Friday, 31 January 2014

Our Shiny New Vouchers

One of the best things about being involved with Shopstar, is being a part of the constant changes that they roll out as they (and we!) grow. This week we are very excited to announce that we now offer digital vouchers! Yippppeeee!

Ours are Golden Tickets and we will customise names, amounts and messages with pleasure!

These can be purchased at KIN on Kloof or KIN at V&A, and online through

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Too Good to Waste

It's always inspiring to see different artists and designers teaming up to support each other and a cause. Keri Muller of Simple Intrigue and Wendren Setzer of The Wren Design are designers who have always focused on re-using materials that are often ignored and discarded but hold so much potential. From 30th Januray to the 9th February they are taking part in a wonderful exhibition in the Clocktower Mall at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Too Good to Waste is the first project to exhibit in the newly-WDC2014-yellow Clocktower as part of the official program of events.
Africa Re-Invented, a sculpture from re-claimed books by Keri Muller
Highly durable PPC Laptop Bags from The Wren Design
As 2014 highlights, we have so much to be proud of in this city and exhibitions like this are a privilege and definitely worth a visit. If you are unsure of the lay of the land, here's a map to show you how to get from our KIN store in the Alfred Mall to the Clocktower Mall.

Both KIN on Kloof and KIN at V&A stock the work of these talented designers, and you can follow these links to take a peek at some of their beautiful pieces online at

The Wren Design

Simple Intrigue

The First Step to becoming Pitch Perfect

Chantal doing us proud with her first-ever (and immediately captivating!) pitch.
As one of WDC2014's initiatives, we were invited to attend a grooming session with Charles Maisel (Entrepreneur and founder of Innovation Shack) and Thundafund, to learn how to pitch an idea, and just how important this skill is for any entrepreneur or project. The WDC hosts these training sessions as a lead-up to a series of 8 official pitching sessions that are scheduled between January and August 2014. Along with potential investors, media and prominent philanthropists; the public will be welcome to attend. It's great fun to hear about some of this year's upcoming ideas from all sorts of sectors, and the profound reach that some of the projects will have on our communities. As each project will be registering on Thundafund, it is also super easy for anyone willing to support - in whatever way (large, small and often non-monetary) that they can. You can even log on to the Thundafund site on your phone right then and there :) The next Pitching Session will be on 11 February - keep an eye out for venue confirmation, attendance is completely free. 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Ten Lessons from a Maker

"Use your nimbleness. Listen to your instinct. 
Have a sense of humour that no legal department would approve."

We stumbled on this fantastic article the other day and thought we'd share some of its insights and solid, feet-on-the-ground advice.

Extracts from David Hieatt's piece : Ten Lessons from a Maker featured on The Holborn Mag.

I) No one knows you exist.

You make a great product. But the world isn’t holding its breath waiting for you. It doesn’t know who you are. It doesn’t know you even exist. Currently, in the pecking order, you are at the bottom. It’s nothing personal. Everyone starts here.

You will have to make your reputation. You have will have to gain peoples attention. You will have to be as good at selling your product as you are making it. It is your job to get people to know you are on the planet.

IV) No one goes to bed at night and dreams of quality.

We make one of the best pairs of jeans on the planet. And we are very proud of that. But that doesn’t mean that is the best way of selling it.

Quality is what we make. It’s what we stand for. It’s what we believe in. But it is not how we will sell our jeans. People have desires and dreams and you have to learn how to make your product fit into them.

People buy a lifestyle, an image, a purpose, a superiority, part of a small elite club, rejection of the norm. Part of your job will be to understand their desires, and make sure what you make appeals to them.

Your customers go to bed each night and dream their dreams. They dream about changing the world, they dream about starting an amazing company, they dream about all sorts of crazy stuff. But they rarely dream about quality.

Don’t ever compromise on quality. But sell the dream.

V) It’s a small club. But a good club.

The makers club is a small club. But, everyone in it wants the club to grow. That’s why there is a culture of trying to help each other. If you need a certain machine, or a particular service, someone in the club will know the answer. So don’t fret, you are not alone.

One example. Chris from Noble Denim asked us if he could come over and learn from us as he wanted to start a denim company. Conventional companies would have said no. Help a rival? Pah. Are you mad? But if you are in the makers club, you want more people to join the club, so you say yes. Noble denim ( is up and running. And we helped in a tiny small way. But we helped.

Right now, we are the only British denim brand making its own jeans in its own factory in Britain. But we had help at the start from Jayesh and his family up in Leicester. They helped us make our prototypes before our factory was going. And I told them I wouldn’t be able to give them any business in return. Why would they help us? It took 3 set of samples before we were happy. And they did each one with a smile. They wouldn’t even take any money from us for doing them. The makers club is like that, you know. We will try and repay that favour one day.

The makers club doesn’t exist in reality. It has no address, it has no business card, it has no website. But even so it is real. And it will help you.

As soon as you start making, the makers club will be in touch.

VI) The more you work in the future, the less competition you will have.

This is a quote from a talk by Richard Seymour. And I think he is right. Our job as makers is to take the skills of the past and apply them to the future.We want to protect our skills from dying out. And the best way to do that is to give them a lead role in the future.

One great example is the DodoCase. They used traditional book making skills that were dying out in San Francisco and they gave them a new life by applying those skills to making iPad cases. The result is a beautiful and super useful product that is in huge demand. Finding a way to marry the luddite skills with geek useage is something more and more companies will have to do if they want to fly.

For us at Hiut Denim, we figured there are more than enough jeans companies out there. The world doesn’t need another one. The question for us was how could we bring some new thinking to it. One insight came to us while staring at an old pair of Levis from 1876. I looked at them and I wondered what stories they could tell us. What was their best day? Did they strike gold? Did they fall in love? How hard were the conditions? But the jeans couldn’t tell me anything. They were born before the internet.

So every pair of our jeans comes with a HistoryTag. A unique number that allows you to sign up to the HistoryTag website and then allows you to update where you went in them and what you got up to in them. Then, if one day, those jeans end up in a second hand shop, their memories will go with them.

We are first jeans maker in the world to do this. We are operating in the future. And that gives us a fighting chance.

VII) It is going to take time.

And it’s going to take some old fashioned hard work. Those who want short cuts, who want to be overnight success are going to be in for a bit of disappointment. There is no substitute for the hard work you will have to put in. Doing the work is rights of passage.

A business has to find its feet. Knowledge has to be learned. Skills have to refined. Reputations have to be earned. Customers have to be found and retained. A business will tell you when it wants to grow, and when it does, let go of the reigns. But not too much. One of the most important aspects to building a business is patience. It is a rare commodity.

IX) Do some silly stuff. Now and again.

I think a sense of humour is important. It sure helps you get through the day. And makes a long journey so much shorter. It will also help you stand out from pretty much everyone else.

For the full article of all ten lessons on The Holborn Mag, please click here.

For more inspiration and to oogle some gorgeous jeans, Hiut Denim Co. is also really worth a visit.

Monday, 27 January 2014

A Fresh Shoot & Many More Splendid Jewellery Pieces

Behind the Scenes with photographer Gareth Hubbard
It's easy to raise our eyes to the ceiling as, just a few day's after the Christmas baubles are packed up, garish Valentine's Day goodies seem to be draped on every display - but, honestly, it's what we make of it that really matters and it can be an easy excuse for a bit (or a lot) of fun. Ever since Anja from Papertales shared her contagious enthusiasm for The Most Beautiful Valentines Window of All Time (but more on that after the weekend...), we've been viewing this holiday with new eyes and softer hearts. The thing about all the red, white and pink fluff is that there is a small solid truth at the core - telling someone how much you love them is never a cliché. We've decided that, for us, Valentine's Day is about telling anyone (your gran, your partner, your mentor, your childhood friend living in Catamarca) how much they mean to you and how much fuller your life is because they are a beautiful part of it.

But, back to that splendid for in time for the Month of Love:

Silver Silver Triceratops Tie Clip
Sterling Silver Wishbone Pendant

Tiny Brass Africa Charm on Silk


Sterling Silver Infinity Bracelet
Sterling Silver Circle Necklace
Sterling Silver Infinity Ring

Inge Marais

Pure Silver Folded Jet
Sterling Silver UFO Pendant
Two-tone Sterling Silver & Copper Heart Pendant
Sterling Silver Teardrop Studs
Sterling Silver Bar Studs
Sterling Silver & Enamel Studs

Starbright Girl

Sterling Silver Kingfisher Pendant
Sterling Silver Camera Pendant
Sterling Silver Leaping Reindeer Pendant

Monday, 20 January 2014

Pondering Vivienne Westwood's "Buy Less, Choose Well" Slogan

While browsing Pinterest's countless pages of innocuous motivational quotes, it was hard to miss the often repeated image above. Such a bold statement (and from one of the fashion world's most powerful forces) is hard to ignore, so we did a bit of reading and found Dame Vivienne Westwood is using her voice in an interesting way. As her awe-inspiring career has revolved around the making and selling of clothes, one might expect her to encourage the contrary but Westwood is also in a unique, bird's eye-view position to regard the world of fashion and its throw-away frivolities. Although her campaign is directly addressing humanity's impact on climate change, her statement also calls out our modern society's materialistic obsessions and her advice is to get more deeply involved in our own culture.

“I just think people should invest in the world,” she says. "Don’t invest in fashion, but invest in the world. The first thing [people] can do, if they live in a town, is they can go to art galleries. Start building different values, where you engage with the past, with the human race.” *

We couldn't agree more. Working with over a hundred different designers, each chosen for their unique vision and ethics, we are constantly surprised and inspired by what these artists give to the world. With the plethora of mass-manufactured products out there today, its refreshing to work directly with creators who value the process as much as the final product - it's also this personal history that draws people to their work because their pieces develop a story of their own. A simple piece of jewellery, for example, can be about more than the silver from which it's made, as its design has roots in a culture which has become a part of the very land of our country.
Jan van Hunks Story Pendant by Inge Marais which she created upon her return from London to South Africa and which is a material result of her creative effort to reconnect with her own history and culture

"Buy Less, Choose Well" for us is about each of the products themselves - every item is an investment of creative energy, time and effort, and this is clearly seen in the quality of the work we stock. We hope each gift that is bought, is treasured by the receiver and not for a month or a year - but for the duration of its lovely life as a favourite necklace, indispensable journal or beloved ceramic. 

Practically, we are stores and we love celebrating a month of great sales together, but we hope that what we offer goes beyond the material in connecting local artists to a public which is each year growing more conscious of the importance of where something comes from and why it was made.

*source : The Daily Mail 

Monday, 13 January 2014

January Inspiration, Organisation & Motivation

2014 is finally here! 
With big plans in our heads and bigger dreams in our it's time to hustle!
To help you off to a smooth, organised and inspired start, we thought we'd share a few of the tools we've been enjoying so far this year...

  1. Table Mountain 2014 Calendar by Fiddlesticks
  2. A5 Zesty 2014 Diary by Schwarzie
  3. Affirmation Cards by Soulshine Living, deck of 36 cards
  4. Sausage dog & Shongololo Rulers by Green Grass Design
  5. Large Pouches by Henri Kuikens
  6. Perspex Bangles by Kooky
  7. Set of 3 Mini Prints by JA!
  8. A6 Notebooks by Papertales

Monday, 6 January 2014

Fresh Starts & Blank Pages

We've once again hit that strange little bump of time; Christmas passed in a quick dream of fairylights and warm, buttery scents; New Years eve swung by in its usual glamour and merrily-slurred toasts to the year's end; and now Here We Are. The beginning of a new year. Twelve months sit patiently waiting for us to gather our plans, appointments, important dates and celebrations. If you are like us, you haven't let go of the ritual of Annual Diary Buying. Make no mistake - it's a tricky business - this book is going to be your constant ally for the next 365 days so you've really got to get along. With so many options to consider on the shelves, you're bound to feel the pressure of the decision. It can't be too small (you've got to actually write all the goings on in there and be able to read them) or to big (it's got to be comfortable to carry around because it's going to go everywhere), and then there's its personality: you want it to be stylish and friendly but not generic. No matter how pretty the cover, a diary full of the same re-used quotes year after year is not going to crack it. We want something fresh and engaging - a brand new year is, of course, a big deal.


When the lovely Schwarzie sisters Karen and Astrid, first mentioned that they would be designing a 2014 diary, we were more than a little excited. Simply put, we love their work. Their designs are beautiful, clean and playful. We knew their diaries would be no exception and that our choice this year had already been smoothly, happily made.

2014 Diary by Schwarzie, available at KIN, R220

The books have A5 pages with broad spacing and lots lines, and a jumbo spiral spine for smooth writing on alternate pages (and it also allows you to stick/staple/cram notes, post-it's and ticket-ends in to your heart's content).

Zesty 2014 Diary by Schwarzie, available at KIN, R220

There are two cover designs, Delta and Zesty, to choose from and each book comes with four colourful 2014 stickers for you to position where and how you like, and a black & white Schwarzie pen which can clip neatly into the spine.

Delta 2014 Diary by Schwarzie, available at KIN, R220

And that's just the outside. Inside, each month has it's own gorgeous title page design with a useful monthly calendar. It's a comfortable page-a-day (with weekends sharing a page) and there are eccentric little anecdotes for interest and cheer at the bottom of the pages - just a quick browse of these had us nodding, pondering, and giggling.

2014 Diary by Schwarzie, available at KIN, R220

There will be no to-ing and fro-ing from different stores as we debate options this year - a Schwarzie diary is everything that we want in our bookish companion for the months ahead and we can't wait to use, love and explore ours!