The striking talent of local-based female entrepreneurs is something to be immensely proud of and continuously inspired by. Existing and emerging creativity, innovation and originality runs deep in our country and is evident in our round-up of local female-owned businesses to be in awe of and stay intrigued by.
Like most of us, Cecilia M. Kapasula’s career path was unclear in her early years. But her working experiences in Ghana and Gabon marked the starting point of a new directional entrepreneurial spirit.
Kapasula is the owner of Sweet Savannah, an independent interior decor brand based in Kempton Park that produces modern furniture and decor pieces with African-inspired mesmerising prints and vibrant colours to liven up in any space in your home. They cleverly refer to the style as ‘ContAfricafrican’, a mash-up of contemporary African.
The collection includes a range of soft furniture, stools, ottomans, and hard furniture including wooden tables, reception desks and room stands. For those looking for a more special touch, the group also do bespoke creations and consultations to help craft your decor identity.
The Sweet Savannah team recently launched their new Velvet Ndebele & Shweshwe print fabrics for upholstery and soft furnishings. These custom-made textiles are sourced, printed, and designed by the Fabric Bank and eliminate issues of longevity and rub count.
More tips and style inspiration can be found on their website and social media pages.
Spice and All Things Nice is the brainchild of passionate cook and dedicated mum, Gillian Downes, who started the venture in 2002 from her mum’s kitchen. Today her range of spices, pastes, and rice can be bought from the likes of Pick ‘n Pay, Wellness Warehouse, Dischem, and selected Spar stores. Eagle-eyed shoppers and passionate cooks will already be familiar with the tasty curry paste and complimentaries of Spice and All Things Nice. The Kosher-certified group famously steers clear from preservatives and additives, using only the finest ingredients for their gluten-free products.
Spice and All Things Nice also specialises in a variety of pantry boxes priced between R250-R300 that serves as a great base to build plant-based breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. This is ideal for newbies just dipping their toes into the challenge, or just busy cooks.
Their Vegan Pantry Box includes crunchy granola, a chocolate smoothie mix, and Dhal and Korma curry blends to name a few. No Indian feast would be complete without Poppadums, ready to pop in the oven. For the foodies with a more adventuristic palate, the Foods of the World Pantry Box is packed with handcrafted Thai Green Curry, Indian Butter Chicken, Dhal curry, Balti Curry and Moroccan Harissa pastes, a flavour for every night of the week.
All the pantry boxes include some recipe ideas, so no worries if you hit a brick wall. That’s exactly philosophy at Spice and All Things Nice – to make cooking healthy, fun, and convenient.
Secure your pantry box directly from the Spice and All Things Nice online store. Single unit pastes and spices can be bought directly from various grocery stores. Also available from Yuppiechef, Ucook, Faithful to Nature, and Buyfresh.
Wrapt Knitwear focuses on a fresh take on tried and tested knitwear staples, each with a twist: a merino wool crewneck with a subtle bit of contrast colour around the neck; a cardigan with colour blocking elements; a long-sleeved tee made elegant by the texture of linen yarn. The use of natural, sustainable fibres at this Jozi brand has obvious ecological underpinnings, but it is as much for the sake of the beauty, tactility and durability of natural yarns.
The Wrapt family is made up of founder/owner Hannelie Bekker and three multi-skilled garment producers, Anna Setloboko, Felicity Mhlanga and Oupa Nhovela. For Bekker, it was Helen Sharp’s wonderful Machine Knitting Intensive course in Seattle which awoke the entrepreneurial spirit to launch the fashion brand.
Every piece is knitted and hand-finished at Wrapt’s premises at Victoria Yards, part of Johannesburg’s Makers Valley, making it a great wardrobe addition or the perfect and thoughtful gift.
Knitting is done to order which can be placed in person at Vic Yards (where there are also samples to try on) or online at www.wrapt.co.za. The usual timeline for production is 5-8 working days, but Wrapt’s personalised service makes it possible to accommodate requests for quicker turnaround. Orders over R1,000 are delivered free of charge anywhere in SA.
Something Good Studio’s new range of art blankets will have you looking good AND feeling good. Founder Zydia Botes ran a competition for Young Designers across South Africa and whipped up a whirlwind of girl power in the process. It’s a happy coincidence that all 3 winners are females and the blankets were launched at the end of Women’s month.
Their online store stocks some of the finest blankets, in an array of stylized patterns in black and white, yellow, pink and blue that will transform your house into a home. They also have several woven art and paper pieces and also a fine choice of delicate throws. To top it off, their unique clothing pieces such as the Romario wrap and Romaria Long Kimono can only be found in their store in the whole of South Africa. All pieces are curated, hand-picked and uniquely designed by various artists in the country; leaving you with a personal and unique touch for your home.
This Randburg-based studio was born out of a desire to live a life worth loving. They use art and design to encourage well-being, happiness, and purpose. That’s why they source their cotton from local, BCI accredited farms, while manufacturing takes place locally. These pieces are making a positive impact. All the way from farm to family movie night.
Shop the new collection of blankets and more via their online store. Jozi stockists include The Space, Hers, His, Home, Adele Catherine, and The Golden Goose Artistry in Pretoria.
Rosa Handmade is a bespoke homeware and fashion accessories brand, founded and run by Makhosazane Sekgwama, who is a fiber artist that specialises in crochet product design. Makhosazane has been celebrated for her work at Design Joburg and Maison & Objet Paris Design Week.
Her beautifully crafted designs are made using recycled cotton fabric yarn from local clothing industries and inspired by the natural landscapes of Kwazulu-Natal where she grew up. Being a conscious entrepreneur, Makhosazane’s manufacturing process and designs do not negatively impact the environment or exhaust natural resources. This mindfulness feeds into the company’s craftsmanship which involves hand-weaving to produce durable and long-lasting products.
Her products include; baskets, pot plant covers, poufs, handbags, ottomans, pillows, throws and rugs. Every item is designed with the intention to be useful while being a decorative piece to any home. Makhosazane’s aim is to combine her passion for creating designs that are eco-conscious with products that serve a functional purpose and aesthetic appeal. As a female business owner, Makhosazane takes pride in empowering women through providing employment and serving as an admirable inspiration in the homeware design industry locally and on a global scale.
Frances Pryce Lewis is a fast-rising designer – talented is an understatement. Her designs reflect an air of elegance missing from modern fashion, delicately detailed and classically handcrafted. Through the carefully crafted catalogue of designs from casual wear to the FPL Boutique range, a signature design style shines through, showcasing her impressive embroidery, beading and print skills which she developed at Fedisa where she graduated with a BA in Fashion Design. Experience working for the Haute Couture brand, Ralph & Russo in London paved the way for Frances to cultivate her brand.
A female-owned brand that is actively promoting sustainable fashion, with all garments made from deadstock and remnant fabrics, as well as all materials being sourced locally. Frances works on a made-to-order basis which reduces excess stock and makes every piece truly unique. In alignment with her consideration of the environment, Frances aims to ensure that all clothing items are priced reasonably and made to last for years to come. Custom designs are available, where Frances designs a garment in collaboration with clients to craft a one-of-kind item. Perfect for an evening dress, cocktail dress, Matric farewell dress, tailored jacket or even a wedding dress to commemorate the special occasion.
Local Village Foods’ product range boasts with a variety of gluten-free flours & grain, legumes, and African superfoods that can be used across a variety of baking, cooking, and also in your favourite drinks. Start the most important meal of the day off with porridge made with Teff grain, topped with caramelised pear, or your favourite topping for some added flavour.
Founder Sipamandla Manqele chanced on her vision to build a network of vibrant, local agri-prenuers across the African continent supplying equitably sourced and sustainably grown ingredients. Manqele and her team source 90% of their raw produce from small scale producers in countries such as Benin, Malawi, Nigeria, and closer to the homefront in regions of Limpopo and KZN.
Sorghum grains also comes as an excellent alternative to brown rice for that mid-afternoon salad bowl. The range also includes Tiger Nuts in whole, peeled, and flour form. Tigernut is a small root vegetable that is naturally gluten-free and Paleo-friendly. And it offers those allergic to nuts an option for adding protein when baking and cooking.
Stock up on the Local Village Foods range from Bryanston Organic & Natural Market, Jackson’s Food Market, Kwikspar Hillcrest, and online stockists such as Faithful by Nature and Takealot.com. Don’t forget to follow their Instagram page for snap-worthy serving suggestions.
Masodi Organics is an online-based beauty shop that makes and sells 100% natural hair and skin products, founded by Liz Letsoalo. A brand inspired by nature’s nourishment. Products are made with meticulous attention to detail, from the ingredients selected, to the essential oils used for nutrition and a refreshing fragrance.
Crafted with care and the environment in mind, the majority of the products are sulfate-free and contain no harsh chemicals. Specialising in natural-based shampoo, conditioner, hair oils and body butters, as well as satin head wraps and pillowcases for glowing hair and skin. Liz is in the process of launching Rave, a mobile beauty service that brings hair, make-up and nail services to clients in the comfort of their home.
Create Space Art Sessions is a collaborative creative environment, facilitated by founders, Nicolene Burger and Olivia Bevan. Offering an open space where everyone is welcome to discover and connect with their creative side. The artistic backgrounds and styles of Nicolene and Olivia blend together to welcome varying experiences and methods of expression. Create Space Art Sessions allows participants to engage with and expand upon the individual and communal art making process through interactive workshops.
Workshops on offer include; Online Guided Art Sessions via Zoom on Tuesdays from 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm and Thursdays from 11:00 am – 12:15 pm / 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm, R65 per session for South African residents and R100 for Internationals. Each session interprets a monthly theme which is explored through mindful art-making by interpreting space, time, body, surface, movement and medium. This exploration aims to expand on the cultivation of creativity by using it as a tool for healing and encouraging self-reflection. The focus is on the creation journey and not so much the art created. Online painting parties are also available, which explore basic painting techniques, provide an outline of art movements and noteworthy artists, technical tips and a guided meditation breaking down the creation process. No prior experience is required, these sessions allow a fun and interactive space for friends to come together creatively. Bookings are R250 per person for a standard online painting party. Private painting parties are also available for birthdays, a kitchen tea or office parties, which is tailored to the event.