Friday, 28 February 2014

Studio Sneak Peek - the WREN Design

A Sneak Peek? What's this? Chatting over tea at HQ one day, we were marvelling at how lucky we are to work with such an array of wonderful designers, and in doing so get to know them, their spaces, people and pets. Suddenly we thought, "We should share them!" and voila! we now have a spot on the blog for Studio Sneak Peeks!

After a year or so of searching for The Right Bag, Wendren Setzer decided the only way to have such a thing was to make one herself, and in the process ‘the WREN design‘ was born in 2008. To her, a bag should be simple, beautiful and practical, but should also have something more – a story of its own. The WREN design’s range of bags, laptop bags and sleeves is inspired by the vast possibilities of reclaimed materials and the interesting stories they bring with them.
She now has a team of talented seamstresses’ that contribute to the carefully considered design and quality of each item made. Her different materials form ranges - from antique linen once used to store grain, to cement bags, to Hessian coffee sacks - and proudly highlight the bag's origins and character.
Collaborating with PPC Cement to use their handsome reject sacks, her range of laptop bags has travelled all over the world - with happy owners testing their incredible strength and durability in varying climates. With the designer-illustrated sleeves, Wendren had the opportunity to collaborate with three of Cape Town’s finest, and the result is that each design holds a definite sense of identity.

Hardly pausing to regard her success, Wendren is constantly dreaming up new options and ideas. A visit to her brand new studio delighted us with inspiration boards packed full of designs, schemes and possibilities - even the air there seemed to hum with ideas waiting to be realised.

KIN, of course, stocks the WREN design at both Kloof Street and V&A, and also online at

Visit the WREN design online
Follow the WREN design on Twitter

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Guild Design Fair

If you live in the Mother City, you may have seen the Guild posters amongst those for Design Indaba that have gone up over the last two weeks. With so much design-oriented buzz going on this year, it's easy to confuse events and fairs, so we thought we'd take a you on a quick catch up of what Guild is all about...
Open to the public, Guild is Africa's first global design fair taking place from 28th Frebruary to 9th March 2014 at The Look Out at the V&A Waterfront. The focus of the fair is on bespoke products and high-end design - spotlighting limited edition, once-off items. Rather than the usual pattern of sending South African work far across the seas to be exhibited, Guild is solidifying Cape Town's position as World Design Capital, and bringing awe-inspiring international pieces onto home soil. With so much focus on our own country's array of design this year, Guild is an opportunity of being exposed to some of the world's leading the concepts and creations, and of viewing South African and African design juxtaposed with these leading works from across the globe. 

"More than just a fair for beautiful objects, GUILD represents the coming together of dedicated, focused curators, designers and institutions who are striving to preserve and provoke exceptional, groundbreaking design. GUILD will introduce highly respected design authorities and work from Africa, USA, South America, Britain and Europe, and present these unique viewpoints to a fresh audience."    (

As an event, Guild aims to to attract both serious collectors and design lovers - it's a celebration of bringing together beauty, form and function through tangible objects. In addition to the exhibition itself, there will be various talks and workshops, educational curator tours, performance art pieces and a other functions and events. For a full line-up of what is to come over the 10 day duration, visit the website here.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Heart Cookies

One of the best ways to celebrate any holiday is to bake! There is something magical about mixing a few simple ingredients together to make something you know is going to be enjoyed. It's a well-proven tonic that can clear your head and lighten your heart.

We thought we'd share the recipe below is for the cookies we made and gave out last Friday for Valentines Day. We were intending to make old-school conversation heart cookies, but became a bit distracted with the mini heart cutter - but there's always next year! :)

Simple, lovable sugar cookies:

1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt
Icing sugar
Food colouring

Beat the sugar with the butter, add the egg yolks and vanilla, and mix well.
Mix the salt with the cake flour and add to the egg/butter mixture.
It will form a soft dough - divide in 2, shape into rolls, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Roll out to the thickness you like best (the thinner, the crispier), cut out large heart shapes for cookies and tiny hearts for decoration with cookie cutters.
Place on a buttered baking tray and bake at 200'C for 5-8min until the cookies start to turn golden at the edges.(Bake the mini hearts seperately because they will cook much faster).
Place on a wire rack to cool.
When the cookies are cool, and you are ready to ice, place a teaspoon of water in a bowl with a drop or two of the food colouring of your choice, add icing sugar and mix well, add more water as you mix (but only a teaspooon at a time because if your icing is too watery, your cookies won't stay crisp!).
Place mini hearts in the middle of the iced cookies before the icing starts to set.
And congratulations! You have made some very pretty heart cookies :D

Monday, 17 February 2014

17th February is...Random Acts of Kindness Day!

All around the world people are celebrating today with acts of random kindness.We thought we'd post a list (and feel free to offer a suggestion in the comments block!) of simple ideas to get us all started because, really, we should find little opportunities in each day to give.

Pick one that appeals to you most and try it out - sometimes the easiest things can be the ones that make a huge difference - try taking out the rubbish on collection day, or doing the dishes for someone - the key is to give for the sake of doing something kind, not for your good deed to be noticed or for you to get something back :)

  • Write a thank you note to someone who has helped you
  • Buy a cooldrink for someone working in the heat with whom you interact (your petrol attendant, the courier delivery person, the cashier at a parking garage...)
  • Leave a kind, inspiring note in a secret place - in your housemate or partner's laptop, the photocopier at work, the menu at a restaurant...
  • Compliment a stranger out loud instead of leaving the compliment in your head
  • Pick up litter when you find it in your path
  • Actively try to cheer up the next friend/colleague/acquaintence who tells you of their bad day
  • The next time you go out for a meal or coffee, leave a really generous tip
  • Send a small bunch of flowers to a friend with whom you've lost touch
  • Google a few simple orgiami shapes and fold a heart, crane or something equally lovley to leave on someone's desk
  • Take the time to read something beautiful to someone
  • Smile and focus on being as easily pleased as possible the next time you interact with a cashier or sale clerk
  • Forgive someone.
  • Share a poem or quote that has really encouraged you - perhaps write it down and mail it to someone or pin it to a public notice board
  • Leave a positive comment on someone's blog the next time you admire something online
  • Make someone a home-cooked meal - even if it's really simple - it's the love in it that counts
  • The next time you have a chance - let another car in
  • Find a thundafundor kickstarter campaign that inspires you and sponsor something - even if it's a very small amount - every bit counts and it will feel good it be a part of it
  • The next time you are walking past and see someone struggling to park, help guide them
  • Bring a small welcome gift for a new co-worker or neighbour
  • Make someone a cup of tea or coffee
  • If you have relatives or friends with kids, offer a free night of babysitting so the parents can have a night out
  • Leave a copy of the book that has most inspired you in a waiting room with a note on the front page that if the person who begins reading needs it, they should take it home because it's meant for them
  • Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger
  • Donate an hour or your professional services
  • Invite someone who is alone over for dinner
  • Just once - stop everything to help someone
Just thinking about these feels good :) If you have any great stories of kindness to share, we'd really love to hear them!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Cake Bombed!

We had a beautiful, surreal start to our weekend on Friday afternoon...
we were cake bombed by Cupcake Richard
What does it mean to be cake-bombed you ask? Cupcake Richard have begun a campaign to seek out and celebrate the places & people that make Cape Town such a wonderful city. If you receive enough nominations, Cupcake Richard may just arrive on your doorstep on a Cake-Bomb Friday with a big box of incredible cupcakes! 
And Cape Town just became an even better place to call home :)
Photographic proof - magic exists!
Generous and thoughtful - that little bag held the cutest spoons so that we could devour our delicious surprises rather elegantly..
Yes, there were tears...
Chantal & her much-deserved cupcake after a busy week 
Such good deeds make Taz, our store manager at KIN on Kloof, even happier than usual :)
Did we mention the best part? These scrumptious cakes (ours were heavenly coconut) are gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free...guilt-free! Cupcake Richard bakes cakes that are suitable for vegans and health-conscious cake-lovers. The list of ingredients made our gleeful mood even lighter as we realised that our box of beautiful spoils was, in fact, good for us. Astounding.

To everyone who voted for KIN, thank you from the bottom of our hearts...the cakes were truly amazing and the compliment means more than we can put into words. It's wonderful to be a part of the giving and receiving that happens in Cape Town's extraordinary, generous, creative community.

Find Cupcake Richard on Facebook, Twitter, have a look at their blog or visit there website. Do it - these cakes will win your heart and keep it healthy!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Parcel Love

It's been a week of lovely parcels! Even though it's still early days for, we've been receiving orders from all over the world. It's easy to think that online retail excludes the personal touch of a physical store - but it's always exciting to receive new orders, and we protectively wrap and package each item with care. There is something special about sealing up a parcel and knowing that the next time that it's exposed to light and air will be on the other side of the globe as it's opened by happy and eager hands. The beautiful words we've received lately have really made us aware of how our online store is a way for all our customers, near and far, to keep in touch with KIN and the inspiring new pieces that our designers are constantly dreaming up. 

Thank you to all our customers for your continued support and enthusiasm - we love what we do :)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

February 2014's Love-ly Inspiration

A Month of Love is all about a bit of fun & frivolity and we're choosing to celebrate it with everyone we love - from our best friends to our brothers to our mentors (because letting someone know how much they mean to you is never a cliché). If you're stuck for fantastic options, pop into KIN on Kloof or KIN at V&A - we love the quest for a perfect gift, and we'll wrap it up ever so prettily for you! If you're too busy to be out & about then do have a browse online at all the lovely pieces we've recently made available at
1 - Perspex Heart Studs by Papertales (with a Design Kist cushion cover in the background)
2 - Just Kissed by Mieks Knickers
3 - Brass & Sterling Silver "I Love You Like.." Necklaces by Inge Marais
4 - I Love You Pop-up card by Keri Muller
5 - Block-printed pouch by Henri Kuikens
6 - Hand-thrown Ceramic Teacup by Noleen Read
7 - Sterling Silver T-Rex Tie-clip by Eon Hoon
8 - Wooden Scrabble Coasters by Mocholoco (on a cushion cover by Skinny La Minx)
9 - Pink Ruche by Mieks Knickers
10 - Sterling Silver Infinity and Circle Rings by Famke
11 - Love is Free A4 Print by Lovely Sweet William
12 - You Belong Here A4 Print by Papertales
13 - Set of 5 Love Tags by Papertales
14 - Resin Flower Studs by Chasteau de Balyon
15 - Small Ceramic Bunnies by Sootcookie

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A Month of Love

Anja Stoeckigt from Papertales courageously accepted the challenge of creating a huge 3D heart for KIN on Kloof's window display for February.
She arrived with a vinyl of her You Belong Here illustration in shards and by the time her nimble hands had finished, our windows boasted a layered geometric heart which seems to break apart and come together as one moves along the sidewalk.

Never underestimate a Paper-artist's resourceful skills! 

Anja's gorgeous embroidery hoops giving the world some much-needed advice
Don't miss the details!
Anja & Kath chuffed with a morning's hard labour :)

Monday, 3 February 2014

Mingo Lamberti's new Myths & Legends Range

We have a confession to make: we're beginning to love Valentine's Day.

It's true. The thing that has changed our minds is our newly-adopted view that it's about everyone we love in our lives (and it's all about having a bit of fun!). If you need a lad-oriented gift that is the perfect balance of design and function, a T-shirt from Mingo Lamberti's new Myths & Legends T-shirt range is just the thing. To understand just what a compliment it is to say, "Thank you for being in my life - you are as amazing as this awesome T-shirt", you need to know each Mingo range is a collaboration of different designers who interpret a central theme and only 200 of each design are available. Ever. With so many great minds exploring a concept, there is bound to be a design that is the perfect fit for each particular personality on your list of special someones.

Available from KIN at V&A, Shop 11B, Alfred Mall, V&A Waterfront.
Hercules by Muti

Icarus by Hylton Warburton

Musicians by Simon Frouws

Myth by Jean de Wet

Trojan by Simon Maclennan

Unicorn by Bruce Mackay