Meet The Mom Monday – Annette Griesel from @little.handmade

Another amazing interview with a gorgeous mommy run Insta account and a local brand meet Annette Griesel:

Annette Little Handmade 2

Q:  What is your Name and your Instagram handle?
A:   Annette Griesel from @little.handmade

Q: Which social platforms are you currently on?
A:  FB & Instagram

Q: When did you start your business specifically relating to children? When did you start your Instagram page?
A: Living in the small town of Bethlehem in 2012 we didn’t have any cute baby stores, so if someone had a baby shower, they would end up with many of the same gifts from our local Woolies. Practicing as a Biokineticist then, I started making clothes to give as gifts to my friends on their baby showers. When we moved to Bloemfontein in 2013, my little hobby has already grown beyond the “hobby” phase and I had to make the difficult choice: stay with what I know and go on practicing in my field, or take a leap of faith into the unknown….I took the leap. I started my Instagram page in 2015

Q: What is the best and worst thing about being an Instagram Mommy/ Instagram business woman / Blogger?
A: The best thing about doing what I do is feeling like I am always “playing”, the worst thing, is having to juggle everything, in the course of 24 hours I need to be a designer, seamstress, human resources manager, accountant, admin person, logistical manager, financier etc, all while begin a full-time mommy and wife.

Q: You have a trusted babysitter and the night off what would you do?
A: That usually happens when grandma and granddad is in town. Bloemfontein unfortunately doesn’t offer a big variety of entertainment at night, so we (me and my lovely husband) would usually go out to a restaurant. It’s quite fun to actually finish our food at the same time – hehe. My husband is an old soul, so If we had the entire night to ourselves, we would put on some golden oldies, open a bottle of wine and just cuddle.

Q: How important are trends for you with regards to what you buy for your children or yourself?
A: I like having a few items that are trending at the moment, but I won’t change my entire wardrobe every season to keep up with it. I like wearing items that are plain, with no prints on, that way I can keep up with the fashion with my accessories, I am the same when buying clothes for my boy. With my child I don’t mind the trends as much, he is way too small to know what he is wearing, and I never want him to be conscious of the “brands” he is wearing, your heart is way more important than your sleeve. I often buy end of season sale items for him to wear the next season, so that definitely won’t be on trend then. Quality, however, is extremely important for me
Q: Who are your current top children’s brands or local brands in South Africa?
A: If I could I would have a Bella Poppelina crochet item in every room in my house. I am also a big Dandy Lion fan; the quality is great.

Q: Do you think South Africa should have a Kids Fashion week?
A: Yes, yes, yes, that would be so much fun, says the business woman in me. As a mother, I have mixed feelings about it, I am so cautious not to raise children that judge a person by what they wear. I love dressing my boy up, and I don’t change his “nice” clothes before he goes to play in the sand, because I don’t want play to be stopped for something as silly as clothes.

Q: Which Instagram Mom/Moms/Blogger/Business woman inspires you?
A: I love Mari-Louise from Just a Mamma and Chenel from Raising Little James. Daily mirror is a page I can never get enough of.
Q: If you could ask a fellow Instagram Mom/Blogger/Instagram Business one question, what would that be?
A: I would like to see everyone’s time-management tips

Q: If you have anything in addition that you would like to mention please feel free to add that
A: Most of the local children’s brands (those that do not sell imported goods) use local materials, local printers and local workers, the sad truth about supporting local, is that it is expensive. My fabric is woven for me, by a mill in Cape Town, a mill that has been closed down twice, because it is cheaper to buy imported fabric, so local companies don’t support them. The thing about using local fabric is that the quality is phenomenal and consistent, you never know what you are going to get when your fabric from China arrives here. The problem is, that local consumers do not know that, if the public are educated about this, I am positive that they will support more local brands, and that way we can keep the mills open and save thousands of jobs!

Annette it was lovely to meet you and we hope that when you visit Cape Town again you will come and pop round for a coffee. All the best in Bloemies 😉

 

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Meet The Mom Monday – Jen from Alexa Lily

As a young girl when my parents used to take us to the shops at month end and we were allowed to choose something small as part of our ‘allowance’ and I was always drawn to stationary, from gel pens, khoki pens to beautiful notebooks and scented paper, so when I found the amazing Alexa Lily online shop I was smitten. Jen shared some of her insights and inspirational Insta pages with us below:

Alexa Lily fam pic

Q:  What is your Name and your Instagram handle
A:   Jen from Alexa Lily (@alexalilyshop)

Q: Which social platforms are you currently on?
A:  FB & Instagram
https://www.facebook.com/alexalilyshop/
      @alexalilyshop

Q: When did you start your business specifically relating to children? When did you start your Instagram page? Or your business even if it’s not related to children just a local brand?
A: We started our brand at the end of 2016 and began selling products Dec last year.

Q: What is the best and worst thing about being an Instagram Mommy/ Instagram business woman / Blogger? |
A: Love the flexibility and creativity of being able to reach your customer anytime anywhere. I don’t hate anything (:-() it’s the best best job ever!

Q: You have a trusted babysitter and the night off what would you do?
A: Friday 🙂 end of the week my husband and I are totally finished and need a good night off & glass of bubbles

Q: How important are trends for you with regards to what you buy for your children or yourself?
A: I love following trends but always view them as a guide and trust my own instinct and style to suit my personal needs as everyone is unique and different. With regards to my girls I prefer to dress them (although they are choosing their own outfits these days) in very neutral colors with pops of colors here and there. I also don’t follow too many trends with them as they so small but I would say comfortable and practical is the way to go
Q: Who are your current top children’s brands or local brands in South Africa?
A: Cotton On, H&M, Earth Addict, Naartjie, Zara kids, Country Road

Q: Do you think South Africa should have a Kids Fashion week?
A: To be honest no, I’m not a fan of kids modelling at such a young age. I think fashion has become so consuming & we should rather look to purchase quality items rather than quantity

Q: Which Instagram Mom/Moms/Blogger/Business woman inspires you?
A: I love Kimmy&Bear (3 sisters) they all have fantastic taste & miss_luckypony
Q: If you could ask a fellow Instagram Mom/Blogger/Instagram Business one question, what would that be?
A: I would ask the daily edited (an Australian brand), how they grew their business globally

Thank you Jen for sharing in our Meet The Mom feature and congratulations on the recent inclusion of Alexa Lily on the House and Leisure online store, if you have not had a look at their gorgeous notebooks and planner go and like their page, follow their Insta handle and get ordering ladies I have seem them sold out many times!

Meet The Mom Monday – Angela Rea from Oursunshinejourney

You may have come across some pictures of her gorgeous son on Instagram, or read her heartwarming blogs, if not then read about her here and make sure you go and follow her and her beautiful journey through all things beautiful.

Angela

Q:  What is your Name and your Instagram handle?
A:   Hi my name is Angela but most people call me Ang and a few Angie my Instagram handle is https://instagram.com.oursunshinejourney which is a play on my surname “Rea”

Q: Which social platforms are you currently on?
A:  I am on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and I have a blog on WordPress     https://oursunshinejourney.wordpress.com     https://www.facebook.com/OurSunshineJourney/?ref=bookmarks

Q: When did you start  your Instagram page?
A: I started Instagramming about 5 years ago but I only recently started to take it seriously as I am studying now to become a photographer and I find it such a great place to show my work. My blog is a few months old and the other platforms came with the blog

Q: What is the best and worst thing about being an Instagram Mommy/ Instagram business woman / Blogger?
A: I love all the love that is shared with all the Instamommies. We are such a new and unique community and we all look out for one another and end up being great friends and get to meet in person. Unfortunately, there are a few bad seeds but that comes with everything. There is a little bit of competition but not that much really as mostly we all get along so well and count the Instamommies as our treasured friends

Q: You have a trusted babysitter and the night off what would you do?
A: The perfect night out for me would to be able to go to a spa for a massage and stay the night there. I would sleep in a beautiful hotel bed and maybe catch up on some series. Of course there would be hot chocolate involved.

Q: How important are trends for you with regards to what you buy for your children?
A: I am not that concerned with trends when buying for my son Elijah as I prefer the more classic style. I like children to look like children in beautiful, well-made clothes. I used to think Elijah looked quite a lot like Prince George and started dressing him in those style of clothes and that is still the style I prefer

Q: Who are your current top children’s brands or local brands in South Africa?
A: My top childrens’ brands are Minime Atelier for all their classic beautiful clothes and Rosie-bee Children’s clothing for that vintage, unique look.

Q: Do you think South Africa should have a Kids Fashion week?
A: I definitely do think that South Africa should have a children’s fashion week. There are such beautiful things around and they should be showcased.

Q: Which Instagram Mom/Moms/Blogger/Business woman inspires you?
A: Gosh, there are way too many to write down and I consider them all friends so I would not want to leave anyone out! But if you are talking about who I started following first and inspired me to blog in the first place it must be Kim Gray and I Want That. I started following them years ago when they just started out. As for the mum’s that have helped me out tremendously I have to mention One Modern Mom, Choose a Row and Pregnant In Cape Town. It was actually Lisa from One Modern Mom that made me get off my butt and start blogging. But there are so many more that I have inspired, helped and offered friendship to me

Q: If you could ask a fellow Instagram Mom/Blogger/Instagram Business one question, what would that be?
A: I would, where do you get the time to fit everything in and be a mom as well?

Thank you Angie and we wish you all the best on your photography journey and we look forward to seeing loads more pics of young Prince Elijah xxxx

 

 

Meet The Mom Monday – Lehani from Dandylionkids

We are kicking off our weekly feature of Moms/ Bloggers and Local brands on Instagram with the amazing Lehani from Dandylionkids!

We asked her a few questions and loved reading her responses, hope you enjoy them too! Dandylion logo

Q:  What is your Name and your Instagram handle
A: Lehani @dandylionkids

Q: Which social platforms are you currently on?
A: Facebook 
https://www.facebook.com/dandylionbabykidsclothing/?         hc_ref=ARSvuSlVsMRegTPzoq8guQSpFjA-MiQpRz-BGZZwuM2IBppN1RhWu3lbeBF4GzgEuNA
Instagram 
@dandylionkids

Q: When did you start your business specifically related to children? When did you start your Instagram page?
A: About 3 years ago. But was dreaming of starting a kid range long before then. As I could not always find what I was looking for Lila to wear. And eventually when I started Dandy Lion she was outside the age bracket

Q: What is the best and worst thing about being an Instagram Mommy/ Instagram business woman / Blogger?
A: Best is – I am doing what I love and creating is my passion. Worst- So very difficult to balance work and life as work seems to take up most of my days but I really try and manage it.

Q: You have a trusted babysitter and the night off what would you do?
A: Date night with Hubby, or a good girls’ night

Q: How important are trends for you with regards to what you buy for your children?
A: I love buying trendy items. It is becoming easier now as my daughter is moving out of the cartoon character phase. Thank goodness never thought it would end ha ha
Q: Who are your current top children’s brands or local brands in South Africa?
A: Annapatat love her brand and to top it off she is such a sweet heart. Little Love kids, I have redone Lila’s room and bought all my items to decorate her room from them. Even though we work very closely together Heloise has such an eye for styling. And always has great advice. She is my sound board in Business, such a lovely woman.

Q: Do you think South Africa should have a Kids Fashion week?
A: Oh yes would this not be awesome!

Q: Which Instagram Mom/Moms/Blogger/Business woman inspires you?
A: Sjoe there are so many… My greatest inspiration is Sanet from Berry and Flambe (BASH) she has taught me SO much! I must say that the following ladies also inspire me, Cath from followingthebean, Chenel from raisinglittlejames, Marie-Louise from justamama, Anneke from Annapatat, Heloise-littlelove, Melanie from littlemeraki, Angela from oursunshinejourney, Sammy from sammyshepard_art, Terry from choosearow and yourself off course xx oh and so many more!! Instagram is full of amazing bloggers/moms and business woman does actually not feel right only naming a few
Q: If you could ask a fellow Instagram Mom/Blogger/Instagram Business one question, what would that be?
A: How do you do it all? And keep the balance?

 

Thank you Lehani for your time and effort – we wish you all the success in the world xxxx

New Weekly feature! Meet The Mom

While laying in bed contemplating the million and one things on my to-do list I started pondering the many human beings that make up the new Insta community that I have found myself a part of!

There are some that silently pop up every now and then, there are the forerunners whom we all aspire to emulate and follow religiously! There are some that are not even Moms but they have become a part of an every-growing trend that is used as both business and pleasure.

Have you hear of Instameets? These useful pages have now been setup across the globe to try and bring together these moms and get them chatting, meeting and setting up play dates. Where this is such an amazing concept, I myself have found reaching out to other mothers rather daunting. Kind of like that first day of school feeling where you have butterflies and sit with the unsure feeling of ‘are they going to like me?’

This all brought me round to my Meet The Mom concept, I will be running a weekly or bi-weekly (depending on the responses I receive) feature where I introduce one of the Insta Moms on my feed and ask her a series of random questions, breaking the ice if you like!

If you would like to be featured, or nominate someone to be featured please send me a direct message on either Instagram or Facebook!

I hope you all enjoy reading these features as much as I have!

Have a wonderful day Ladies (and Gents as I have seen quite a few Insta Dads lately ;-))

Why do I support local?

There has been so much hype of late around supporting local? Local music, local TV, local brands in all the many forms. This got me thinking as to what has changed, how come everyone is on this buzz?

Firstly I considered quality, and lets be straight up honest here its not for quality alone because many international brands have mass produced high quality items at time cheaper then local brands especially where clothing is considered.

Next consideration is style and variety, again there are chain stores that hold larger selections of trendy and market related varieties across all sectors.

So this pretty much leaves me with SUPPORT and COMMUNITY. Everyone regardless of what many will argue love to be a part of something, a party of a community, part of a movement or a cause. Its human nature to seek out companionship. And this my friends is what I have come to realize, we support local because its where we belong, where we make friends, where we connect and find support!

Any product that you market will always succeed when you touch the heart and soul of your target market and is it not so much easier to reach out to your neighbor, your fellow parents experiencing the same issues that you are on a daily.

South Africa has long been the target of much negativity and like a phoenix our local brands have risen from the ashes, choosing rather to celebrate our talents and our strengths. With awesome music, actors, businessmen and woman and lets not forget why we are here, our FASHION! Our proudly South African Mama’s who are making incredible clothing, toys, furniture and much more! Quality that you cannot imagine can come out of someones garage or loft room, styles that you wouldn’t believe a Mama could still have imagination left to come up with, after bathing kids, cooking and cleaning! Service deserving a golden award of excellence after a day of being Mother, Chef, Driver and Wife, she still has time to smile and send a heartwarming email to thank you for your support!

As woman, as mothers we support local to be a part of that community the one that you can rely on, meet up with for a coffee and while you there buy your kids next gorgeous outfit! Woman find ways to multi-task so whats better then seeing a friend and shopping while your kids have a playdate?

It warms my heart when I see the community that has risen from the brands in South Africa and makes me super proud to be a Mommy here, even inspires me to find ways to contribute to this market, like what can I make or create that our kids need?

So next time you see a new Mommy store on Instagram or Facebook give her a like or a follow and remember her when you need to buy that toy, jacket or shoes, because you are not just buying that item from a store you are buying a part of someones dream and that’s just MAGICAL….

Travelling with Gremlins

So for the April school holidays my Mom asked us to come and visit…..in  Durban…..we live in Cape Town….

This obviously meant that we need to take a flight, which may I add was only Dakotas 2nd time flying. Que Dakota who is a boisterous and highly energetic 1 and half year old little girl. These days  flights cost an arm and leg so here was my dilemma, do we fly at the cheapest rate or do we fly in accordance with my child’s sleeping patterns? I don’t know how many of you moms have experienced a live wire kid on a plane its truly one of the most stressful things to live through, so I bit the bullet and bought the pricey ticket because I am pretty sure nobody would approve of me downing small size bottles of whiskey while my child runs screaming through the plane at high altitude!

Now on the day of the flight both there and back I start sedating myself not my child as I am more likely to loose my shit then she is! And this time round I must tell you that I had a pleasant experience both ways with my child BUT not so much with the airline! There is nothing more annoying when airlines are inconsistent in their policy or when they look at you like an alien when your 6 year old bought 6 toys guns in Durban and wants to bring them home, or when you dare take a car seat with you I mean who believes in safety!!

The Mango assistant can be really glad that I have already sedated myself as he started on about toy guns not being allowed to be checked in your luggage, and then telling me that you have to use your luggage weight allowance to book your car seat in! REALLY!! I mean have any of the people who make these rules or enforce them EVER traveled alone with TWO kids under the age of 7!!! So to be clear you may carry the car seat with you to the plane and check it in at the door for FREE but you need to pay R250 (8kg car seat) to book it in. So lets get this image clear, I need to carry an toddler, hold a 6 year olds hand while he carries his travel bag, and I am carrying my laptop bag (I had to work), the baby bag (she had to poop) and my handbag (someone has to pay for stuff). I was livid to say the least, and all this while the agent discusses his personal plans for the weekend with the girl next to him!

So surprise surprise my anticipated point of a breakdown was my small child but instead the gremlin turned out to be the Mango assistant! And to add Dakota was an angel fell asleep, slept through the two hour flight and when she woke up smiled and waved at all the passengers, Carter is always an angel, he’s a bit of a seasoned traveler having been everywhere back and forth with me for the first 3 years of his life. Oh and the IPAD, he gets engrossed in a movie for two hours leaving me stress free! I know many moms say that’s not good but one thing being a mom has taught me we all do what we need to do to get by……

Will you fight for your child?

So everyone across South Africa has now seen the infamous Spur video wherein a random father and mother get involved in a huge public argument regarding their children. The jest  of the matter was the kids landed in a scuffle shall we say and then all hell broke loose from there, its not within my realm to comment further.

BUT this whole debacle got me thinking about us as parents and how far we will go to defend and protect our children, we have often used the terms I would kill for my child, but would you? Should you? Could you?

Its never a nice feeling to see your child hurt no matter what the cause of their pain is, but upon pondering this scenario and also conjuring images of me hurling grown parents around like a scene out of Ben Hur because lets face it hurling their little brats around is NOT kosher no matter what they did, I thought about the aftermath….

We are truly the  real life example to our kids of how they will deal with conflict and aggression, and I will put my hand up that I have on more then one occasion flipped someone the bird and sworn profanities at them while driving and YES my kids were in the car! So while I have this experience to base my FUTURE conduct on I would say that we should think long and hard about our next move, think about what we are teaching our kids through our own actions.

That does not go to say that we should walk away and not confront it but rather how we confront it because in this fast pace world filled with every sort of challenge our kids will face great opposition, true anger and God forbid they might fall victim to violence. So we need to equip them to stand up themselves with dignity, with compassion and above all else with respect.

Its such a tough business raising kids the RIGHT way because the only way to get it RIGHT is through EXPERIENCE and whats that saying ‘Hindsight is a bitch!’

 

Here we go…..

I have been promising myself that I would create a creative outlet to vent, discuss, advise and just generally allow a space to exist whereby I have a dialect outside my head of some sort of adult content….

Even though this content will probably not be about anything other then my kids I believe that it will help me and hopefully create a space to allow other moms to discuss our lives with our kids. I also firmly believe that if there is one thing that truly bonds us mothers is that no matter what class, colour, creed or financial status you hold or have raising a child begets us the same or very similar challenges!

So here we go……