Add a little Flourish to your bag!

I’m a book girl, through and through.  From old ones where the pages are so thin and brittle that you have to turn them with slow and deliberate delicacy, right through to crisp new ones which smell of bleachy chemicals and freshly printed ink, their razor sharp newly sliced pages carrying the promise of a paper cut if you dare not treat them right. Reading books and being able to immerse yourself into someone else’s world and escape your own is a pleasure second only to one thing – creating your own. Whether you’re journaling the most private of thoughts, or jotting down your day-to-day, or even just doodling, that book needs to be something special, and beautiful. Life is too short for ugly books.

This gorgeous nude leather journal from Flourish ticks all my boxes. The entire book is handmade – the pages are stitched into sections, which in turn are stitched to the spine. A riempie ties your book closed, which mean you’re not getting bent pages or handbag shmutz all up in your notes.  Also, every time you open it it’s like unwrapping a gift. And you can even tie your fancy pen up in the bow. Dayum! They’re available in a range of sizes and colours, which means you can take accessorizing to the next level. Notebook matching your shoes, matching your bag? Totes. 

Savior Brand Co

Savior Brand Co on Hello Pretty

One of our longest standing, loyal and supportive sellers, Savior Brand Co, has been up to some pretty amazing things this year.

Not only have they continued to produce some seriously droolworthy leather goods, but they have also done Durban a solid by pumping out mean cappuccino's and killer cupcakes from their new coffee shop at 51 Station Drive.

And what's even better is that they're sharing the goodness with all SBC fans, worldwide! You can get hold of your very own Savior Brand Co coffee beans on Hello Pretty, right over here.

Savior Brand Co on Hello Pretty
Savior Brand Co on Hello Pretty

Coffee beans not your thing? Need a coffee fix some other way? SBC totes has you covered - you can put it all over your body! (Or if you're like us, fill up on delicious SBC coffee AND cover youself in it. Just to make sure you cover all of your bases.)

This coffee scrub is packed with ground premium Arabica coffee, sugar, salt, coconut oil, olive oil and cinnamon - so basically all that is nice in the world, barring peanut butter and Louboutins. Please just don't blame us when the stranger next to you in the bank queue wants to lick your face.

Savior Brand Co on Hello Pretty

So do us a favour, and get on down there if you find yourself in Durban - have a cupacke, and give Max a squeeze from us while you're at it.

Savior Brand Co on Hello Pretty
Savior Brand Co on Hello Pretty
Savior Brand Co on Hello Pretty

They're also pretty awesome at supporting other local talent, and have exhibitions and the like in the space. Good coffee and nice guys? Win win.

Kraft Eyewear has also made an appearance - these fantastic glasses come with polarised lenses, or, if you prefer, you can get your prescription glasses some super cool new frames. Each style is named after something in Durban: a street name, a hotel - each frame has a story.

Love them but not in Durban? You're in luck! Because you can grab them right over here. You can't say we never gave you anything.

Savior Brand Co on Hello Pretty

Clickety click!

Pack it up

Be the king of the swingers with this amazing backpack from Five Past Five. It's hand crafted, hand stitched, and hands down the best looking backpack I've ever seen. Plus, its sturdy sides and geometric shape are perfect for your laptop. Get yours here.

We featured this item in our newsletter this week, along with a curated collection of our favourite bags, sleeves, and covers for those all-important pieces of tech in your lives. There's a new theme every week, so if you'd like to be kept in the loop, sign up below!

Pretty Personal with Claire du Plooy

Pretty Personal with Claire du Plooy

Willow trees are known for their beautiful lines and elegant appearance - so it's no surprise that Willow Tree Bags have those same qualities. They're handmade in Cape Town by the lovely Claire (who's pretty darned elegant herself). Team HP is obsessed with her range, so we decided to take a peek behind the scenes. 

Pretty Personal with Claire du Plooy

  1. Hello Claire! Tell us a little about yourself.

    As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed dressing up and co-ordinating outfits. So it was a given that the Fashion Industry was my calling. I have worked in the rag trade for over  15 years, in manufacturing and retail. I have had wonderful opportunities to travel and live abroad. Although always involved in the creative process, I yearned to see my designs and ideas transformed into beautiful end products, from start to finish. And so Willow Tree was born.

  2. Why did you choose the name Willow Tree?

    Growing up, we had a willow tree at the bottom of our garden. I would gaze out my bedroom window or lie under the enchanted tree’s softly swaying branches and imagine what the  future held. I suppose you could say that I pinned all my hopes and dreams on the branches of a willow tree.

  3. I had a jasmine creeper outside my window as a child and to this day it still stirs up memories. What are some other things you find inspiring?

    I love the smell of cut grass; the sound of falling rain; exploring new places; old things that  have a story to tell; my son’s little arms that wrap tightly around my neck; my husband’s unconditional love and support. I am constantly inspired by nature’s textures and surfaces. I am fascinated by the diverse use  of prints and patterns that vary across cultures, in South Africa and around the world. I have a love for textiles and can’t resist mixing patterns; plush surfaces and textured raffia with leather to create something unique.

  4. Tell us more about the lovely pieces from Willow Tree.

    Willow Tree is designed, sourced and crafted in Cape Town. I am passionate about keeping things local. We have so many talented people in our country and it is vital to grow and nurture the industry. Our aim is to create stylish, functional accessories that will last throughout the years.

  5. Favourite "Willow," and why?

    Willow Pattern (Ed. note: like the crockery). I am a hopeless romantic and love the fable of the forbidden lovers. May love always prevail.

We couldn't agree more! Head over to Willow Tree's Hello Pretty store to find gorgeous bags you'll fall in love with. You can also stay connected on Facebook.

Ten Wardrobe Staples Every Woman Should Own

10 items every woman should own

Mags do it, newspapers do it, fashionistas do it, so heck, we're doing it too.

We all know that there's a bunch of things that we should all have in our cupboards. "Go to" items in times of crisis, bad weather and fat days. However, whether or not we actually subscribe to all of the lists of things the glossies of the world are telling us are a sign of growing up is another thing entirely. *shoves Hello Kitty PJ's under pillow*

So, in the hopes of becoming the elegant, put together, groomed woman that I believe I should be, I have rustled up some of the goodies we apparently should all possess. And after this I'm going to track down my hair brush and attempt to learn some fancy stuff about wine and taxes. (Adulthood man. It's pretty tough.)

10 wardrobe staples every woman should own

1. Pearls darling. Be your most grown up self with a pearly something that will stay with you for life, and can be passed down to your future offspring. I'm personally not a "string of pearls" kinda gal, so I would go for a pretty ring or pair of earrings. They feel a little fresher and younger to me, but still classic and elegant.
- Pearl ring by Muchi Galoosh
- Vintage earrings by Civetta Spark

2. A classic trench. Most mags and woman who don't mess toothpaste/gravy/coffee on themselves will tell you to go for a camel or tan coloured trench. They're really beautiful, but it's probably safer to go for one of the other classic colours if you're klutzy - navy or black for me thanks!
- Winter Coat by Lo

3. Statement sunnies. Guys. I love you. But those free oversized sunglasses you got for in the December issue of your favourite magazine two years ago is just not a thing. As a GIGANTICALLY blind, light sensitive human, I place a lot of value of stuff that takes care of your peepers. And looks hawt. Naturally.
- "The Hill" sunglasses by Kraft Eyewear

4. A Little Black Dress. Obvs. You've had a fat day, your heart has been broken by some jerk, or you have a hot date - nothing will lift your spirits and self esteem like an LBD. Thousands, nay, surely millions of woman, fashion editors and stylists can't be wrong. We all need THAT dress that you can fling on and feel like an instant glamazon.
- Nirvana Dress by Mareth Colleen

5. A crisp white button down shirt. Dress it up with heels and sparkly thangs, dress it down with jeans and flats, look every inch the lady any which way.
- Audrey Shirt by Georgie.B

10 wardrobe staples every woman should own

6. A dressy jacket or blazer. Nothing makes you look more tailored than a good blazer. Much like the white button down, it can be flung over jeans or over some other super smart ensemble to make you feel like a powerhouse with the world at your feet. Hectic meeting or nervy interview that day? Fling on your blazer and Get Stuff Done.
- Cocktail jacket by Silver Spoon

7. Ballet flats. Look, we all want to be able to mince around in a pair of killer heels like your local Tina Turner impersonating drag queen. (For realsies ladies - How do you do it? Teach me!) However, for some of us, that is just not going to happen. Have a pair a killer heels stashed for special occassions, but if it's not one of your many talents, rather forgo looking like a pained giraffe and call it a day with some sophisticated pumps.
- Classic Ballet Pumps by Bohème Atelier

8. A clutch. Almost all of us are guilty of lugging half our lives and the neighbours dog around in ovesized bags. But how many of you actually own a clutch? I didn't, until a very fab friend bought me a lovely little guy and said, "Clutches are perfect gifts. Every woman needs one but none of them will buy it for themselves." So grab a fancy tiny bag for yourself or a girlfriend - you never know when Ryan Gosling/Reynolds/Kwanten/Phillippe will stumble into your life and need you to hit the red carpet with him RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Be prepared gurl.
- Hand made leather clutch by Thabo Makhetha

9. Grown up jammies. Your ex ex ex boyfriends boxers and a free oversized tshirt that you got from that 5k race your girlfriends dragged you to one time does NOT count as pyjamas anymore. You may not be entirely together quite yet, but you're not a student who smells like box wine and yesterday's laundry anymore either. Get something pretty that you can answer the door in.
- Stone sleepwear set by Anna-Louise Sleepwear

10 wardrobe staples every woman should own

And last but not least;

10. Respectable luggage. One piece of luggage that gets missed so easily is a decent overnight bag. I've had to up and leave unexpectedly to help a girlfriend through a break up, for a family emergency or to crash at someones apartment because we're planning to go full wino that night (drunk driving is not cool y'all. Make the unofficial number eleven on this list a couple of cab company phone numbers programmed into your phone). Feel fabulous when you arrive at your desination with luggage that looks as together as you do. Even if you're a mess, you won't look it!
- Large weekend bag by Thandana Bag Co
- Leather Deluxe Tote by Savior Brand Co
- The Casablanca by Chartermade
- Signature Travel Bag by Colony Design
- Small leather duffel bag by Dark Horse

So Pretties, not so tough right? Go forth and be your phenomenal selves!

Pretty Personal with Max Pienaar

Savior Brand Co. was borne out of a desire to find an alternative to the mass-produced dime-a-dozen phone and laptop covers available commercially. SBC went one better and created beautiful, quality leather goods that not only smell awesome, but are designed and made by hand right here in Mzansi. Founder, inventor of the word “ZARians”, and cheesecake fanatic Max took some time to chat to us.

Here’s what he had to say for himself:
  1. Hello Max! So, who are you exactly?
    I’m a son, a husband, a father, a friend, and a change agent…at the end of it all, I’m just a guy that loves design/creation and the freedom and pleasure that it brings not only to myself but to the individuals that “buy” into my designs…
  2. That’s quite a job title. How does Savior Brand Co. fit into it?
    Savior Brand Co. is a two part story:
    Part 1: I was working on a creative project with Laurie Holmes, founder of Holmes Bros fashion - I shared with him my dream to help older orphans make something of their lives, and help them realise their dreams, become useful to themselves, and integrate themselves as contributing members in their communities…by enriching their lives, they enrich ours, and also this beautiful land we call ZAR - this dream bore an organisation called SMLV+18.

    Part 2: Laurie came back to me a few months later with a contribution “puzzle piece” that added to my initial dream; and in that nano-second of sharing, Savior Brand Co. was born, and leather became my medium of creativity…a significant portion of SBC profits will feed into realising the dreams of orphans over the age of 18.
    I get asked about the name and the logo a lot - it’s almost fun to watch people’s reactions when I tell them that I love Jesus, and he is my anchor…seriously though, it is more than that. The name Savior Brand Co. sort of evolved out of that first dream to help orphans. Wikipedia says that a savior “…may refer to a person who helps people achieve salvation, or saves them from something.” We’re passionate about transforming the lives of orphans, so by purchasing any Savior Brand Co. product we sort of enable you to be a savior in your own right, by literally saving the dreams of young adults and impacting the lives of our kids. 

  3. That’s some food for thought right there. What items does SBC make, and how does your ethos impact on their design?
    I started off making leather accessories for Apple products - iPhone, iPad, and Macbooks, pretty much because I couldn’t find anything I really liked in any of the retailers…everyone sort of carries the same mass-produced stuff made out of synthetics, and I wanted something with a bit more soul, something with a story. I have a few mates that are musos, so I got a call to make guitar straps; I wanted a lanyard wallet; someone else wanted a slim wallet; and as I got more requests for custom products our product offerings evolved to include leather totes, briefcases, lanyards, wallets, camera straps, keyrings, and a host of other leather goods. Now, we make pretty much any accessory.
    Pretty much anything with the Savior Brand on it is hand-cut, hand-stitched (only sometimes machine-sewn for quality), and basically handmade, with a bit of love thrown in…call me soft, but that’s just how I roll these days…fueled on love…
  4. Aw, Max, you big softy. And we thought that with all the leather and guitar straps and biker wallets that you had to be some kind of a badass!
    Let’s just say that I’m definitely not a conformist…I’d like to describe my products as badass (adjective: formidable, excellent: this is one badass leather bag…hahahaha).
  5. Is there anything particularly badass coming up that we should know about?
    We’re constantly designing new products, and recently launched two new tote designs - the SBC Brogue Tote and the SBC Farmers’ Shopper - coming soon to a Hello Pretty near you!
That sounds totes amaze! (Sorry. We’re really sorry.) You can find the (badass) Savior Brand Co. line on Hello Pretty, and get the 411 on SBC on Facebook and Twitter.
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