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 was 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 out the bracelet on and 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 jewelry to sell and as that succeeded, 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 take her products to 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.
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