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 – many of which are taking HUGE strain during this time – and shed some awareness and love to all.

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Today is a really special find! Please can I introduce you to +Ness.

They are a local business here in South Africa that sells prints (framed and unframed) of well known architectural delights in our own country.

I have spent hours looking at their various prints across the country and it brought back so many memories of family trips and my place of birth (Cape Town) and my now home (Joburg).

These prints will look divine in your home or office and would make stunning gifts for friends. These are limited edition prints and come as “singles” where only one famous building or landmark is present or you can buy an A2 print with all the special places you know and love on one print.

Check out their website to shop online! They have so many options that you will find it hard to only buy one.

Please give them a follow on their Instagram and Facebook pages, they would appreciate the love and support.

We chatted to Max, one of the founders of +Ness and he had this to say to us!

Tell us a little bit about your business.

+NESS is collaborative art project by two architects Max Melvill and Jamil Randera. Using our urban landscape for inspiration, our archival illustrations of noteworthy buildings, aim to draw on the intimate connections we all have with the buildings that surround us. Themed per city, our limited-edition set of prints aim to collectively sum up the architectural essence (or NESS) of South Africa’s favourite cities. E.g. what is the ‘Johannesburg+NESS’ of Johannebsurg or the ‘Cape Town+NESS’ of Cape Town.

We currently have a very well established range of Cape Town and Johannesburg prints and are busy completing the Pretoria set. Following this we wish to cast our lens on Durban and then other South African cities.

Our full collection of prints can be shopped online via: https://cityness.co.za/

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

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Good things take time. We have always adopted a considered approach to what we do. With this being said however, we have definitely learnt some hard lessons when we have been forced to rush or try to take a few shortcuts.

Do what you love. +NESS was born out of a genuine love for our cities and the buildings that define them. Without this raw passion behind the project, our journey so far wouldn’t have been nearly as rewarding

Don’t try to do too much, too soon. We have been approached many times to use our works for more commercial gain or mass product production (stationary, clothes, homewear, etc). We believe in staying true to our craft and allowing things to run their course. Perhaps some would say this doesn’t make the most business sense but it has helped keep us grounded and certainly more happy.

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

We have always said that we want to discover the world one building at a time. With this in mind we would love to continue expanding the scope of our range. Once we feel we have successfully captured SA, we are keen to start exploring countries that lie beyond our shores.

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

Do it! We started +NESS during our final year of architecture school and have never looked back. There is truly something to be said about “jumping into the deep end and learning how to swim”. We have always found that if you are passionate about what you do, and are driven to see it succeed, you will always find a way.gallery4-649x1024

Starting a business straight out of graduate school meant we couldn’t rely on any business or industry experience to get us through.

We have always found however, that if you are honest and upfront with people, they are more than willing to help.

Without the advice, guidance, and help of many such people we wouldn’t have got far.

Never be afraid to ask.

Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worth while?

Agility. The small size of our business has made it very easy to pivot, pause or explore different directions when needed. This has helped us both grow in a professional and personal capacity.

Agency. It’s really hard to beat the feeling of knowing that you are contributing of yourself to the world. Owning your own business is a sure way to make sure of this. When it works, it’s extremely rewarding.

How has lock down affected you, your business and your team?

We are normally quite active at some of SA’s most popular art/ craft/ design fairs, most of these have obviously been put on hold during this time which has affected our business operations slightly. We have been using this time however to better streamline our online presence, build a new website, and continue to expand on our growing range of prints. We are very lucky to have loyal customers who are continually adding to their sets or buying our works as gifts. We are extremely grateful for that type of support- especially during these times.

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