CO-OP contemporary art and design

In the words of the Ninja Turtles (and one of the CO-OP lamps), “Kowabunga!”

I recently visited this amazing space filled with art and beautifully designed products.  CO-OP is a platform for new and emerging work in the fields of contemporary art and design, and features a diverse programme of exhibitions, events and exclusive collaborations. Some of these include pieces by Dokter and Misses and exhibitions by What if the World gallery.

The shop is just around the corner from the Neighbourgoods market so pop in next time you’re in the hood.

68 Juta Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
Wednesday to Friday 10:00 – 17:00
Saturday 10:00 – 14:00

Launch of a beautiful new SA Handmade online shop

Today sees the launch of Deep Dark Africa, a brand new Handmade online shop with a range of beautiful products created by or in collaboration with local artisans, designers and crafters showcasing Africa’s evolving talent.

Alexia Kondylis the woman behind Deep Dark Africa tells Handsome Things how it all got started.

“I am a fashion & decor stylist in Cape Town ( with an inherent love for the continent on which I live and design in general.  I studied architecture & have always dabbled in various mediums of design & hand crafting. I am really inspired by Africa’s creativity  and through Deep Dark Africa I wanted to show the rest of the world what we’re up to, that our design is evolving whilst still staying true to its handmade roots, and to bridge the gap between artists who do and don’t have access to the greater market. Many of the products are unique collaborations between myself & the artists, who I’ve carefully selected, which has been so much fun, and I plan to do a lot more, so watch this space!”

Have a look at the site here or check out the blog.

Good luck with the new venture Alexia!

Superella is Very Much Nice

As crazy as it may seem I’ve driven past Superella (opposite the Bamboo centre in Melville)  so often and I’ve never gone in, and then, as things happen in the blog-age, I stumbled on it in a great blog Thunder in our hearts. I thought it looked amazing and so decided to grab my camera and pay fashion designer Ella Buter a visit.

I loved everything about the shop from the paper duckies to the Clockwork Orange bowler hats. Ella’s clothes are beautiful and she’s as friendly and inviting as her shop. So don’t drive past, stop (remember to pull up the handbrake) and say hello.

Join Ella’s page on Facebook to stay updated on her latest shows.

Dankie Ella!

Artist Profile: Meet Nadia from Cupcake Couture

Nadia van der Mescht tells us a bit more about Cupcake Couture:

“Cupcake Couture is a small accessories brand that I started in order to create and craft.  It has grown to so much more and is now my full time focus, coupled with the digital management side of the business and the creative consulting that I do.  Each product is handmade and created with lots of love.  I imagine the person who might use it or wear it and enjoy adding each precious button and detail.  I hunt for special things…buttons, old haberdashery items, ribbons and beautiful vintage pieces to embellish each brooch or accessory. 

 You can find my products via my online shop…place your order and expect a pretty package.  You can visit me at I heart Market in Durban which is on the first Saturday of each month.  Here you will find my pop up shop and Build-a-Brooch stall which allows you to design your own brooch.”

Her pretty Blog:

Her Shop:

Thanks Nadia!

Green Grass Parkhurst

Green Grass Design started in March 2002 with only Ria Kraftt and her  dream. After purchasing a laser cutter, Green Grass grew to incorporate product design and have recently opened a shop in Parkhurst, Johannesburg.

At the Green Grass shop you’ll find well-crafted products with an innovative edge. Ria and her team incorporate craft skills like hand stitching into some of the laser cutting work and are constantly inventing new products to
fill specific gaps in the market.

The majority of their products are handmade on the premises with incredible attention to detail to ensure every piece is unique.

Green Grass Design truly weaves the ethos into the very fibers of every piece of work they create: Do what you love + love what you do.

Pop in to their shop!
green grass shop
shop 3 sunlit court, 34 fourth avenue, parkhurst johannesburg
tuesday – friday  9:30 – 17:00
saturday 9:30 – 13:00
sunday 10:00 – 13:00

Thanks Ria!

South Africa in fabrics

Design Team is a textile design business focusing on the design, print and conversion of South African inspired textiles. Contemporary, topical designs form the basis of our fabric collections, rather than the already well represented ethnic approach. Emphasis is placed on quality and uniqueness of design, keeping in touch with global trends and design styles.

We (Amanda Haupt and Lise Butler) initiated a business concept as part of our B.Tech degree studies in Textile Design and Technology, which we completed Cum Laude at the end of 2000 at the Tswane University of Technology.

Design Team is driven by the satisfaction that comes from creating beautiful fabrics that enhance interiors and garments. Our country offers inspiration through the vibrancy of a city heartbeat, the colours of a multitude of landscapes, the beauty of diverse cultures and the richness of its people. An open minded approach to the challenges we face, result in enhanced creativity and the generation of meaning and beauty through design.

For specific enquiries on fabric collections, design services or printing options contact Lise or Amanda on:
Telephone: 002712 653 1973
Or mail us at:

Abby + Ross

We chatted to Vicky Ross, the owner of Abby & Ross in Parkwood about her charming shop.

“I started the shop in 2008 as joint venture with the owners of Park Cafe next door, Ian and Ro Ziervogel.  My sister and I owned Polish Nail Spa across the way in the Parks Shopping Centre and we all thought that it was essential to fill the vacant store opposite us that felt like an uninviting black hole.

Sourcing beautiful and interesting things is a passion of mine. The store has evolved somewhat – Ian and Ro are no longer involved and we’ve moved away from clothing, which we stocked for a while, to gifting, decor and books for adults and children.

I try and stock interesting handmade and local design. But I do have a certain aesthetic and insist on good quality so I do find myself being fairly selective.

Continue reading

The Fringe Arts pop-up shops

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The Fringe Arts sells art through versatile concepts in which we collaborate with integrity with artists and clients in a way that makes business sense.

Based in Cape Town, The Fringe Arts is owned and run by Chantal Louw and Thessa Bos.

One of our core projects is an 100% SA Art & Design Collective. We showcase the collective in POP-UPs, which means that we don’t have a permanent space anywhere, but pop-up temporarily in empty spaces or as part of exhibitions.

Products of our artists and designers are Africa-inspired, but not Africa-themed. Each piece is locally designed, manufactured and handmade.

Not wanting to open an art gallery nor a design shop we decided to combine the two concepts in a way that strengthens both aspects of the industry: a (pop-up) shop|gallery in which the visitor can browse art and design without the intimidation of the white cube.

Our focus is on the demographic of people largely not catered for by the current art and design market; people, locally and internationally, who love art and design and have a limited art budget; collectors who desire work by established and emerging artists and designers that is conceptually strong, skillfully crafted and local but not curio.

Is there any chance the Pop-up store will be making its appearance in Jo’burg?

O the joy if we could! We would love to pop-up in Jo’burg. Not only to meet our fabulous fans up there and to see what incredible stuff Jo’burg is up to (we read the most fantastic things). It would give Chantal a great excuse to haunt her old hang outs and catch up with family and Thessa time with loved ones in Pretoria. So any spaces who would host us – we are ready to pack! It takes us two days to get it all up and one day to take it all down. Continue reading

Artist Profile: Meet Marietjie & Rory (and their dog Happy) from Skermunkil

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skermunkil is marietjie and rory both. we are married. we have a dog his name is happy. we have no kids yet. we are still thinking about it.
we live and work in muizenberg. we have a studio/shop down the road. we can ride our bikes there and we love it. favourite things are making stuff, riding bikes (rory’s most favourite thing), walking happy, sleeping late, coffee, ice cream, friends, hanging out, watching rugby/cricket, finding second hand beauties, watching movies, and and and and.
inspiring local designers are frauke stegman, steffany roup, superella, skinny laminx, christina bryer and many many many more.
we have a studio/shop at 44 Palmer road, Muizenberg. 021 788 8577. we are mostly open from 9 till 4 monday to friday and we have a stand at the biscuit mill market every saturday.

Nice to meet you Skermunkil’lings!