It’s impossible to live in South Africa and not admire the huge number of local brands and individuals who saw a market need and turned something they love into a successful business. I feel as though this country is so remarkably set up with allowing for new brands and new ideas, and we’re a nation of advocates for the “little guy”. Being a Mommy Blogger, I am fortunate enough to work alongside a lot of children and baby brands and it blows my mind how much hard work goes into starting a business and maintaining it.
From a small idea, to the hard planning of finding materials and fabrics – in some cases, a seamstress and in others, a sewing machine – and the space to set up your station; a courier is needed, one that is reliable and fast; marketing is a must and that all important social media page and website. Then comes the waiting and the hoping and the active looking for people to celebrate your creations with you. Rejection and loss is inevitable, but making sales and knowing you’re making customers happy with your products is such a validating experience.
But Shante, how come I don’t see you buying more from local brands?
This is a really good question that I’ve wanted to answer for myself and for a lot of other mommys out there who feel the same. Whilst we absolutely adore and admire the creative vision and design of our local brands, the truth is that price will often dictate our spending. These stunning local brands are crafting items from, a lot of the time, locally sourced material, suppliers and manufacturers, many of the items are handmade and/or made-to-order and naturally, the prices indicate that. In truth, sometimes it’s very difficult, especially on an SA salary to spend that bit extra. And I know that I’ll get the following arguments back to that:
- But buying from us, you are guaranteed high-quality, long-lasting products
- You’re supporting a company and the more support we receive the better we can price our items
I totally agree with these points, and for the parents in a similar situation to me, here’s our answers:
Rosie spends 5 days a week at Creche from 8-4, in that time, she does painting, eats messy food, gets snot wiped on her by other children and plays outside in the sandpit. The idea of spending R200 on a pair of leggings that will eventually turn a murky brown makes us balk. If I’m not seeing her then why does she need to be in anything other than practical, comfortable clothing? For weekends and holidays I dress her, when she allows it, in beautiful pieces that cost more because then I can appreciate it.
Secondly, whilst I am absolutely keen on supporting my fellow mommy tribe, I need to support my bank balance and as a mother who runs her own businesses, each purchase is painstakingly mulled over. A R390 dress or lactose-free milk for a month…
I’m not alone in my above sentiments, there are so many of us who adore the clothing we’re seeing on Instagram but we’re just not at that space to continually update a wardrobe that will inevitably end up having porridge and spaghetti poured down it. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, on the contrary.
So how can everyone support the #localislekker movement?
Sharing is truly caring and by continually punting SA’s creatives and local brands, you could be helping them find their next customer.
- For baby-shower gifts, go local and help kick start a parent’s love for a particular brand.
- Has someone asked you where they can find baby shoes? Tell them about the local retailers who make them by hand.
- Like, comment, LOVE and share social media posts to increase the reach of local brands.
- If you want to save money, shop the sales with abundance.
- Looking for that special birthday or dedication/christening outfit or gift, give our local designers your time and money.
Here are some of South Africa’s amazing local children and baby creatives who are bringing their vision to life with their business.
A unique designer collection of baby and toddler duvet sets with matching plushies, scatters and decor accessories to create the perfect bedroom for your children to sleep and play.
Best for: Quality cotton bedding and accessories.
Fox & Moon believes in creating beautifully hand-crafted baby and kid’s décor. “Our care and belief in our future generation drives us to use sustainable and eco-friendly materials.”
Best For: Magical home and bedroom decor.
Cuddly little monsters for your kids.
Best For: Snuggly soft toys for cuddling and play time.
Offering a complete range of furniture, toy & decor items available online so that styling your little ones nursery, bedroom or playroom is easy and affordable for the South African market.
Best for: Casual, trendy threads and modern, on-trend decor and furniture.
Mayalief does all things monochrome; inspired by the simplicity of Scandinavian interior design and decor, Mayalief embraces the Nordic style but strives to keep a true-to-heart South African feel
Best For: Simple and stylish apparel and decor.
LiebesKind was started by two sisters inspired by items that are practical yet beautiful. They offer unique accessories and clothing for babies and toddlers, 100% cotton and manufactured locally.
Best For: Stylish pieces for boys and girls.
Alison, the mother with 29 years of experience in the clothing industry and Roslyn, the daughter, a talented graphic designer with a passion for illustration, decided to combine their skills and start a business together.
Best For: Lovely bed and bath time items for baby.
Schnooky Pie is an exclusive and Proudly South African baby clothing brand. They have an intense passion for South Africa and for developing a range of clothing that is not only unique and of high quality but that is also proudly sourced and manufactured in South Africa.
Best for: Comfy, cool casuals that have an urban vibe.
“Fable Lifestyle & Baby started at the end of 2015. With a love for styling, decor and all things baby, I knew I had to start my own store.”
Best for: Letter boards, accessories and decor items.
Just Chillin’ is designed and manufactured in Cape Town using mostly locally sourced fabrics. Collections are both beautifully comfy and well-made.
Best for: Sweet, adorable clothing in gorgeous patterns and styles.
These super soft 100% cotton pieces are perfect gifts for baby showers or just being part of God’s end time army, already living out part of their calling by wearing these declarations and proclamations.
Best for: Divine, biblical-inspired clothing full of truth and promise.
Teepees and Play Tents for Little Humans – the perfect addition to every nursery or play room.
Best for: Lovely handmade play tents in a range of colours.
Based in Limpopo, the inspiration for the brand comes from the owner’s daughter and she chooses floral and nature-inspired prints for her clothing.
Best for: Darling items in lovely, unique prints that you’ll wish were in adult sizes.
The cutest baby and kids clothing at affordable prices sold by a stay at home mom.
Best for: Sweet outfits and patterned clothing, as well as darling genuine leather ankle boots.
Maddon & Cole is an online children’s clothing and decor store providing both girls and boys apparel for various ages.
Best for: Super trendy clothing and kid’s products.
South African based company striving towards innovative design produced only at the highest quality while maintaining a classic and timeless appeal.
Best For: Exquisite, meticulously designed garments that will blow you away.
Dedicated to creating beautiful, high quality products for your little ones, ranging from sizes 0 – 3 months up to 5 – 6 years.
Best for: Whimsical, stylish pieces that capture the attention.
Makers of awesome teepee tents, also known as wigwams.
Best for: Teepees in pretty designs and 0n-trend colours.
Inspired by her daughter Eemaan after having difficult sourcing good quality trendy threads, lead her to design and create her own clothing line. Items that are unique and show her personality which she wants to share with the world.
Best for: Stylish clothing and outfits for comfortable, yet chic babies and kids.
Handcrafted design for the modern, urban, parent.
Best for: Lovely accessories and nursery pieces.
High-quality SA-made wooden toys that are both fun and educational. All their products are handmade by themselves and a few trusty suppliers.
Best for: Lovely, classic wooden toys and decor pieces.
Simple, stylish and comfortable shoes and apparel for your little ones.
Best for: Charming soft-sole shoes in a variety of stylish patterns and textiles for little tootsies.
Handcrafted products for little ones.
Best for: The most stunning gift boxes that would make any receiving mother happy.
A bespoke, premium children and baby clothing design company that fuses vibrant inspiration and stylish functionality into a unique range of garments and accessories.
Best for: Gorgeous rompers with whimsical, eternal charm.
Designing and creating beautiful products with a modern look and feel. Handmade with love.
Best for: Lovely crocheted animals that will be cherished forever.
Online boutique for bespoke children apparel & deco. Special Occasions + everyday Spanish-inspired wear.
Best for: European-inspired clothing for 0-6.
Luxury linen for little ones.
Best for: Understated and timeless bedding and swaddling cloths – which make for great baby gifts too!
Known for its quality, comfort & fit and edgy & unique style.
Best for: Edgy, monochrome gear for the coolest, street-wise kids.
Contemporary design for little people.
Best for: Charming decor, toys, accessories and nursery items.
Home-grown cotton-rich kids, adults clothing, accessories, decor items designed with love by a Mama.
Best for: Cool, printed clothing for adults and kids.
Tiny Tribe Kids specialises in trendy monochrome clothing for kids of 3 months, to 6 years. Comfort is always key when designing our range!
Best for: On-trend monochrome threads for trendy little people.
They specialize in personalised and unique crochet items such as hats and baby wear, heirloom Amigurumi toys, bespoke nursery mobiles, handcrafted pouffs and rugs; as well as custom designed buntings for any occasion.
Best for: The most darling crocheted items ever!
Handmade bows, bonnets and collars for every occasion.
Best for: Timeless bonnets and bows.
“My goal was to create an easy to use, breathable and comfortable carrier that could be used from the newborn days onwards.”
Best for: A range of baby-in-mind carriers for newborns up to 20kgs.
A trend-led collection of playroom must-haves.
Best for: Modern, à la mode nursery decor and accessories.
Inspired by the monochromatic and minimalistic design elements visible within Scandinavian homes – they bring you carefully curated pieces with unique designs that have been manufactured by themselves or by ladies in the local community in South Africa and designed by the Owner and Creative Director, Zoë.
Best for: Chic and modern decor, clothing and timeless toys.
Born from a desire to create beautifully made products for little people with an appreciation for great design, quality + natural products.
Best for: Natural, high-quality basics and baby-kind fabrics.
I know this isn’t a complete list 0f local brands so please don’t be offended if you’re not mentioned here – it took me forever because a lot of websites won’t open in England