to be a South African. And I have to say Cape
    Town is an inspiration, I am so in love with our gorgeous city, I would marry it if I could.
    I love wood, and am trying to keep most of the Maiden Name products natural
    wood - it is something that will always be so loved and wood products are
    just beautiful. At the moment I am also inspired by illustrators and
    beautiful illustrations - they’re right at the top of my “Want” as well as
    "Inspiration" lists. Also, I have a slight ceramics addiction, anything
    from animals to coffee mugs, bowls and plates. 
     
  4. (Hey Cape Town: Call her.)
    What can you tell us about the something somethings Maiden Name makes?

    A lot of the Maiden Name products are handmade, and everything that is
    painted is hand painted. I personally love everything in the Maiden Name
    range, that is where everything starts… I make things that I would love
    to have so hopefully everyone else wants it. The range is still small, but
    growing fast, and I plan to add a ceramics range later this year also, so
    holding thumbs for that. 
     
  5. We’ll hold thumbs figuratively. If we did it literally, we wouldn’t be able to type. Last question: Chocolate or vanilla?
    Haha, well that depends on what exactly you’re talking about. Everything
    flavour-wise definitely chocolate, everything else I’ll have to say
    vanilla. But think that chocolate and vanilla actually ALWAYS go really
    well together. :)

Ain’t that the truth. Whatever your preference, you’re sure to find something to tickle your design tastebuds in Maiden Name’s Hello Pretty store. You can also get acquainted on Facebook and Twitter.

Pretty Personal with Leila Badsha from Bow Peep

Leila Badsha started Bow Peep in early 2011, with a focus on whimsical handmade stationery and accessories. You’ve probably spotted many a Cape Town gal wearing her button earrings and rings; and if you see a dapper gent wearing a bow tie - one he tied himself, natch - chances are, it’s one of Leila’s.

We caught up with her recently:

  1. Hello Leila! So, who are you exactly?
    I’m from Cape Town - I studied at UCT, and after graduating I did a couple of internships. I really hated being an intern so I started Bow Peep because I was so bored sitting around all day at a desk working on Excel. Bow Peep started to take off so I quit my internship and decided to work for myself full time.
     
  2. We hear you. Death by spreadsheet - no thanks! Can you tell us about the wonderful things Bow Peep makes?
    Bow Peep is about whimsical accessories and stationery that won’t break the bank. All the products are handmade, and almost all have an element of fabric in them.
     
  3. What makes you tick?
    I really love fabric and every time I find new fabric it inspires me to make new products. Sometimes just wandering around fabric shops inspires new designs. I tend to come up with new products ether late at night, or when I am really busy on an order and don’t actually have the time to start something new. I also love stationery so I had to add that to my range.
     
  4. Sounds like you have a lot going on! Did any of these flashes of inspiration turn into something we should know about?
    I have started working in silver so you can possibly expect a small silver Bow Peep collection. I have already made some silver button necklaces, and will hopefully come up with more soon. I am also trying to make more things for guys - I am planning on making cuff links but its taking a while…
     
  5. We can’t wait! So, last question: Ever lost any sheep? (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)
    Hahaha, my friends and my family think I have lost the plot sometimes. I think they think I’m a bit mad but I think you have to be a bit mad to work for yourself.
We couldn’t agree more - just look at Team Hello Pretty ;)

Pretty Personal with Audrey Botha from Papillon Belle

Audrey Botha inherited jewellery from her grandmother, which ended up being the inspiration behind the exquisite pieces from Papillon Belle. Every piece is as unique as the butterfly it came from, and just as captivating.

Clockwise from top: Urania Butterfly Necklace, Audrey and her darling puppy, Ornithoptera Butterfly Necklace, Skeleton Wing Earrings

Once we managed to stop oohing and aahing over Audrey’s adorable puppy, we asked her a few questions:

  1. Hello Audrey! So, who are you exactly?
    I am a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based in Cape Town, South Africa.  Butterflies have always been a source of inspiration to me. When I inherited two antique brooches made with real butterfly wings from my grandmother, it sparked the idea for my new range of jewellery. The brooches date back to the Victorian era and I became very interested in how you can take something as transient as a butterfly, and immortalise it in a piece of jewellery that can be passed down three generations. I wanted to create a range of timeless, classic pieces that could become family heirlooms at a time when disposable consumables seem to dominate our world.
     
  2. That’s a really nice ethos. Hello Pretty is a huge fan of lasting, quality design. Can you tell us about the wonderful things Papillon Belle makes?
    Papillon Belle jewellery is special on so many levels. Each piece is handcrafted using real butterfly wings, encased in glass or perspex and set in Sterling Silver. The glass pendants are engraved with the year of manufacture on the side, making it the perfect gift for a special occasion. Each pendant comes in a luxury gift box with a certificate of authenticity containing info on the butterfly and where it’s from.
    The butterflies used in my jewellery are sourced from an organisation that manages sustainable farming projects all over the world. The pendants are not only beautiful to look at, but also help to conserve the rain forests and support the farmers who depend on the forests to make a living, while preserving the populations of endangered butterflies.
     
  3. I read up on that on your website’s About page, and it’s fascinating. Who knew something as small as a butterfly could help change the world? What changes your world and inspires you?
    Being a creative person, I am constantly inspired by things around me. When I encounter something that inspires me, it tends to cross-pollinate in my mind and result in new ideas. I also love working on a range of different projects and tackling a new creative problem. I love traveling and spending time with my beagle Otis.
     
  4. Hi Otis, you cutie pie. Audrey, anything interesting coming up that we should know about?
    I have been working on waterproofing butterfly wings for the past 2 months and have finally found a solution after much trial and error! You can’t touch the wings or get any moisture in contact with it without damaging the wing, so waterproofing it is incredibly tricky. I will be launching the first butterfly wing rings at the end of the month.
     
  5. I just saw pictures of those on your Facebook page! Super exciting. Now, we know we shouldn’t ask you to play favourites, but do you have a favourite butterfly?
    Luckily, I have a collection of 5 pendants next to my bed so every morning I choose a pendant and dress according to the colour of the wing! I would never be able to choose a single butterfly, but I would have to say the Morpho Zephyritis from Peru is pretty spectacular. The wing is actually brown, but to the human eye the one side is an iridescent turquoise blue that changes colour depending on the colour of the light. This is an optical illusion caused by light refraction taking place on tiny scales on the surface of the wing. Then the Urania Chrysiridia Ryphaeus from Madagascar is actually a moth that mimics butterflies to ward off predators. It’s a crazy looking insect covered in stripes and dots and all the colours of the rainbow. I call it my transvestite butterfly as it looks like it’s wearing too much make-up :) Madagascar is an isolated eco-system, so you tend to find insects and animals there that have evolved over time that you will find nowhere else on earth! Lastly, the Siproeta Victorina Stelenes has to be one of my favourites…for one, I love the name! It looks like something from an Art Nouveau painting and the colours are incredible (blue grey and burnt orange).
That’s it. We’re totally naming our band “The Transvestite Butterflies”. Thanks Audrey!
You can find more of Audrey’s stunning pieces on the Papillon Belle Hello Pretty store. Also, if you find her on Twitter and Facebook, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to meet Otis.

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