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.”

Embroidery by Danielle Clough


I’ve been too busy to blog over the past few months, but after seeing these gorgeous embroidered pieces by Cape Town based artist Danielle Clough I just had to jump right back in.

Danielle is a multi-talented artist who studied art direction and graphic design at The Red and Yellow School in Cape Town.

“When she is not VJing (which is not what you think), Dee is doing digital design work for local companies; wrapped in a mess of threads embroidering anything from vintage rackets to shoes; lending her voice to local radio shows (Assembly Radio, Bush Radio ); creating custom book covers (Modjaji Books); and working as a contributing photographer for various local and international media.

Dee has been profiled by Instagram, Colossal, CNN, Creative Boom and the Creators Project amongst others, while her work has been published in the New York Times T Magazine, Casa de Jardim, Cape Times, Homespun and featured in various exhibitions across the country.

Some clients from 2016 include Gucci, The African Innovation foundation and the United Nations.

She currently works, plays and bikes in Cape Town.”


Mungo Micro-Mill, Cape Town


I absolutely love the new Mungo store and inner city Micro-Mill in the heart of Cape Town. The idea behind this store was to create an experiential retail space where customers can interact and learn about the wonderful art of weaving. Although the majority of their production still takes place at the mill in Plettenberg Bay, they have brought down one of their oldest looms; a Hattersley Domestic loom that was made in the 1890’s. Their aim is to bridge the gap between the maker and the market, and to introduce customers to a part of their process.

The store and Micro-Mill is situated in their new beautiful four-story 1900s heritage building on Hout Street. They have carefully refurbished it, keeping all the original architectural features including Oregon Pine floors, wooden staircase, and sash windows.

The shop spans across the ground floor and into a glass atrium. The Micro-Mill is below the shop, and can be seen from the street. Here you’ll find their antique loom, managed by their Resident Weaver. The clacking sound of the loom captures the attention of passers-by as it reverberates up the street. The second floor features an office and photographic studio, which has become the marketing hub for Mungo. The top floor has been turned into an open plan loft apartment for guests, obviously kitted out in Mungo.

How gorgeous!

78 Hout St
Cape Town

Kamers Vol Geskenke 2016


IMG_2169kamers1.011Yours Ceramicskamers1.014Yours Ceramicskamers1.012Yours Ceramicskamers1.013Yours Ceramicskamers1.007Burgundy Collectivekamers1.008Burgundy Collectivekamers1.009Burgundy Collectivekamers1.017Benji + Moon kamers1.016Benji + Moon
kamers1.018Benji + Moonkamers1.015Notationkamers1.006Deerly Studiokamers1.004Disselboom Studiokamers1.005Disselboom Studiokamers1.002kamers1.001Mist Collectables

Make sure you don’t miss this year’s Kamers Vol Geskenke Market at St. John’s College SA’s pop-up treasure trove of handcrafted creativity. It’s on until this Sunday.

“We’re not into the perfectly made or the mass produced – it’s about high end true craft, slightly imperfect, timeless and originally designed… that special something that is only found at the show.”

The Linden Market

Linden Market.002Linden Market.004Linden Market.006Linden Market.014Linden Market3.001Linden Market4.001Linden Market.012Linden Market.005Linden Market.011Linden Market.008Linden Market.001Linden Market.007Linden Market.003Linden Market.010

This past weekend we took part in the second Linden Market and it’s safe to say that it was an overwhelming success. Perhaps too successful. The organiser, my talented sister Gerbri (Bibi) Schwartz, had no idea that people would be driving from all over Gauteng to attend the little market!

But, she has big plans for this small neighbourhood market and the next one will be at a much bigger venue.

“This market is all about showcasing local talent. Quite a few of our exhibitors are from the Linden community, it’s all about giving entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their goods. It’s also about uplifting our community. The market creates many jobs for locals and the spill over effect was tremendous. All the local restaurants were buzzing on Saturday. We also donated all the proceeds from the parking fees to Ry Ma In the Independent Living Centre for quadriplegics and paraplegics, based in Linden.

We had many success stories as quite a few of our vendors sold out completely before the end of the day. No one could’ve anticipated the incredible turnout! We’re already planning the next one in May and we’re taking all the feedback from visitors onboard. The venue will be much bigger and we will make sure there’s an exciting range of food and beverages.”

Follow the Linden Market on Facebook to stay updated on future markets.

Online vendor applications at


Benji + Moon | Handcrafted dog and cat products

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted merino wool ombré doggy day beds

Handcrafted merino wool ombré doggy day bed

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted merino wool cat dens

Handcrafted merino wool cat dens

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted merino wool doggy day beds

Handcrafted merino wool doggy day bed

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted merino wool cat dens

Handcrafted merino wool cat den

Benji + Moon | Ceramic Cat Food Bowls

Ceramic cat food bowls

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog collars

Handmade leather dog collars

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog collars

Handmade leather dog collars

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted dog leads

Handmade dog leashes

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted wooden dog bowls

Hand carved wooden dog bowls

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted wooden dog bowls

Hand carved wooden dog bowls

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog collars

Handmade leather dog collars

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog collars

Handmade leather dog collars

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted crochet cat den

Crocheted cat dens

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted leather dog walking bag

Leather dog walking belt bag for your phone and poo bags

I’m very excited to announce that my friend Karen Carr and I will be launching our very first business venture called Benji + Moon at the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair in Hyde Park.

Our pets are part of our families and we’ve noticed that most pet products out there are badly designed and covered in cheesy paw prints.  Whenever we have guests over we always hide the ugly dog beds and cat dens.

So we decided to collaborate with talented local artisans to create beautiful handcrafted products for your beloved cats and dogs. Our products  will complement your design aesthetic and become a talking point, rather than an eyesore.

Crafting each product takes time, skill and attention to detail. A basket weaver, a woodcarver, a jeweller, a leatherworker, a potter, a crocheter and a small group of merry needleworkers make each product by hand.

Our artisans consist of a wonderful mix of top local talents like Ronel Jordaan and a few unknown, but equally talented, local craftsmen and women.

It’s a small artisanal collection for people who, like us, love their pets to the moon and back.

We’re currently running a competition where you could win 2 VIP tickets to the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary fair next week. Check our Facebook page for more details.

A few weeks after the fair we will be launching the shop as an online store so please sign up to our newsletter to receive news and updates.

Benji + Moon | Handcrafted things for much-loved tails.

Arkivio handmade decor and lighting








I absolutely adore the Arkivio range of lighting and as well as their Glass Garden range of succulent vases. Everything is handmade in Durban using sustainable materials.

They’ll be exhibiting at the 100% Design South Africa alongside Johannesburg Decorex at the Gallagher Convention Centre from the 6 – 10 August.

Go check out their beautiful wares:

Mr Fox by Says Who

Mr Fox by Says WhoMr Fox by Says WhoMr Fox by Says WhoMr Fox by Says Who

A brand new project uploaded by the talented folks at Says Who. I want one.

‘Says Who is a creative studio based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
We design, we illustrate, we conceptualise and create to provide our 
clients with the high standards they’ve come to expect from us.
We are always looking for new opportunities to collaborate and produce 
amazing work, so please contact us if you think we’d work well together.’

Handmade and bespoke tiles by Shaw Tec

Shaw Tec Tiles

Shaw Tec Tiles

Shaw tech Tiles

Shaw Tec Tiles

Shaw Tec Tiles

Shaw tech Tiles

Shaw Tec Tiles

Shaw Tec was founded in 1960 by Alan Shaw – a very talented potter & artist. He started this business on a small holding in Fisantekraal where we are still operational today. Alan used the land and bounds of available clay. He put the raw clay through its processes and sold it to all other potters that shared their love for pottery. He decided to extend the business and started making glazes to compliment the clay & pottery sold.

Alan decided he wanted to move to the amazing town of Greyton and offered for Andy (his son) to take over the existing Shaw Tec. Andy took the bull by the horns at the age of 22 and took the business lock, stock & barrel! There were many challenges – but Andy was determined and took the business to new heights. He focused heavily on growing Shaw Tec, through Clay & glaze sales and very importantly the clay Terra cotta tiles that we are most known for.

Shaw Tec has now decided to launch a ceramic bespoke tile range, which has been inspired by Andy’s daughter Olivia – having a 3rd generation perspective & input has been refreshing and has inspired us to keep Shaw Tec relevant and top of mind.

 Our vision is to keep our brand relevant, with a consumer looking for hand made products, products made with love, and a passion for design, ceramics, & tiles in general.”

This beautiful range is now also available online at Hello Pretty

Lovely new furniture at Milkshed

Milkshed | Handsome Things BlogMilkshed | Handsome Things BlogMilkshed | Handsome Things BlogThe Incline Shelf

Counterpart  Milkshed | Handsome Things BlogCounterpart - Milkshed | Handsome Things BlogThe Counterpart kiddies’ swing desk and chair

Thickot  Milkshed | Handsome Things BlogThickot, Milkshed | Handsome Things BlogThickot handcrafted wood and riempies cot

 Milkshed | Handsome Things BlogAll nighter handcrafted wooden chandelier

Milkshed | Handsome Things blogThe Triad Stool/Side Table

I’ve featured the lovely range of Milkshed furniture here before – remember, the wonderful NGO with a simple story: they take reclaimed wood and transform it into works of art and then they use all the profits for social change.

Go check out the rest of their new range and support this fantastic NGO.

Handcarved wooden Clonette dolls by Noush

Noush Wooden Clonette Doll Noush Wooden Clonette Doll Noush Wooden Clonette Doll Noush Wooden Clonette Doll Noush Wooden Clonette Doll Noush Wooden Clonette Doll Noush Wooden Clonette Doll

I just saw these beautiful wooden Clonette Dolls by Noush on the Visi webiste. These dolls are all hand carved from untreated wood. The lady behind Noush, Manoushka Kraal, was born and raised in Netherlands but now lives in South Africa. She collaborates with various Master crafters in Kwa-Zulu Natal to create her range of handmade products.

“I decided to make work inspired by Clonette dolls. These popular African dolls are nowadays made out of plastic, but were originally carved out of wood. We decided to transform them back to where they once came from. They are known as little “angels” that will look after your baby. As a little friend they will guide your little one through life.”


The Artisan

mini_b_copperThe ArtisanThe ArtisanThe Artisan
The ArtisanThe Artisan

I’ve been noticing these great lamps by The Artisan on Superbalist for a while now. The company was founded by Jovan Geldenhuys in 2013, a senior architectural technologist with a passion for beautiful, functional design and an eye for detail. Later joined by Ingrid Auret, interior designer by qualification, freelance exhibition designer by trade. Together they are building a brand that promises continuous innovation, inspiration and beautiful handmade goods.


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