Pretty Personal

Meet loving-life Lisa, Hello Pretty's zesty intern 🙋🏻‍♀️

Hi there! My name is Lisa, and I will be interning at Hello Pretty for the coming 3,5 months (until the 21st of December). I am very enthusiastic for these coming months. This is actually my first time in South Africa and I must say I love it already and want to see and explore as much as I possibly can!!!

Where are my manners? Let me introduce myself first….! I am an 18 year old girl from The Netherlands, living in a small town called Laren (very close to Amsterdam). Although my mother is a Dutchie, my dad is from Austria and his roots lay in Armenia!

My friends play a huge part of my life and I absolutely love to hang out with them and go on adventures together as well as party as much as we can.

I love to be outdoor doing all kind of different activities, such as yoga and running or walking with my sweet dog. But the thing I love most doing is to travel, seeing and experiencing new cultures and meeting new people from all over the world.

I feel very lucky that I’ve got the opportunity to work for such an amazing company with the loveliest of colleagues <3. Currently, I’ve only been here for 5 days ( arrived the 4th of September), but Cape Town already feels like my happy place. I mean how can it not? The people are amazing, the food is insanely good and OMG the wine is from another planet!!! So is guess its gonna be a “ work hard, play hard” kind of lifestyle here for me… cant wait to figure it out!

So yeah, I am a very happy gyallllll,
Again ( one last time) ….. CANT WAIT FOR THESE MONTHS!!! ( sorry, I am just very very very excited)

XOXO,
The happiest girl alive, Lisa <3

Totally addicted to glass. Meet Sue, maker of Living Glass.

I am Sue Webber, owner of Living Glass. I am passionate about anything glass, it is such a beautiful and versatile medium. I have had a go at most crafts, but when I discovered glass work I was hooked.

I started working with glass about 25 years ago and for many years my studio was the place I went to for stress relief. I would putter about and all my problems seemed far away. My family and friends came to expect a piece of my work for birthdays and other celebrations.

There is a limit to how much one can give away, however, and I got to a stage where I had to either sell some pieces to pay for more glass or stop.

Well, stopping really wasn't an option so I started selling and Living Glass was born. 
 

I began selling at markets and apart from getting up early to set up I enjoy the markets, it's wonderful to meet new people and make new friendships. The people I meet also give me ideas for my work.

I retired two and a half years ago and while this gave me more time in the studio, I craved company so I started giving workshops in stained glass work. I LOVE the workshops, I get an afternoon's company and the chance to show off what I can do. Many of the people  have become good friends. Some wanted to continue at home but didn't want to spend a fortune on equipment so I started making pre-cut kits which only require a soldering iron.

My biggest challenge has been trying to use the computer to show off my products, I am much more comfortable with a glass cutter than a mouse and even something as simple as uploading photos is tricky so opening my Hello Pretty shop was a major achievement.

I am lucky enough to have a lovely studio and a very supportive husband who keeps me supplied with tea., I also have Kermit The Dog who keeps me company in the studio although he often gets in the way too.

What comes next? Who knows, but whatever it is will be smashing.

This blog post is one in Hello Pretty's guest blog series. Each post is written by a person who is running their online store through South Africa's favourite art, design & craft marketplace.

If you'd like to more view guest posts in this series, and other posts where we interview local businesses, click here.

Wanna write a guest post on Hello Pretty? Email us at info@hellopretty.co.za to find out more.

 

The Girl who Smiled Beads, Beaded Fantasy from Zululand

Leeann Naidoo, of Beaded Fantasty shares her story with us...

Living in the heart of Zululand comes with many perks and a lot of inspiration. In Zululand the African culture is embraced wholeheartedly by a community of mixed genders, races and age groups. From this inspiration Beaded Fantasy was born.

Beaded Fantasy started in the corner of a mechanical workshop where a little girl sought to release the creativity inside of her. Of course, at 12 years old, no one would take her seriously unless she showed initiative. With that in mind she purchased her first pack of beads, strung them onto a cotton thread and admired her first bracelet which she wore with pride and joy.
Her joy was short-lived when the bracelet snapped the very next day. Disappointed but determined, she decided that the best thing to do would be to educate herself. The library became her best friend and books her obsession. She learnt as much as she could and decided to try again.

The second bracelet was stronger and did not snap but there was another problem, how would a person put the bracelet on and then take it off? After more research the little girl discovered clasps. Another problem solved.

As time went on, the little girl never stopped trying, never stopped researching and never gave up. She learnt every style of beading, weaving and braiding she could. People saw her determination and, one of the good things about Zululand, they encouraged and supported her. She eventually started making beaded jewellery to sell and as that began to succeed, she decided that she wanted to reach a broader market, outside of Zululand. She wanted her art to travel.

At 18 years old she decided to place her products on the internet and opened her first online store on Hello Pretty. Now 22 years old, Leeann Naidoo is in the process of opening her first shop in Eshowe to bring beaded art to the public.

This blog post is one in Hello Pretty's guest blog series. Each post is written by a person who is running their online store though South Africa's favourite art, design & craft marketplace.

If you'd like to more view guest posts in this series, and other posts where we interview local businesses, click here.

Wanna write a guest post on Hello Pretty? Email us at info@hellopretty.co.za to find out more.

How a "plattelandse meisie" made it in Cape Town. Meet Sonjé of Sonny Mo Arts.

Hi, I’m Sonjé, the creative brain behind Sonny Mo Arts. Being from the Northern Cape originally, I’m something of a “plattelandse meisie”. I came to Cape Town to study and naturally fell in love with the Cape and now live here with my husband and our 3 doggos. I’m a homebody and enjoy spending time in my own environment (which is good since I work from home a lot!), love listening to music especially when I work, would never say no to chocolate and a good cup of coffee! I’m also not the best cook but have come a long way! ;-)

From a young age I was encourage to explore my creativity by my mother (who is an artist herself), and although I like to dabble in different mediums, photography drew me in the most.

 

After my studies I started my wedding photography business, and although very rewarding, I always felt I wanted to do something else too. I submerged myself so deep in my wedding photography, building a brand, attracting the right clients, refining my style, etc. that I never seemed to get the time to experiment with something else. I was also very set in my ways with regards to how I shoot and edit weddings that I struggled to break the mould I have put myself in.

My husband then bought me a photography diary that encourages you to take a photo a day, and that is the main thing that pushed me to think differently. I started taking more “just because” photos, playing around and experimenting. I absolutely loved it, and from there, Sonny Mo Arts was born.

I draw most of my inspiration from nature and natural elements. My current work I would best describe as having a more traditional film look to it, raw and organic.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had and continue to have is building a new social media audience from scratch and attracting the right clients who would be interested in my work. A more personal challenge is doubting myself and my creativity, and to always keep pushing forward even on days when you feel like giving up.

One of the biggest highlights must have been when I received my first order. It was so humbling to know someone loves my work as much as I do. My other biggest highlight was when I received my first international order all the way from Australia.

My biggest tip to anyone starting their own online shop would be not to give up and whenever that little negative voice comes in your head to make you question yourself, just shove it aside, do not listen to it and rather use it to drive yourself to work harder.


This blog post is one in Hello Pretty's guest blog series. Each post is written by a person who is running their online store though South Africa's favourite art, design & craft marketplace.

If you'd like to more view guest posts in this series, and other posts where we interview local businesses, click here.

Wanna write a guest post on Hello Pretty? Email us at info@hellopretty.co.za to find out more.

 

 

5 tips to start an online business, by Natalie of Sugar & Vice

Natalie van Dijk (nee Vice) of Sugar and Vice, always knew two things: that she wanted to run her own business and that she wanted to incorporate her creative talents into this business. The impetus to make this happen eventually came in the form of her retrenchment from a comfortable marketing job in 2014. Rather than acknowledge defeat, Natalie saw this as an opportunity to reinvent herself and make that business idea happen!

Sugar & Vice was started without any funding, handouts or loans. Instead Natalie relied on tenacity, hard work and an uncompromising commitment to her vision to build the brand. All Sugar & Vice products are handmade in Cape Town. The growth and development of the local creative industry is of key importance to the brand.

Starting and managing a business has been a steep learning curve for me and I am always happy to share my experience and learnings with friends, family and acquaintances. The thing is though that it is a very complex question to which the only short answer is, it is complicated and a lot of hard work. But I’ve given this question a lot of thought and condensed it into five points, which I am happy to share here.

Note that this is by no means the comprehensive guide to starting or running a business. This is merely my experience on my particular kind of business (an online shop in the creative industries with a wholesale element).

Over the years I have invested in my own professional learning, growth and development by, among others, doing a mini MBA course in business management, various kinds of training with the Craft and Design Institute (CDI), and courses in graphic design and interior decorating. I’ve worked in marketing, sales and admin roles and all of these have added to my experience in various ways.

1.    Do (A LOT OF) research
This is so important, because you need to know where in the market to position your product or service. Make sure you have a unique selling point – so that you know exactly what sets you apart from similar brands. See what similar products are priced at. Get quotes from all suppliers. Don’t forget about packaging. Find out how much the initial out lay will be and think about how you are going to finance this.

2.    Draw up a business plan
No, you won’t stick to it exactly because theory is one thing and practice is something completely different, but this is an important exercise to get you thinking about your business and how you are going to make it work. Write down your vision and mission statement. Note down what you want to achieve with your business. Include how you will finance things and what your marketing plan is.

3.    Start small
At the beginning I went a bit bananas with the variety of colourways I made my products available in. I should’ve chosen just two colourways to simplify things and to establish my brand. Also, don’t go overboard with spending too much money on stationery and equipment, only get what you absolutely need. You don’t want your cash to be stuck in objects, instead of being available for spending on suppliers/couriers. Don’t make your range too big. I’d advise starting with between five and ten to test the market, and gradually adding on from there.

4.    Do market research
Delve deep here. You need to make sure you know who your customer is, what they like, when they buy, how they like to be communicated with etc. If you do this properly then you will be able to market your products more effectively.

5.    Professional photos
The need for professional photographs cannot be stressed enough. This makes the world of difference. I have uploaded photos of my product to social media that I’ve taken myself and no sales, but as soon as I uploaded a professional photo of the same product, I made a few sales of that item the same day. Photography is definitely worth the financial investment.

This blog post is one in Hello Pretty's guest blog series. Each post is written by a person who is running their online store though South Africa's favourite art, design & craft marketplace.

If you'd like to more view guest posts in this series, and other posts where we interview local businesses, click here.

Wanna write a guest post on Hello Pretty? Email us at info@hellopretty.co.za to find out more.

Hello Dutch Pretty - meet Sem!

Hi there, my name is Sem (yes, this is my full name), a Dutch Fashion Student who’s ready to be Hello Pretty’s intern for the next five months. I feel blessed to get this great opportunity to be part of the Hello Pretty family and to live in this fantastic city (Cape Town).

I'm a spontaneous and sociable twenty-two year old girl who's always up for a party, so I can't leave good food and drinks standing. I love to travel and my dream is to see as much of the world as possible. I’ve left a bunch of lovely people in the Netherlands to start this adventure, but I've already found a lot of lovely friends in Cape Town.

I came to CPT with a 60 KG suitcase fully packed with clothes, I love clothes.

I'm in the process of completing my studies, and I'm sure that Hello Pretty has a lot to offer me, so I can go home with a new family, two suitcases full of knowledge, a lot of great memories and to graduate in February and rock all the Dutch people's asses off. I am excited to show you what I (& Hello Pretty) have to offer.

Byeee (in Holland I say: GROETJES)
P.s. I cannot wait to face a new summer season!!!!

Hey 👋 HP Seller, Clay Creations 56

Hi my name is Debbi Radomsky and my business is Clay Creations 56 where I make and sell beautiful unique ceramic pieces, ideal for home decor or serving delicious meals and snacks. My multifunctional pottery pieces can be used for jewellery, sweets, condiments, tapas, salads, fruit or just to simply adorn your dining room table with a touch of pretty.

They are also perfect gifts for any occasion - birthdays, engagements, weddings, house warmings, dinner parties or to simply spoil yourself because you deserve it!
 

Pottery is my happy place and where I can escape from the day to day stress of the real world. I always remember loving art classes as a child and especially enjoyed getting my hands messy with clay while making small pinch pots in my pottery classes. But then as I grew up I lost touch with my creative side and was very focused on numbers and left-brain thinking which lead me into a financial career. It was only 8 years ago that I decided to listen to my instinct and follow my longing for some creativity with clay and it has been the best thing I have ever done! 

I am so enjoying being a female entrepreneur and running my own small sideline business. It’s a hobby that has become a passion to express myself and take a break from the rat race. I’ve learned so much in this process and unlike numbers and finance which are either right or wrong, with ceramics everything is uncertain and unpredictable. Sometimes the kiln gods take over and what you receive as the end result is a complete surprise! A good lesson in life that things don’t always go according to plan and to let go and enjoy the process anyway. The unexpected result is often better than the original concept! 

I enjoy making platters, bowls, vases and sculptures and find working with clay so rewarding as one has to display patience and special love for a project to get the desired outcome. I hand make everything myself either at home or at a studio in Cape Town CBD with the inspiring backdrop of Table Mountain. The beauty around me in nature and everyday life sets the tone for my various ranges, but ocean blue is my personal favourite! All my work is available to purchase online at Hello Pretty or in the various shops I stock around the country. 

This blog post is one in Hello Pretty's guest blog series. Each post is written by a person who is running their online store though South Africa's favourite art, design & craft marketplace.

If you'd like to more view guest posts in this series, and other posts where we interview local businesses, click here.

Wanna write a guest post on Hello Pretty? Email us at info@hellopretty.co.za to find out more.

Hello! Hi! I’m Porchia.

Hello - Hi, my Hello Pretty family! I’m Porchia (Porsche-a not Por-chia) :) 

I’m 20-something years old and a mother of 3 wonderful boys. I dont know how some of you might feel, but I find it a bit too cliche to say “I’m happily married to the man of my dreams for 4+ years”... truth is that I'm happier than I could ever have imagined, especially because we're two different human beings and I’m just not the easiest person to spend eternity with.

I enjoy spending time with my family but do occasionally enjoy some retail therapy. My husband would probably disagree on this and say that “occasionally” is sugar coating my addictive habit. BUT! He's a wise man and knows that a woman is always right and saying nothing benefits him more. I am blessed to be working for such a wonderful company such as Hello Pretty. I work as the Community Support Specialist and assist with day 2 day queries and make the stay of our sellers and customers as comfortable as possible.

I'm Monique, one of the Hello Pretty elves. Pleased to meet you.

Hey Guys,

So I'm writing this blog post to introduce myself, one of the team members of Hello Pretty. 

I'm Monique and I'm super happy to be a part of this wonderful small company. I have been working at Hello Pretty for nearly a year and I can honestly say that I have learnt so much! I think I've found my niche with marketing and social media as well as the curation of products for the site and homepages. I love what I do and I love the team I work with and really believe in this business, and for that, I feel so grateful.

Photo above taken at the Studio & neighbourhood tour with A Ring To It.

I'm also a single mom to a powerful, strong minded, warm little nearly four year old. This single mom life is the hardest thing I've ever done but its also the most rewarding learning curve I've ever had. I'm all about personal growth as my background is in psychology.

I've recently rediscovered my love for yoga which has opened a whole new holistic approach to my life. I'm also all about balance so I like to follow my yoga classes with a bloody mary (its 5pm somewhere in the world). And yes, I have a dry sense of humour ;)

I also love art and design so curation at Hello Pretty is definitely my thing. 

Hey 👋 HP Seller, Silver Song Jewellery

I am Suzanne Groenewald, jewellery designer and manufacturer of Silver Song Jewellery. I draw my inspiration from the beauty and lure of nature, specifically trees and leaves. I have a fascination with gemstones and love working with unique gems. Most of my pieces are designed around specific gemstones. I work with all kinds of metals but prefer to use silver, for its beautiful colour and character. 

I believe that jewellery is a precious treasure, regardless of the cost or material used. It is something personal and valuable, to be adored and admired. Personally I love to look at all kinds of beautiful jewellery, to admire the workmanship and design of it, to buy it and to make it, to wear it, to hoard it and to share it. I simply love all things about jewellery! Through making jewellery, I hope to share my passion thereof with anyone who wants to look at or buy my pretty shiny things.

Mid last year I took on an exciting new endeavor and opened an online store on Hello Pretty. I did this in order to share my jewellery with a broader audience and I am very happy to be part of the Hello Pretty community! Every jewellery piece that I make is uniquely designed and manufactured by hand. I never stock a large selection, as my focus is on uniqueness and quality, not quantity. Starting this online store has definitely been my business high since it forced me to rethink and reconfirm my design principles and the direction in which I want Silver Song Jewellery to go.

My advice to any new Hello Pretty sellers out there: Go for it! Let no one stop you from doing what you love and from sharing your passion with the world.
 

This blog post is one in Hello Pretty's guest blog series. Each post is written by a person who is running their online store though South Africa's favourite art, design & craft marketplace.

If you'd like to more view guest posts in this series, and other posts where we interview local businesses, click here.

Wanna write a guest post on Hello Pretty? Email us at info@hellopretty.co.za to find out more.

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