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.

Posted by Sam on 03 Oct 2012

Hello Pretty co-founder. Curiouser and curiouser. Drupal girl with the itchiest feet you ever saw. Looks like one of those rap guys' girlfriends.