Alex & Marla


A few years ago I featured Leanda Trautman’s beautiful Happiness bags and after taking some time off and having two bambinos, Alex and Marla, she’s back with an incredible line of handcrafted leather bags.

Her bags are made using only the finest soft, thick, nut toffee coloured leather. The leather  also features an anti- scratch oil protection layer, which makes caring for your bag simple.

“I have two beautiful daughters: Alex and Marla. They are the love of my life.

It is the unconditional love between us that occupies my thoughts and makes me happy.

Years ago I decided to see what working with leather was like. Immediately, I realized that this was something I’ll always want to do. I love it, it is my passion, the kind of passion that makes my working hours fly.

When I am working I feel I am creating something special, something unique… something from me.

I live to be inspired. And I transform that inspiration into designing and making leather bags. Being able to share them, makes me happy.”

Bun and Bunee


Bun and Bunee is a new local skate brand that has launched a cool line of skate decks, T-shirts, caps and components. And as the proud official sponsor of One Love Central, they’re also doing a whole lot of good.

One Love Collective is a Collaborative Effort that aims to uplift the community through facilitating alternative recreational activities for the inner-city youth to have diversity in their choices, beyond the usual soccer / netball or basketball.

One Love Central has a new Skate Academy at the Drill Hall which is situated in Johannesburg’s inner-city. Bun and Bunee donated 10 full skateboard completes and accessories to their cause. Shortly after the donation a workshop took place, and kids from different backgrounds got together to be taught the basics of skateboarding, as well as the skateboard assembly process.

The skateboards are now available for the kids to use during the day, but they stay at the academy for the programme. Therefore, they can be used by many kids on an ongoing basis.

If you’re in Jo’burg you’re in luck cause Bun and Bunee will be at the next Linden Market on the 7th of May where they’ll be selling their goods and giving skate lessons to kids, so bring your skateboard along.

Follow them on Facebook or Instagram

Nap Loungewear

nap loungewear

nap loungewear

Nap Loungewear

As a freelancer I love the idea of lounging around in my jim-jams all day. The brand new local loungewear brand Nap allows you to do just that.

“I wanted comfy,  slouchy tops and bottoms that I could mix and match as I please. I wanted a nighty so light and pretty that it could be mistaken for a sun dress. After I started selling the first few designs to my friends I noticed that people often wore their purchases during the day – even to work saying: “But it’s too pretty for pyjamas.”  So I decided to call my company Nap Loungewear instead of Nap Pyjamas.  It is my mission to educate South Africans that it’s okay to wear pretty pyjamas, even if no-one sees you wearing them. ”

That’s it, I’m officially embracing this trend and wearing my slippers to the grocery store tomorrow.

This is just a sneak peek at their lovely designs – go see the rest at

Join their Facebook page here.

The Seeks Sock Co. needs you!

Seek Socks

Seeks Socks

In July this year Simangele, Lucky, Obakeng, Sithembiso and Tebogo from Umuzi Photo Club arrived at the Ogilvy studio in Johannesburg with loads of talent and big dreams. A few creatives were asked to help them come up with an idea for an exhibition that explored youth culture in South Africa.

Over the past few months however, this project has transformed from a once-off exhibition piece into a business idea that they are really hoping to bring to life – but to do so, they need your help.

The Seeks Sock Co. is a sock company with a difference. It’s about creating socks that don’t just make a fashion statement, they make a statement about who we really are.

Each pair of socks in the Seeks Sock range is based on a photograph taken by these students and is linked to a personal, moving story. These stories are then interpreted into beautiful designs on wearable socks.

 “Our dream is to produce these socks for real and turn this idea into a sustainable business. But, as it turns out, socks don’t come cheap. For a small, initial run of 5 different designs using a local manufacturer, we’re looking at a cost of about R40,000. To try and raise this money, we have launched the ‘Seeks Socks’ campaign on the world’s largest crowd-sourced funding site: Indiegogo.”

Please support these talented young entrepreneurs by going to and searching for ‘The Seeks Sock Co.’

You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@Seeks_Socks)

You can also catch their exhibition on the 23rd of October at 23 Madison Avenue, Jeppes Town, Bjala Square starting at 18:30.
The exhibition will be hosted by Umuzi Photo Club. The Seeks Socks will be available for purchase at the exhibition.


Ilundi blue_clutchIlundi travel_bagIlundi leather clutchesIlundi leather clutchIlundiIlundiIlundiIlundi Heirloom PurseIllundi leather bags

I’ve featured Ilundi’s lovely leather goods here before, but I’ve just noticed there’s a whole new range available on the Ilundi website. So click here to read my previous chat with Safia Stodel, the designer behind the range, or pop onto her website to check it out.

“Ilundi products are labours of love. They can take up to 14 hours to make by hand. Every hole is hand punched and every stitch hand sewn. No sewing machines are used. We prefer to do things with just our hands, which is the hard way but also the best way. We sew our products with the reliable saddle stitch, which is one of the oldest stitches used in leather work.”

Photos by:




I absolutely love this new range of leather and velt goods by Janine Mollentze owner and designer at Veltwerk. Janine is a freelance content producer who lives in Cape Town. She told Handsome Things a bit about her background, inspiration and how Veltwerk got started.

“I grew up watching my grandmother cut patterns, sew, knit and crochet everything and anything. It was just something that was part of my life. As a teenager I was always interested in fashion, and I would ask her to to make garments from the designs I drew up.

After high school I studied both Journalism and Fine Arts, but due to my short attention span I never finished either, but rather took the time to travel abroad and immersed myself into learning about European cultures. It was in London that I got a broader understanding of the international fashion industry and even though I worked in the VFX industry, I spent a lot of my free time online and on the high streets appreciating beautiful apparel and accessories. 


Janine and Mymy

Ever since I can remember, I have been creative and I’ve always had a great appreciation for art, fashion, and photography. On my return to SA in 2012, all I wanted was to lose myself in any creative activity I could find, sewing was one of these, and I quickly started dreaming up ideas for bags, scanning the internet for inspiration.

I purchased materials and started experimenting at home but soon realised that working with leather is not an easy task and started sourcing more advanced production methods. 

Now I am more involved in design and material sourcing than the manufacturing, but believe that I have a personal connection with the concepts of my collections and that VELTWERK as a brand is a functional expression of who I am. How it will evolve in future is going to have a lot to do with my new life on African soil.

I recently also started producing a range of contemporary ceramics that will be available for purchase in our online shop very soon. Keep your eyes on our website


Simon and Mary

Simon & Mary Milliners
Simon & Mary MillinersSimon & Mary MillinersSimon & Mary MillinersSimon & Mary MillinersSimon & Mary MillinersSimon & Mary MillinersSimon & Mary MillinersSimon & Mary MillinersSimon & Mary MillinersSimon & MarySimon & Mary

I’ve been meaning to feature these Jo’burg based milliners for a while. It’s a story of tradition and craftsmanship. My kind of story.

“The milliner title has been passed down from generation to generation. Hats are in our blood, it is more than a clothing item, but rather a way of life.

Simon and Mary is a heritage brand established in 1935. The hat roots were first planted in South Africa when Mordechai Pozniak (Simon’s father) brought his cap factory from Poland to Johannesburg. 

Simon Pozniak eventually took the leading role in the company and grew it into one of Africa’s most renowned wool felt hat manufacturing plants. Simon’s wife Leah (whom he lovingly coined Mary after reading a novel) joined the business working alongside Simon and attending to all non-manufacturing needs. In 1973, Simon’s youngest son, Julian, eagerly entered the family business with Robert his oldest son joining in 1988. Today a fourth generation Pozniak, Dean, who entered the business in 2008, heads the brand & factory with the aim of continuing the legacy created by Simon.

Simon and Mary is based on a family bond within the hat factory. Using machinery bought in the 60’s and continuing the legacy created by the original milliner, Simon Pozniak.

Sam Bear Things by Samantha Strydom

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Handsome Things chatted to Samantha Strydom about her brooches, inspiration and the things she loves.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I love design, art, illustration, colours, patterns, pretty things, nature, knitting, painting, films, photography, animals, folk music, ballet, running, yoga, traveling and food.

I studied fine art at the University of Witwatersrand and majored in video art.

I work in the world of advertising as an art director at Ogilvy & Mather, Johannesburg where I work with the most amazing and inspirational people ever.

How did this side project get started?

I am a creative to the core. I am so happy when ever I am making something especially if it is something beautiful. I run a little business called Sam Bear Things where I make jewellery, do illustrations and knit dreamy bear hats for adults and kids. It started a few months ago when I realised I hadn’t made any art since I’d finished studying and that made me really sad. So I decided that had to change and I gave myself a long-term goal to be continuously creating something. I started making brooches and pendants from clay and painting them. They have become my tiny canvases that I can fill with anything I want to and that makes me really happy.

Local creatives/makers you admire?

A few local people who I admire are Dear Rae jewellery, Skinny laMinx and Skermunkil.

Skinny laMinx and Take Care Collaboration

Up Up & Away all fabrics 2Up Up & Away selected fabricsTake Care outfit2Take Care/ Skinny Laminx

2014 is definitely going to be a year of innovative and exciting new collaborations and cross pollination. And to kick it off Skinny laMinx designer, Heather Moore, recently released Up, Up & Away, her second fabric collection designed exclusively for US quilting company Cloud 9 Fabrics.

Inspired by the infectious buzz of WDC 2014 creativity simmering in the city, Moore approached fashion designer Jessica Harwood of Take Care to transform her fabric range into summery casual wear.

The key theme at Skinny laMinx in 2014 will be Cross Pollination, as the brand looks to spend the year sparking off collaborations with local and international designers in surprising and enlivening ways.

The garments are not available for purchase, as the intention behind the collaboration was to inspire home sewists and aspiring fashion designers to create their own clothes using the Up, Up & Away collection. The range of prints is available in limited quantities from the Skinny laMinx shop at 201 Bree Street, Cape Town.

Colony Design

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Beautiful, handmade leather goods made right here in SA. 

Colony is a leather design label established in 2012 by founder and designer Lisa Ackroyd. The brand is rooted in Lisa’s unbridled desire to create an inspired leather and canvas collection that marries traditional leather materials and craftsmanship, with contemporary requirements and detail. She follows a design philosophy that embodies quality, functionality and great attention to detail. Colony has a wide range of belts, bags, wallets and other small accessories that are classic, stylish and most importantly handmade.

Colony products celebrate the art of good living, sophistication and adventure. It is our aim to combine vintage aesthetics and modern functionality, which is a unique rarity within the luxury market. All items are designed and made in South Africa.”

The Colony design Facebook Page


Adorable Feat Socks

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I’m a sucker for a cute pair of socks and if they’re local my toes curl with delight.

“Cape Townians Alison and Chelsey are two best friends whose dreams and adventures have always been cushioned by a pretty pair of socks. At age eight and nine, their friendship bloomed in dance class, wearing little, lacy, ribboned toe-socks.

By age thirteen, they were stealing Ali’s older sister’s socks to slide around muddy paddocks with horses. Today, in their early twenties, they have decided to take their love affair with socks more seriously, with all the joy and frivolity of those two silly little girls.”

Ilundi designs


ilundi beltilundiilundibraided_heart_neckpiece

Safia Stodel the talented lady behind Ilundi Designs tells us a bit more about her simple and beautiful range of leather goods.

How did you get started?

I was studying fine art and needed a bag for all my books and supplies. I couldn’t find any decently priced simple leather bags, so I tried to make my own. I didn’t have a sewing machine though, so after a lot of research I created a folding technique which I used to make the bag with. No sewing required! This is how my signature sling bag came into being. Afterwards friends and family commissioned me to make them bags too – and it grew from there.

Your favourite things:

– First parts of making a new product: dreaming, researching and sketching

– Grilled marinated artichokes and vanilla pod milkshakes

– Cats

– The way my daughter wakes us up in the morning with kisses. She’s 16 months old :)

– The earthy smell of new rolls of leather in my studio

 Where can we buy your bags?

Ilundi bags and belts can be bought from Nap, Purr, Afraid of Mice, Mememe, Margot Molyneux’s clothing stall at the Biscuit Mill and very soon an exclusive range can be bought online from Presents in the Post ( I also sell through my facebook page,

Thanks Safia!

Hey there Dapper Dawie

It’s almost Valentine’s day so here are some dapper, locally made accessories and attire for the handsome man in the boot of your car.Bow Peep bowtie

Bow Peep bow ties – from City MobNic Socks

Nic Socks (locally made from 100% bamboo) from Citymob

Chapel Work Carrier

Chapel Navy blue & brown Wildebeest Work Carrier
Studio MutiHand-painted bike by Studio Muti


Locally made David Red classic veldskoen R750 by


Matblac ipad sleeve R520

Beautiful scarves by local fine artists

Michael Taylor silk scarf

Michael Taylor

Titus MatiyaneTitus Matiyane

Richard Penn

Richard Penn

Michael Taylor silk scarf

Michael Taylor

Jan-Henri Booyens silk scarf

Jan-Henri Booyens

Richard Penn

Richard Penn

Michael MacGarry

Michael MacGarry

Jill Trappler

Jill Trappler

For the Summer Collection 2012 L’MAD presented beautiful pure silk scarves featuring artworks by leading South African artists. The artists included: Michael Taylor, Jan-Henri Booyens, Michael MacGarry, Titus Matiyane, Richard Penn and Jill Trappler.

L’MAD – Lucy MacGarry Art & Design – is an arts-based production company that curates unique and limited edition collections in a variety of media.

Working directly with established and emerging African artists, L’MAD explores several concepts — at the forefront is the crossover between art, fashion and design and with it the juxtaposition of materials, scale and form.”

See all the scarves on the L’mad website.

via Mail and Guardian

Presents in the post

Who doesn’t like a “Surprise!”

Presents in the Post is a lovely new local online shop and surprise present service.

“If you sign up, Raj will send you things by local makers in the post. Makers of things to hang on the wall, Makers of things to wear on your feet, Makers of things to DIY, Makers of things to take on a trip, Makers of things to keep up your pants, Makers of things to give to a friend. As soon as all the presents have been delivered and unwrapped, the shop will be open for perusal. A chance to explore more things made by the monthly maker.”

How it works:

  • Sign up.
  • Pay R250 for one surprise present made by a local designer or artist.
  • Tell us if the present is for a boy or a girl.
  • Customise your present by clicking on your favorite picture.
  • Decide if the present is for you or a friend. If its for a friend, write them a letter.
  • Wait for your present in the post.
  • Once Raj has delivered all the presents, check out the shop for more designs by the monthly maker