4 Brands We Love

INFLUENTIAL BRANDS THAT ARE RUN BY WOMXN

by Jess Veitch

 

To celebrate the end of Women’s Month, the LAB set out to find local South African brands who are changing the game and inspiring the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

We caught up with the founders of Sweet Lion Heart, Ghost Goods, Koeksuster and Feat Sock Co to find out a little more about their craft and what keeps them inspired.

Check out the interview below:

Sweet Lion Heart

Dedication, vision and a passion for baking are the main ingredients when it comes to Sweet Lion Heart Pastisserie. located in Woodstock, Cape Town, they’re known for their colourful and delicious baked creations. From custom cakes to beautifully crafted treats, they have something for every sweet-tooth.

Sweet Lion Heart x Sneaker LAB

Tell us a little more about how you started your own brand?

We have been friends for 25 years and always dreamt of starting a business together. We never thought it would be cake but looking back now would not have wanted to do it any other way! I (Nikki) come from a graphic design background and Karmen from digital marketing. After taking on a few orders through Instagram, LionHeart was born in our tiny flat kitchen. Some late night Skype calls later, Karmen returned from London to join me and together we have grown the bussines into a 6 strong female team.

Describe your brand in one sentence?

Contemporary cake designers that strive to deliver an unforgettable gastronomical experience with quality service.

What was the initial inspiration behind your work/brand?

There was an initial interest in patisserie that we decided to explore after Nikki completed a part-time course at Silwood. We both fell in love with how cake seamlessly merged with their appreciation for beautiful design and how it could become a springboard for creating gorgeous treats and incredible moments of indulgence.

What one piece of advice would you give to a young women thinking about starting a business?

Just knuckle down and do it. Take risks and don't beat yourself up when you make mistakes. That's how you learn!

Name 2 women who have inspired you?

It's hard for us to say as we both admire various qualities of various females. If we  had to pick it, I think it would be Rupi Kaur for her bravery and work she has done in inspiring women through her poetry. We both agree on Chrissy Teigen for her humorous attitude towards life and advocacy of self-love.

If you could have lunch with one woman in the world, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Michelle Obama. She's an iconic woman on a global platform that advocates healthy living and positivity. We'd ask about how she balances being a successful business women, a loving wife and mother and how she maintains a healthy attitude towards nutrition and self-love.

Finish this sentence, “The future is …. “?

... What you make of it. 


Ghost Goods

Designer by day, Creator by night - Nicole Dalton runs Ghost Goods, a small accessories shop specialising in fun patches, pins and illustrations. We decided to catch up with her to find out more. 

Ghost Goods x Sneaker LAB

Tell us a little more about how you started your own brand?

I started Ghost Goods 2 years ago but have been working as a a designer since 2008. I have always felt fulfilled by my jobs but decided that I wanted to somehow have more control over what I created and put out in to the world. This motivated me to start my own company so that I could produce products that I felt happy with. I also felt that there was a gap in the market for quirky and positive wearable designs. 

Describe your brand in one sentence 

Happy pins for unhappy minds... 

I realise that this probably doesn't sound good, but that is where the brand comes from for me! I wanted to be really open about mental health and for my brand to be positive but in a realistic way. I wanted contribute to the growing conversation about mental illness and help destigmatize the issue. For example, my "It's ok" pin is one example of how I am trying to get that message across.  

What was the initial inspiration behind your work/brand?

I was inspired by various creatives who I followed online such as the New York-based designer and illustrator  @adamjk. I was really inspired by his authenticity and how he created silly, cute things that had so much personality. After following his work for a while I knew that that was the kind of thing that I also wanted to do. I had tried to do print design in the past, such as illustrated cards and prints, but I never quite felt that was right for me. One day I created a pin for a client and found that the process was really easy and fell in love with the idea of my designs being tangible, wearable objects. 

What one piece of advice would you give to a young women thinking about starting a business?

Just do it.  No one has all of the answers and everyone (even people who have been in he industry for years) is just figuring stuff out as they go! There is no manual that can give you all of the answers, so be prepared to fail a few times and play around.

Name 2 women who have inspired you?

Tuesday Basson, who is an award winning American illustrator turned fashion designer. She has such a cool style which you can really feel through her work. Her brand has grown so much, yet her voice is still so strong in her designs. She is also really transparent about the design process which has been really helpful for me. 

Roybn Britz from the local brand Zana Products. She has been so kind and open with me about her experiences as a female entrepreneur. She is always giving me advice when I need it! 

If you could have lunch with one woman in the world, who would it be and why? 

Michelle Obama! She is just amazing and so inspiring. 

Finish this sentence, “The future is …. “?

Sometimes scary! I also do like the idea of "The Future is Female" of course! Movements such as #METOO really make me feel like the world is moving in that direction. 

 

Koeksuster

Koeksuster is a feminist intimates and sleepwear brand encouraging young women to know themselves better, explore who they are sexually and ultimately become more comfortable with who they are.

We caught up with founder Marli Grobbelaar to find our more about the brand and her inspiration behind her cause.

Koeksuster Intimates - Fashion Film from Thea Small on Vimeo.

 

Tell us a little more about how you started your own brand?

I think i always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur in some way or another, so when I started ideating a mock business plan for a business studies class, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to launch something in real life. I got my grandmother to teach me how to sew and bought my own screen printing supplies. I designed a CI and coded a website, which took forever, but was ultimately well worth it as  I was able to go live with the website and start trading about a year ago.

Describe your brand in one sentence?

A Feminist sleepwear and intimates brand promoting social change!

What was the initial inspiration behind your work/brand?

I wanted to make feminism more approachable and learn more about feminism myself. Once I started actually producing the products, making new things and figuring out prints and patterns that process also started inspiring me. Most of all though, I was and still am, inspired by all of the talented ladies out there (locally and internationally) running their own businesses.  

What one piece of advice would you give to a young women thinking about starting a business?

Start small (make one really great product and build from there). My biggest challenge so far has been, time and again, bitting off more than I can chew. Don’t pressure yourself and compare yourself to big companies, do what you can and your business will grow and stay authentic.

Name 2 women who have inspired you?

There’s sooooo many! Again all of my fellow female entrepreneurs in Cape Town and surrounds. I’ve found the environment so supportive and inviting. Then I’m going to be very cheesy and say my mom and my grandmother. Not only do they inspire me, but they taught me how to sew, so I would literally not have been able to start the business without them!

Finish this sentence, “The future is …." ?

Exciting & inspiring!

 

Feat Sock Co.

According to some, you can tell a lot about someone’s personality by looking at they’re socks. If you have ever spent time looking at people’s sock wearing habits, for the most part, they are boring and conventional. However, young creative entrepreneur, Chelsey Wilson started Feat Sock Co. and turned a passion to elevate your sneakers into a business.

 Feat Socks Co x Sneaker LAB

Tell us a little more about how you started your own brand?

I studied fashion design and when I graduated in 2011, I took a few months off to travel around Europe. I had a good friend in Cape Town and  we had a bit of a tradition of gifting each other socks. It basically started as a fun project between friends, that turned into a business. We ended up launching the brand at Design Indaba 2013.

Describe your brand in one sentence?

Bespoke Sock company that focuses on bringing delight and fun to the world.

What was the initial inspiration behind your work/brand?

I think you could say that it was a mutual love for socks and creativity shared between two friends

What one piece of advice would you give to a young women thinking about starting a business?

Be willing to test your ideas out. We all have a unique way of doing things and no one can do something the way you can do it.

Name 2 women who have inspired you?

It’s such a difficult one, but definitely my Mom - she’s very soft and sensitive, but she’s incredibly loyal and real. Just the way she lives and thinks about other people, putting them before herself. 

If you could have lunch with one woman in the world, who would it be?

Probably Brene Brown, she’s a Research Professor. She’s written so many cool books about courage and vulnerability. She's someone who really has inspired me in my personal life.

Finish this sentence, “The future is …."?

The future is scary and exciting!

Check out these amazing brands online. Make sure you to show some love to these crazy talented entrepreneurs.

 Content produced by Jess Veitch

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