MAKER MONDAY: Local Products of the Week

In Maker Monday by Rachel BriantLeave a Comment

Candle Stick, Rialheim, Design

South Africa – namely Cape Town, my hood – has some of the most talented “makers”, creatives and designers around. But guess what? Unless you’re working in the media biz, or you spend your time looking for them, you’re going to be none the wiser these brands and products even exist. And we’re not great at bigging up local, so here I’m going to list some of my personal favs, who truly wow me and make me super proud of what we got going on in SA. Let’s support these incredible artisans, who are up there with some of the worlds best in innovation and quality.

Simon and Mary Wool Felt “Jerzy” Hat

Made from 100% wool felt, this classic piece can be worn by both guys and girls – which is exactly why I’m scheming to get this one for Grant and I to share. (Although it’s anyone’s guess who will wear it more *evil laugh*) Made in Johannesburg, this family business is apparently named after the current owners grandparents, who were also milliners! How cute? Hats from R500-R800, check out stockists here, includes MeMeMe and The Space.

{Image from Instagram.}

Chapel Canvas Backpack

A great alternative to a handbag when I’m riding my bike, or packing up the Mac to take home from work for some much needed admin catch up, I’ve got this one in baby blue. It’s padded inside for your tech and the leather detail is so beautiful. Stylish and comfy, two of the best things you can get in a bag.

Plus, Grant has one in a dark navy which means we can fashion twin. Winning. This “Rider” backpack is available on their site for R1,499.

{Image by Grant McPherson}

Rialheim Candle Stick

Let’s just say I’ve been in love with this brand since it’s Ceramic Factory days – I even once turned up at their Robertson factory unannounced, spurred on by an article I read on Between 10 and 5 – that is, before they opened their factory store to the public. Before these guys, I never knew ceramic work could be this trendy and flipping cute. Do you remember the dinosaurs and the skull heads? And who could forget the Star Wars inspired range? And affordable too! (Sorry I get very excited). Like this Aldus Candle Stick Holder (scratched) for R 249 -fab idea for a gift too. Check out their store at 117 on Long Steet, CBD, Cape Town.

{Image sourced from}

Clutch Zip Bag by The Sparrow Society

I love beautiful things with a cause.
I discovered NPO The Sparrow Society on Palmer Road, the heart of Muizenberg Town, when we lived there a few years back.

They’re about offering skills development to otherwise unemployed South Africans, and seem to export most of their goods.

But how beautiful is this clutch at only R225? Definitely on my list to get, or anyone listening (Christmas is here in a few months, right?). Buy direct from the site.

{Image sourced from}

Photography Print by Ed Suter

Ed Suter is one of my top South African photographers, and his street photography book Sharp Sharp! is a winner on my bookshelf – a go-to for local fashion inspiration, or just a smile at local culture caught strikingly, visually in wall typography or his portrait style shots of people you feel like you know. We also own his place mats, a thoughtful wedding gift from an old friend (whose powers of initiation still fascinates me). He’s now selling limited edition photography prints, which are just “wow” – this one’s R3,500 and just begging to go on my dark grey feature wall.

{Image from}

Disposable Placemats by aLoveSupreme

First of all – beautiful, striking illustrations of local protea flowers. Secondly, disposable placements are a thing? Brilliant. I’ve been following this husband-wife design dream team for a while now, who also own a graphic design agency. I love their postcards too, which I send to my grandmother in UK with updates on my life outhea – old school, I know – and their quirky stationery like adhesive ice cream stickers which I’m yet to use (they’re too special, okay?).

They used to have a store inside Rialheim on Long Street, but I haven’t visited in a while – or get them online. Their brilliant disposable placemats are only R195 and include 52 paper placements in A3 size. Plus their Instagram account is some eye candy of note!

Ruby Swinney Tote Bag at Zeitz Mocca Gift Shop

So I just visited the Zeitz Mocca Museum for the first time last month, and to say the experience was amazing would be an understatement. If you love art or design at all, or even just appreciate some kick ass architecture, please do check them out (if you haven’t already – I’ve been slow on the uptake with this one, I know). We snapped up that cool annual membership deal of R250 …compared to R180 day rate, it’s a no brainer really. Ps Zeitz Mocca is free entry every Wednesday for local peeps.

One of our fav exhibitions currently on was Ruby Swinney, enchanting and eery oil paint on tracing paper of what felt like pastoral scenes.
My sister tells me Ruby actually went to the same high school as us. Go Waldorf kids! So I saw a tote bag sporting a print of her art available at the Zeitz Mocca gift shop on my way out, and I’ve got my beady eye on that thing to definitely buy! Don’t know the price, will share when I do.

Ruby Swinney Art South Africa

Halcyon Dream by Ruby Swinney Art

That rounds up this week’s top Maker’s, let me know your fav local designers in the comments below.

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