It’s the most wonderful time of the year and whilst I exert a good deal of energy into remembering the real reason why our family celebrates Christmas, I do acknowledge the lovely tradition of gifting the ones you love with something special.
This year I have put together a list of inspirational local businesses and brands – because we could all do with supporting our communities – and I have aimed to feature a top pick from each brand but it was tough because there are so many lovely gifts that you will probably want to keep for yourself (which is totally acceptable too!).
This list could have been even longer because there are such a wealth of incredible entrepreneurs who are following their dreams of creating and crafting so I have had to be truly selective, choosing brands I have bought from in the past, those that are constantly recommended to me and ones that I have forged a close relationship with.
So, start making notes people because this Christmas, I’m adding to the gift list…
MonkeyBum was born when a mom found herself struggling to find super cute and stylish boy items in the regular shops. Creating one item turned into twenty and twenty turned into a hundred and a hundred grew into a fully-fledged online store.
They offer great quality, locally produced garments that are handmade with love from 100% cotton – you’ll find quirky slogan tees, particularly apt for the festive season.
What to add to your wish list…
1. Christmas Pajama set.
Wake up on Christmas morning with their cute Xmas PJs which would even work as a day time outfit too…if your little ones refuse to be moved from opening presents *wink*. Available from sizes 0-3 months and up to 5-6 years, they are even offering matching adult tees.
2. The Jingle Bells Batman Smells
This print is available on grey t-shirts from size 1-6 years and will definitely get some chuckles.
3. First Christmas Onesie.
Celebrating your baby’s first Christmas is one of the most amazing milestones so celebrate it all you can. This onesie is a great starter, add candy-striped legwarmers and headbands for pizzazz. Also available in English and Afrikaans. R180
4. The happy HOLLA days dress
Available in sizes 6-12 months up to 5-6 years, this is so freakin’ cool.
A local company started by Pauline, a mom of two girls, Ma Petite creates high quality, personalized decor for little ones.
The business idea developed, after having her first daughter, as she battled to find what she was looking for locally. Pauline desperately wanted to offer the opportunity to other moms who too find aspirational mood boards online and need someone to bring them to life. Ma Petite is Pauline’s happy place and I totally get why.
What to add to your wish list…
1. Acrylic Planner
Acrylic Monthly planners are perfect for super moms and dads to stay up to date with their families commitments. The acrylic planners work in the same way as a white board, but its appearance is much more premium. Simply write on it using a white board marker and wipe off with a wet cloth. Printed direct to 5mm acrylic perspex in reverse with UV ink.
2. House Shaped Chalkboard
The house shaped chalkboards provide hours of fun in a playroom or bedroom and are ideal for little ones of all ages. Available in two sizes to suit your space.
3. Personalized Money box
This beautiful wooden money box is painted in the colour of your choice, and personalised with your little ones’ name onto the window.
The floral pattern can also be UV printed or replaced with your own requested design.
4. Handmade heirloom dolls
These gorgeous Heirloom dolls are handmade with so much love and attention, and are even more beautiful in real life. The collection includes “Charlie Loves” heirloom bunnies, and handmade dolls. These treasures are the perfect gift for a special little girl to love for years!
The Sticky Fudge family value quality and celebrate the individual – their mantra is creating beautiful mix ‘n match baby and toddler clothing that will out-live seasons and get handed down from one child to the next. The fabrics, colours and textures are chosen for durability and their timeless feel. In short, it’s a beautiful collection of photo-worthy staples and statement pieces.
What to add to your wish list…
1. Charcoal Romper
Their rompers are made from 100% cotton and this charcoal one has a wonderful unisex feel…plus, you could totally dress it up or down with some accessories.
2. White shirt
These are always needed, especially for formal gatherings – this one looks so sweet with shorts, jeans or smart pants.
3. White cotton frill dress
Imagine wearing white cotton in the heat of summer, glorious! Okay, I know there will be grass stains and spilt juice but at least the kids will be cool in this dress.
4. Pink Lilly Frill Playsuit
How adorable is this playsuit and it will totally rock this summer to easy dress-up/down moments.
Owned and run by mother of two, Lehani, Dandy Lion offers clothing that fosters adventure, encourage self-expression and is destined to be dreamy, durable wardrobe favorites. Call me biased, especially when they make a dress that is named after Cece BUT who could resist such an easy-wearing, cute little dress that comes in so many colours.
A lovely small business run from a family farm in the beautiful Limpopo province, Rosie Bee takes its inspiration from the owner’s little girl and also from her background as a botanist – you’ll find unique florals and nature inspired prints throughout as well as a nod to childhood whimsy and adventure. The boy’s Charlie romper is stunning and truly different, shop it here.
Offering stylish baby and toddler clothes, they are dedicated to creating beautiful, high quality products for your little ones, ranging from sizes 0 – 3 months up to 7 – 8 years. Looking for a stunning addition to your child’s wardrobe, the Ava Rose romper is the one!
La Fede is a brand for the dreamer, the adventurer, the collector and the playful family. Built by Chantelle, it explores creativity and imagination, integrating minimal- and contemporary design elements. Our design philosophy is to create unique, timeless soft toy characters, with personalities, for young and old. Gee the giraffe is a cutie to give to any discerning baby and toddler and is completely handmade.
Another company that began because they couldn’t find what they wanted on the market. With a stunning range of locally-made larger nursery items, it’s no surprise that their indoor slides and house frame and teepee beds are a huge hit. Encourage your little person to read more by investing in a whimsical bookshelf.
Taking her love of Scandinavian and monochrome design, Nicole designs and hand beads all the products herself, trying to source sustainably and create items that have longevity. For a babyshower or first Christmas gift, the any of her beaded teethers and rattles would be a great present idea with prices starting from R110.
Babes & Kids specialises in luxury, designer baby cot bedding and kids bedding. They use only the highest quality cotton for baby and kids bedding, ensuring a soft and comfortable sleeping environment. The range is designed and manufactured in South Africa and is suitable for girl, boy and gender neutral nurseries and kid’s rooms. Swans are really on trend at the moment and this luxurious swan duvet cover is a beauty.
Specializing in themed party boxes and activity presents, you can feel the festive spirit with a Create your Day Christmas activity kit that includes a multitude of crafts to keep kid’s entertained. Available here.
The brainchild of two local mothers, they make amazing branded, inspirational tees for women, designed and printed in Cape Town. The Call me Mama/Baba set would make a super sweet gift for a new mum.
Based in Cape Town, Earthling & Moon was thought up by Daniela Canny and is a range of locally crafted clothing and swimwear designed to be loved for seasons to come. They make uniquely beautiful items – expect classic shapes and luxurious fabrics created for the sun soaked days and starry nights and I’m already eyeing up this Bari jumpsuit which is currently on sale too!
HempLove was born from a love for Africa and it’s people. Hemp cultivation brings many job opportunities to women throughout Africa and we hope to be actively involved in these communities. As a company started by females, they have a passion to promote and improve the skills sets of women in Africa and bring sustainable fashion to international platforms where it can be recognized. These linen pants look super casual and charming.
Beagle + Basset is an eco-conscious design studio, passionate about the ancient practice of natural dyeing achieved with plant matter, harvested in South Africa. I don’t know anyone who could say no to their linen napkins.
Founded by Danielle Jeenes in the sweet Summer of 2015, Sunfair’s first prize is comfort, followed by good times and quality. Most of their designs are seamless which means there is no visible elastic on the suit and nothing digging into your skin. Their swimwear is double-lined and sits on your body like a second skin…which is why I need this safari one-piece!
Born of the brainchild of two Durban friends, Saint & Summer is a collection of everything you have ever wanted in a shoe, and then some. Seasonal footwear, fashionable shoes, designer sandals, they have created a household brand that makes you feel like a million bucks. Without costing it. If you know a beach babe, hit them up with the Tipsy platforms.
They are a local designer label inspired by nature and driven by a passion to create imaginative, bold designs that are unique. Long skirts are so in and whether you keep this for yourself or treat it to someone you know who loves to stand out, the Cecile skirt is versatile enough to wear to an event or can be dressed down too.
PrintWild is a proudly South African, family-run printing company that is well known across the country for its incredible quality and service. Using only the very best inks and materials, they take your favourite images and turn them into works of art that are delivered to your door, ready to hang.
Ordering is super easy – simply upload your images onto our site, www.printwild.co.za, give your details, select your products and we will create your order with attention to detail and precision.
What to add to your wish list…
An eye-catching product that was inspired by photobooks but given a fresh and unique twist, our PhotoBox is one of our favourite products and it is easy to see why. The PhotoBox is a beautiful, hand-crafted timber box that fits 50 prints (203x152mm sized) inside. The lid is magnetized, snapping back into place as the invisible magnets lock it into place. It also doubles as a décor piece on any coffee table.
Perfect for a gallery wall, Faceblocks are a modern and eye-catching way to display your favourite photos. Your images are professionally cropped into 15x15cm squares, printed onto Fine Matte Art paper and then mounted on shutterply board for a striking effect.
3. Magna Tots
Personalised fridge magnets have hit PrintWild and you’ll love the vibrant, modern look of these 70x70mm acrylic squares. Your image is professionally cropped and printed onto glossy paper then face-mounted to 3mm acrylic. Great for covering the fridge with memories.
4. Standard Stretched Canvas
This canvas is ideal for a cute, budget gift. Printed on a 7 colour photographic digital printer reproduces artwork with incredible colour accuracy. The print is wrapped around a hand-built timber frame with a backing board providing rigidity and frame stability.
They make rugs, crochets and placemats using off-cuts of cotton material to create something lovely which is also environmentally-friendly. In various colours and sizes, they make a lovely piece for a baby room.
In 2016, Jislaaik Online Shop was created as an expression of their passion for good-quality, locally-made South African products. You can find unique t’shirt prints, wall prints, clothing, moses baskets and my personal favorite, Chunky Knitted Merino Wool Blankets – the latter is definitely a present for someone serious in your life (like me?) as Merino wool is among the softest fibers in the world and the prices reflect it.
Danielle has put her creative drive into making beautiful pieces for the home out of wool and thread. For your walls, her Winter Frost hanging with thick braids and cool colours is only R300 and is stunning.
Creating leather bags made with genuine bovine leather, sourced from local South African leather providers, Hansel & Gretel offer unique designs and themes that appeal to a modern market. All their fabrics printed in South Africa and the colours are carefully selected to keep our ranges fun and colourful! The kid’s backpacks are so adorable and would make such a special present.
The Joinery is a sustainable and ethical product design brand based in South Africa. They create luxury products made from recycled plastic bottles means we can turn potential waste into something positive and all of the plastic bottles that go into their recycled fabric is collected from around South Africa. If you know someone who travels a lot, why not treat them to a passport holder?
Founded in 2014, Sexy Socks is on a mission to get your toes tingling by supporting South Africa’s children – for every pair of Sexy Socks bought, they give a pair of school socks to a child in one of South Africa’s township schools. They make an awesome stocking filler and the pattern choice is almost endless. Prices start from R199.
Studio Melissa Louise was officially launched in March 2016, offering full-service interior design as well as digital and content marketing.
Melissa has launched her own line of signature scented soy candles for your home. Studio Melissa Louise candles are made from pure soy wax – infused with 100% organic essential oils. Melissa prides herself for being a producer of a top quality product that burns beautifully, smells divine and is also a nourishing massage oil. Obviously I would choose the rose infused soy candle as a gift idea because who wouldn’t want their room to smell like an English garden.
Each Loved by Elli piece is designed and handmade using locally sourced materials. The pieces offer simplicity and are delicate in design, you’ll find them classic and timeless. I love the stacking ring option, a lovely idea for a best friend.
Adore ring is absolutely on my wish list.Each jewelry piece has been thoughtfully created in order to achieve a timeless yet modern appeal, allowing them be worn over and over again transcending both time and seasons. The stunning
Famke produces simple and beautifully designed sterling silver and gold lifestyle pieces as well as bespoke and original engagement rings and wedding bands. For the dreamer, the compass necklace would be a beautiful item to receive.
Sea & Shore resin jewellery is hand-crafted in Kommetjie, a picturesque surfing village in Cape Town, South Africa. Sea & Shore is made using oceanic and botanical elements – such as flowers, fynbos, shells etc – which are set in high quality resin, creating one-of-a-kind pieces. The plumbago necklace on a silver chain is dainty and pretty and great for nature-lovers.
Beauty & Skincare
With an extensive range for babies, teens and adults, it’s a one-stop shop for fantastic products for varying skin types – and everything is made locally using carefully selected ingredients. The woman behind the brand, Tanya, is dedicated to creating skincare that is earth and human kind and I am a HUGE fan of their body butter – it’s a must for dry, sensitive skin. Add it as a stocking filler and you’ll be receiving all the brownie points.
They are a natural, ethically produced skin and body care collection developed in our beauty studio in Cape Town, South Africa. We create conscious, scientifically formulated skin care that works with your skin to balance and boost its natural processes for healthier, happier skin.
Lulu & Marula was started in 2013 by Jesslynn Shepherd, a long-time beauty enthusiast, skincare product hoarder, and green living idealist. The calming bath and body kit is probably all something we could use at this time of the year.
The Skin Creamery ethos is to be kind to the earth, and kind to your skin. The range was founded in 2014, by Hannah Rubin, with a commitment to natural, simple living. Hannah’s childhood in South Africa’s verdant Garden Route region fostered in her a passion for a conscious way of life. The Skin Creamery vision is to instill a daily ritual of simple self-care, which translates into a loving appreciation for who you are, just as you are. For a beautiful set, try their 3 product bundle for R1004
Brand new in South Africa, is a series of truly beautiful products that are ecologically sound yet made to the highest professional standard. The Lula Fox shade spectrum covers all South African skin tones and for makeup lovers, you’ll find foundation, concealer, face powder, blush, bronzers, eyes shadows, gel liners, mascaras, brows powders and pomades, and lipstick and glosses. Shop the varying looks here.
Food & beverages
Who wouldn’t want to receive beautifully decorated, delicious cookies from one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets?! Based in Durbanville but able to send throughout the country, The Frosted Raspberry takes your ideas and turns them into edible delights! See the handy work here.
South Africa’s first craft gin club offers a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or ad hoc basis (gifts, for example) box for lovers of gin. Each box showcases a small batch craft gin with unique tonics that accompany the gin and hand-picked gourmet food items that complement the taste journey of the month. Tough to narrow it down to just one box, but the SA Craft Gin Tasting Box is a good start for R600 and features 10 specially selected SA mini craft gins.
With so many fantastic South African bubblies to choose from so I feel like I’m cheating on so many others by picking just one but it’s a pretty one. Made from shiraz grapes, it’s a light pink with a touch of rose petals and light berry nuances.
In 6 years, Ma Mere has become a household name in the confectionery industry and all their products are made in the traditional way, in a slow and precise manner, for an authentic tasting product. They produce high quality artisan sweets with unusual or exotic flavors with a core focus on nougats and brittles. The assorted nougat gift box would be a welcome introduction to their sweet treats and would also make a great secret Santa gift too.
Experiences & Miscellaneous
Take 8 weeks to rediscover a love for yourself that you may have lost as the world pummels you with their rules and regulations for being “happy”. Jane founded Unselfishly Me to inspire and uplift women – “Imagine what your life would feel like if you were filled with self love, confidence and hope. Wouldn’t it feel good? You can practice self love, and even though it might feel uncomfortable to start with, after a while it will become second nature and you will begin to believe it.”
The 8 week e-course is delivered straight into your inbox every Sunday night so keep this for yourself or gift it as a voucher for someone you love.
Petal & Post is owned and run by Kim du Plessis, a town planner who learned about her passion for floristry while living in Australia for 2 years. She now lives in beautiful Cape Town, where she loves to brighten up the city with fresh blooms every day. From R255 per fortnight, you can get a fresh, unique Posy, with beautiful seasonal colours and wild greens (in simple kraft paper and ribbon) every two weeks which would make a wonderful recurring gift, or a way to keep your space bright and beautiful.
Feeling the strain as the year winds down? I think we can all feel our body getting a little tense so this gift could be for you or anyone you know. Meg Ringdal offers sessions to manage tension in the body and to prompt the body to heal itself. Sessions cost R380 each but using the code ROSEANDTHORNS when booking, you can get three sessions for R900 which gives optimal results for the stress of the world. Alternatively, you can do a single session for R350.
Contact Meg here