Ilundi {feature}

Friday, March 27, 2015




Established in 2011, Ilundi began out of a need to find a well-priced, quality-manufactured leather bag to carry textbooks in. With no shortage of talent, Safia Stodel started designing and making her own bags. Soon, friends and family ordered designs, and she started supplying local boutiques with her handcrafted leather goods, while working out of the small converted garage she also lived in. 

Now operating from Woodstock, in Cape Town, the 100% South Africa company currently supplies two national online boutiques, eight boutiques within South Africa, and two boutiques abroad. And if she won the lotto...oh my heart, you'll have to read on to find out.

Being a sucker for local design and showcasing local entrepreneurs, The Sun House had to know more about the company. 




1. Safia, I love your work. Please tell us what sort of products you make and if you also provide services?
We handcraft leather bags and accessories. Products are hand stitched, hand woven and hand punched. We fuse modern technologies and silhouettes with artisanal leather techniques to produce unique, interesting pieces. 


2. Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
I draw inspiration from many different aspects of my life. My surrounding environment has influenced my designs a lot. Nature, art, books, Japanese minimalist aesthetics, the urban landscape and vintage craft books all play a part. I am also inspired by the transient and abstract. Certain cut out clutches from the Geometria range, for example, have been influenced by a fictional tropical paradise that I imaging myself being transported to on wintery days
.
 

3. What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?
Putting enough time aside to work ON the business and not only IN it. Also, when the business grows I always find it challenging to let go of the control of certain roles and just surrender.

4. How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?
I am incredibly proud to be a part of the South African creative and design landscape. It is filled with such incredibly unique, innovative and awe inspiring designs and talent. What inspires me the most are the stories of South African creatives who have embraced the traditional and artisanal ways of making, creating sustainable businesses that empower others along the way. 

PS: Safia is being modest, but Ilundi was showcased at this year's Design Indaba and it was a firm favourite.
 
5. What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?
Natural vegetable tanned leather is my favorite as it is such a versatile material. It can be pigmented, spray dyed, and hand dyed. If left natural and treated with oil, it develops a dark caramel petina with age and softens beautifully. It is perfect for embossing and branding with heat. It can be moulded to shape, and stitched, folded or riveted together. 



 
6. What would you do if you won the lotto?
I have always been passionate about identifying and honing talent that is otherwise overlooked. If I won the lotto I would love to start a craft, design and entrepreneurial training centre to empower disadvantaged youths and assist them in transforming their talent into viable careers. 

7. Where to from here?
We plan to expand the brand to Europe. 

8. What has been your proudest moment since you started?
Representing our country on various worldwide online design platforms. Also, our very first international order was pretty amazing for us at the time!

Chickpea and tortilla salad

Tuesday, March 10, 2015



I decided to turn a new page as a wife and actually start cooking for my husband and myself. Normally,  he would be the cook, but he has fallen into the convenience trap of making a stew or getting take-out - neither very healthy and you get tired of the same old dish all the time.

So thanks to the Huisgenoot - which I buy religiously every week - I have turned into a good old chef. You see, they have weekly recipes that include a Meat Free Monday and a special Friday recipe. Even better is that you save a whole lot of money if you are only two people, as the week's ingredients/meals tally to R300 and you can pack the left-overs for lunch the next day. Oh, and the weekly recipes comes with a shopping guide, so you know exactly what you need to stock up on.

The BEST is that it is healthy!

For this salad, you will need - well, first heat your oven to 200 C.




Chickpeas:
1 x 410 g can of chickpeas, drained
45 ml (3 tbs) olive oil
1 -2 red chillies, diced
2 crushed garlic cloves
10 g coriander leaves
1 lemon's zest and juice
salt and pepper

Method:
Mix all the above ingredients - do not break the chickpeas - and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Tortillas:
2 tortillas
30 ml olive oil
salt and pepper

Method:
Cut the tortillas into thin slices and douse in 30 ml olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Next, lay it out in a pan sprayed with Spray and Cook or Bake and Spray or whatever you like.
Put it into the oven until it is golden brown.

Salad:
Salad leaves
Avo

Spread the leaves in a plate and chop the avo any which way you like. Spread the chickpeas over the salad and add the tortilla chips for that extra crisp. Serve immediately.

Side note: I found the recipe to be a little bit tooo spicy, and a little bit tooo sour, so I think the taste can be slightly improved by using only one chilli and only half a lemon. In its defence, this recipe is super quick and super delicious!

Bon appetit!





Slick in the city in the new UP!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

On Friday, I betrayed my trusty old steed, Bliksaspaai, and got into the lap of a cherry red Volkswagen Up! Even though they are similar in size, my 2005 model lacked sorely in comparison, and I didn't feel too bad about leaving it behind in the garage. It was just for one day!

And although this little firetruck Up! is only 3 m long - guys, it is tiny on the outside - I found myself having to scoot my seat closer to the pedals to reach. And I am a tall 1.78 m!


And despite its really small demeanour, this car is JAM PACKED with features. I was lucky enough to get an Up! with a sky roof, which is almost the coolest thing since Prince. It has aircon, a bloody decent radio with MP3, or Aux, capabilites

And guys, get this, especially for those who can't multitask, if your radio is blaring and you put it into reverse, it automatically lowers the volume of the radio. As soon as it's back in first gear, the radio starts playing at the volume you had it.

This is THE perfect car for the city, especially where there is limited parking and also, sigh, parallel parking. Luckily, it comes with rear park assist, which beeps to warn you if you are about to bump into something. And the boot, ladies, the boot is huge! You can still shop up a storm and fit all your goodie bags in the rear.




Now, while I might not be a petrolhead, I did find one thing about the Up! that I didn't like, it didn't go fast enough and its acceleration was quite slow on the uptake. I guess this makes it all the more perfect for city slickers, as you are stuck in traffic most of the time and don't need to go fast. Besides, who cares about city traffic when you in this cool little thing! 

I sure love this nippy little car!

#UBERUP

As you may have seen or heard on the radio, taxi company Uber is offering free rides in the Up! between March 2 and March 8. Your chaffeur might even be a famous face! Party, party, party!

All you have to do is sign up for Uber and download the free app, next you need to enter the promo code UBERUP to unlock the unique UberUp view. Toggle over the VW icon and request a ride as one does. 

This is valid in Joburg, Pretoria, CT and Durbs and only for trips that are about 20 km in distance. What are you waiting for? Get Up!










Hennopsrivier Hiking trail - the perfect Sunday outing

Tuesday, February 10, 2015



Yesterday, Flip and I set out to trek the 12 km Krokodilberg route, which forms part of the Hennopsrivier Hiking Trail. I read about this lovely route on a blog last week and just had to take on the challenge. Although, I will admit that we were both a bit ambitious and while we aimed to complete the 12 kilometres, we only made it to 4 km.

I blame the heat - it was near 38 degrees, even though we set out quite early in the morning. But the 5-hour hike was cut short by midday, when we both sat under a tree - me panting, dehydrated and nauseous. Now, I was fully prepared for dehydration, I had two big bottles of water at hand and some snacks, but no matter how many gulps I took, I just couldn't take one step in the right direction. Luckily the trail is prepared for wussies like me and we only needed to trek about 1.5 km back to the nearest escape route.

As a matter of precaution, I would suggest you either hike the trail in winter, or start hiking at 7 am sharp in summer, so that you are out of there before the beating sun comes down. Also, I think it would be wise not to hike during a heatwave. As my mom put it yesterday, the whole family was hanging on chairs like 'vrot velle' as it was simply too hot to move.

A highlight of the trip was that there is no cellphone signal out there in the hills and we just had a chance to catch up and talk about life and everything in between. A low point was when I walked into a thorn bush and got 'stabbed' in four different spots on my arm and one spot on my chest. This morning I actually realised that I had a thorn in my chest when I saw an angry red spot. One spot on my arm is now bruised blue and has lost feeling. I might die.




Luckily this piece of spectacular nature also comes with a river, so for the really courageous ones there is always a bit of cooling down - however, the current is quite strong, so I would not recommend jumping in, unless you can swim the Midmar.

For the more timid ones, like myself, there is a picnic area with a lush swimming pool. Listen, I jumped in clothes and all - with the exception of my shoes and socks - because I couldn't bear the heat anymore. Next to me, a dainty girl in an even daintier bikini was attempting to slowly climb into the pool and complained about how cold the water was. I just sighed with relief.

The hiking trail, which is about 40 min from Johannesburg on the R511, cost R60 per person. It also had a few stops of interest, like a hanging bridge, Pruimpie se Gat and a few spectacular look-out points. Make sure not to miss the cable car over the river!



If you still feel up to it, you can visit Hartbeespoortdam, which is about 30 km away {I think} and make a day trip out of it.

Me? I took a nap.

For more information on the hiking trail, visit www.hennops.co.za/otherattractions/hikingtrail.aspx



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