The idea started with making something that was seen to be "old fashioned" new and modern again. With passion in their hearts for crochet and the happiness they feel when creating something beautiful with cotton thread, Elsje van Zyl and Jane Delport turned their addiction to crocheting into a business in 2012, and CottonNest was born. "We love to share our passion with everyone who comes across our products and that is what we strive for. We aspire to bring something different to the hand-grafts industry of South Africa," Jane says.
The short and sweet version CottonNest - handmade crochet products in a modern vintage style, purely for the love of it.
1. How did you start and how long have you been doing this?
Crotchet as our hobby started a long time ago, but CottonNest, our business, is 2 years old this year. So we are still learning every step of the way and enjoying every part of the journey.
2. What sort of products do you make? Do you also provide services?
We pride ourselves in knowing that our products are purely handmade and 100% local. We make crochet earrings, with the finest cotton thread. Brooches, assembled by our own hands, every single one different & unique. Dummy clips for every baby & style, like nothing you've seen in any kiddies store. And our new products is leather bracelets with a crochet bangle. We also make customised products on order only. The wedding brooches are very popular and the dummy clip for a special & unique baby shower gift.
3. Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
We have a lot of creative energy and draw a lot of our inspiration from each other. We both have very different styles and that makes our product more acceptable for a big range of clients from all ages. Our creations are inspirations from our different points of view, and then we just add all the right ingredients and Voila! a product is born. We have never produced a product that both of us didn't agree on.
4. What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?
People tend to copy from each other, and our biggest challenge is thinking of something new every single day, to stay ahead of everyone else. Creativity is not a hobby it is a way of life.
5. How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?
Creatives and designers are creating new frontiers in our country, and we have the ability to make a change and take chances. South Africa is all for entrepreneurial innovative ideas and because of that we can also produce our product in the market with self-confidence. People are moving back to hand made and environmentally friendly products, instead of commercial mass produced product. That is one of the aspects which makes CottonNest’s product so popular.
6. What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?
We try to use 100% cotton, local yarns and wood to make our products. Our colours ranges from vintage pink, ivory and natural colours to bright red, navy blue and gray. We love to combine textures and different materials to make a perfect unique product.
7. What would you do if you won the lotto?
We would take our business to the next level by empowering woman and help them to be independent. We would also like to travel and see what the trends is in other parts of the world and maybe do some marketing for international clients.
8. Where to from here?We were selling our product mostly in Pretoria but we have taken the decision to take CottonNest to the rest of SA in 2015. We are selling to selected retailers across the country and the demand for our product increased exponentially the last year.
9. What has been your proudest moment since you started?When we were approved by Tierlantynkies Market in 2012. We have been with Tierlantynkies since 2012 till now and selling our product there was very special. We got amazing feedback from customers on how they admire us for taking the time to make such special products.
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