When two creative minds met at a braai the flames for a new business started burning. Finding out that they lived in the same complex, they made the transition from acquaintances to friends to business partners. Met Liefde was born. I spoke to Lia and Claudia to find out more about their business.
C: It was wedding time for both of us, I had the wedding decor under control, but still needed stationary/invitations made. So who else than the wonderful & talented Lia (who is an amazing graphic designer) to design them. So Lia did me a huge favour, so when it came to her important day, I just returned the favour by lending her all my decor.
And the rest is history...
L: We just connected on a personal and creative level from the very start. We got excited about the same beautiful things and we both share a passion for hands on design and true creativity. We always said that ‘one day’ we are going to start a business together and not so long ago that one day actually arrived. It’s been a wonderful journey so far.
How long has Met Liefde been running?
C&L: We’ve been dreaming about it for about 2 years and only started putting the prettiness into action in Januray 2013, so its still a little baby!
What sort of products do you make? Do you also provide services?
C&L: We design & make table décor (for now). We have a lot of beautiful ideas that are still banked and we can’t wait to produce them all. Products include fabric runners & napkins, wood napkin rings, coasters, placemats & fridge magnets & also painted bamboo utensils.
We don’t provide laser cutting services, but if there is a special request for a product we’ll always try and make it happen.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
C: Colours, blogs, photography, retro, nature & bunting. We bounce everything off each other & then after brainstorming we sometimes find the best ideas.
L: My brain collects creative information from everywhere, nature, magazines, blogs, travelling, good food, random conversations, colour and art. It then mixes it all up and stores it somewhere cosy where it grows into ideas. Every now and again I’ll get a brainwave out of the blue from my creative chamber then I quickly put the idea on paper and make it happen.
What are some of the challenges of being your own boss?
C: We are responsible for everything: hopes, dreams, finances and creative juice. This is our baby now & we have to carry & nurture it through teething problems etc.
L: We’re both juggling full time jobs and dreams at the moment, so I think it’s important not to lose sight of where we want to go with ‘met Liefde’ and work hard to make all our dreams a reality. There is so much still to learn and the best thing to do is to take it one challenge at a time!
How do you perceive the South African creatives/design landscape?
L: I’m quite excited about what’s happening with local design at the moment. For a while the design scene has been taking off and it’s great to see that creatives aren’t nervous to start their own businesses and to follow their hearts and dreams anymore. They are not scared to take risks for what they believe in. It ‘s causing such an exciting movement in the cities and it’s spreading like a wild fire through the whole country. I’ve been to Italy and Switzerland recently and realised how much we as South African designers have to offer. South African design is at a very exciting place and growing rapidly. In a developing country there is a lot of opportunity and it’s great to see how the designers are using it!
What is your favourite colour/ material to work with, and why?
C: Beige/Grey/Blue/Green/Coral! Fabric (I studied fashion design & I get extremely inspired by fabrics & prints) the texture & feel is just amazing & wood (natural & nature, say no more)
L: I don’t have favourites, but I do get excited about interesting colour combinations that just ‘sing’ together be it brights or naturals. I love getting colour inspiration from nature. You can never go wrong by stealing a little from the Creator Himself ;)
What would you do if you won the lotto?
C&L: Quit everything else & just run this wonderful little gem. We would love to employ some people from the community & let them help us create something wonderful and truly South African. Creating jobs is definitely high on our priority list and close to our hearts.
Oh, and maybe a shopping spree, a trip around the world in a hot air balloon, free Gelato for everyone & world peace.
Where to from here?
L: Infinity & beyond! We want to go big, keep on creating and be innovating, make homes prettier, people happier, collaborate with other creatives and expand.
C: We are looking at more stores & markets where we can sell our products. Santos in Parkhurst is currently stocking ‘met Liefde’ products and we have a big market coming up in October – November. If you know of some amazing places & spaces, please let us know!
What has been your proudest moment since you started?
L: The amazing response that we’ve had so far! We’ve been able to connect with so many great people and met Liefde has been so very blessed from day one.
C: When our facebook page & all our images went up!!
Met Liefde is currently running a giveaway on their facebook page. Check it out.