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)

The happiest girl alive, Lisa <3

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!!!!

These two guys taught themselves to make furniture & decor pieces, quit their jobs and now have their own design business. Meet: GRYS.

The story of Grys

So let me start off by saying we are no writers, neither are we business tycoons that are trying to give business advice to anyone, these are just our thoughts that we want to put into words and maybe inspire one person out there reading this.

Grys.; for those of you who don’t know, is a home décor brand and interior design company that myself and Wayne Hayward started in August 2018. The idea came to us when we wanted to transform a normal wooden dining room table into one with a concrete top. After weeks of research and countless industry experts telling us it’s not advisable to pour cement onto wood and expect it to stick, we bought a bag of cement and off we went.

Without any ‘real’ knowledge of cement or the cement: sand:water ratio, we poured a 50kg bag of cement and started mixing it with water (can I also just add that we had no form of mixer, except our hands and arms as it would turn out later). Long story short, after hours of mixing, we had a mixture of concrete and we poured it onto the tabletop.

At this point, we also had no idea that we weren’t suppose to let the cement cure in direct sunlight or that we were suppose to keep the cement moist with water. Either way, a couple of hours later, the cement seemed hard and we carried the table inside the house.

Very impressed with the outcome, we waiting another couple of days before we started to use our one of a kind table.

At the time of this craft project, I was still employed. I was as happy as one could be in a job and industry that isn’t your real passion, yet my 7 years of studying had steered me into this position. Please don’t get me wrong, although I had days (most of them) where I just wanted to pack my back and never go back to the office, I was always grateful for a job, career and income which meant I could pay my bills at the end of the month. However, without going into too much detail as it’s not the point of the story, my security of paying bills came to an end in May 2018.

So back  to Grys...

One night, Wayne and I sat on the couch and we chatted about travelling abroad and how we could afford this, without going into debt. I suggested, why not start a business/hobby on the side and every cent we make from it, we save up for our next trip. So the thinking started and with our beautiful concrete dining room table staring at us, doing something with concrete, was the obvious choice. We started throwing ideas around and decided on making concrete serving platter/cheese boards. You might think to yourself how is this possible, how will this practically work and what will it look like. Well, the proof is in the pudding as they say. Again, after weeks of research, creating molds, testing different cement types, trying out different ratios, we got the winning formula. We actually had a product that looked beautiful, did not crack and did not break when slightly touched. So the sales and marketing began for our products and brand.

Throughout the process of manufacturing, selling and marketing our products, I decided that this is what I wanted to do full time. Believe me, this decision wasn’t a financial one. Yes, we sold the odd product here and there, but nothing close enough to sustain me financially every month. Luckily for me, Wayne was and still is employed full time as an Accountant.

So we started off by going to gift markets over weekends, thinking we would be rich by the end of it. How wrong we were. Our first market turned out ok, with friends and family members supporting us. The second market we sold one product and the third (which would also be our last) we sold zero. Very upset, we phoned our moms and asked them why everyone was lying to us, by telling us our products are beautiful, yet the sales leading up to that point proved the opposite. As mentioned, we stopped with the markets and decided to try different selling techniques.

Not to keep you reading for hours, we can now proudly say that we didn’t give up and with a lot of trial and error we are now selling our products on Hello Pretty, Takealot and our own online shop. With negotiations with a couple of other leading online shops and retailers.

The moral of the story is a cliché, if you have a passion for something, try and fail, try again and possibly fail again, however need stop trying. If one technique, regardless of manufacturing, marketing or sales doesn’t work, move on to the next one until you find THE ONE. And even then you will have days where you want to stay in bed (and that’s ok, I’ve done it once or twice), but tomorrow wake up, dress up and continue to work towards your end goal. We all have different end goals for starting a business, whichever it is just continue.

We started off with a crazy home DIY idea; today we have 15 products and working on expanding to different products and mediums.

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 to find out more.
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