So as you all know I love to support local and started a segment where we could share, learn and inspire! It is so important to support local and share your findings with others.

During lock down, we are going to do a whole lot of these to highlight these businesses โ€“ many of which are taking HUGE strain during this time โ€“ and shed some awareness and love to all.

I was so excited to find Breathe as I know we all love local businesses and find joy in supporting them, whether it is through buying their products or sharing and following and liking on social media. Breathe Cape Town specializes in handmade genuine leather slippers with a woolen lining. These slippers come in a variety of stunning prints to suit your style.

These look so beautiful, I think one could wear them out! No need to keep these babies for home use only ๐Ÿ™‚

Please check out their website here! And give them a follow on Instagram and Facebook. They would appreciate the love.

And that is not all – the founders of Breathe also own another company called Laid Back. They also need some love! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. They make the most gorgeous wooden decor for your home – their wooden bread boards are absolutely stunning!

We chatted to the lovely Kirsty, and she had this to say to us!

Tell us a little bit about your business.

Founders Jan and Kirsty Zoutendyk and the Laid Back family are passionate about quality and service. What began as a hobby in Janโ€™s garage in Cape Town 16 years ago has evolved into a highly respected proudly South African business, creating beautifully hand-crafted oak designs for retailers (Yuppiechef, Carrol Boyes etc) corporate gifting companies and restaurants in South Africa and internationally

Like all businesses, lock down hit us very badly , manufacturing stopped, orders were cancelled mid production and turnover came to a grinding halt.

Our main focus was to keep our staff and their families alive and financially secure during this terribly stressful time and thankfully we survived … but only just !

Part of my DNA seems to always search for a positive even in the darkest most stressful situations ~ and during lockdown I was inspired by nature’s and the planet’s recovery when we stepped back.

I designed a range of boards called breathe (see pics below) the tree in our logo being a symbol of the life and renewal that was happening in nature all over the planet and Deepak chopra’s quote summed it up for me perfectly:

the trees are our lungs
the rivers our circulation
the air our breath
and the whole earth our body

~ and highlighted for me the need for us to all slow down and take a breath , re-evaluate and focus on what is really truly important.

My breathe range of slippers was a passion project that was born during this time ..and seemed a natural progression and fit …having to be at home and having to slow down and take a breath and gave me the opportunity to think out of the box

It has been a joy to turn an idea into a reality in just a few months. If it hadn’t been for lockdown and being forced to get off the treadmill of my usual frantic life I’m sure breathe cape town wouldn’t have been born

What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?

  • Patience and understanding , take that deep breath and find perspective~ covid affected members of the production team when we were just getting started and the factory had to close. My frustration was nothing compared to the many families that were affected physically and economically.
  • Quality and service are paramount
  • Always be true to yourself and your principals and pick yourself up ~ people are not a perfect species but goodness does prevail

Where do you see your business in 5 years? Once we have gotten over the effects of the lock down.

I would love to put the breathe cape town brand on the map …and create lots more jobs especially for women !!!

What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?

It sounds cliche …but it’s so true believe in yourself and just go for it !

—————-<3

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