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.
Creative Lines is today’s feature and you are going to absolutely love them! They make reusable items like bags, pouches and cushions out of take away bags. It’s genius! So good for the environment and so beautiful at the same time. Am thrilled I found them as I really like their products.
We chatted to Ursula Körber, founder of Creative Lines and she had this to say!
Please tell us a little about your business and your products?
Creative Lines was established in 2013 in Cape Town. Our goal is to reduce waste by producing accessories made with 100% upcycled real paper bags, to suit everybody. We transform your unwanted waste into a product of high quality with better environmental impact.
In every project creativity keeps us thinking outside the box to produce unique limited edition items.
Our collection of products include bags, backpacks, sling bags, make-up bags, coin pouches, scatter cushions and wine coolers, which are all made from previously used paper, such as take-away paper bags, flour or sugar paper packaging, braai coal bags etc. Sometimes there are marks on the packets, these happened in their previous life – since we ONLY work with previously used packets.
How does it feel to be a business owner that loves what they do?
I have been active in the creative sector for more than 20 years. At the time as a single mom I needed to earn an income while being able to spend as much time as possible with my kids. I always loved the feeling of being independent and being my own boss.
It is definitely not for everyone and no walk in the park, but it is very empowering and liberating. Seeing how your business evolves and keeps growing is a wonderful feeling. Hearing people’s reactions and “oh” and “ah’s” towards my products, is always a fun and exciting experience.
Being creative and making things by hand was always something I loved. I am very hands on and enjoy pushing the boundaries, always prototyping on a new idea.
What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?
I have set a high standard in my products and unfortunately it can happen, that taking on employees can make it a bit more difficult maintaining this quality and integrity. They don’t often relate to my business and it takes quite a bit of time to teach and train them correctly, always making time for quality controls…it can be difficult to find this time while running a small business, but in the end you can’t have a successful business without help and support from others.
I love taking on challenges and meeting my client’s needs, yet I have learned that unfortunately I can’t always take on every order, since my products are completely handmade and every piece takes time to produce from start to finish and I must learn that I am not a factory. A unique item takes time. Therefore I find myself in the unique situation to have to work longer hours than usual. Running your own business is definitely not an 8-17:00 job, it is a never ending commitment.
I have learned that you can’t build up a business without taking risks. Starting a business is a risk. You have to be able to make short term investments for long-term benefits and growth.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
My goal for Creative Lines is to get more exposure in the market place and for my brand to be recognised in the South African creative sector. I want to be able to create more job opportunities, while at the same time reduce waste and help our future generations to come. I see my products being sold in the major souvenir shops in and around Cape Town.
What is your advice to individuals out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?
Don’t be scared of failure. If you fail at first, don’t give up, always get up and try again. You must be willing to learn from your past mistakes and to accept criticism and feedback from others. Never lose your vision. I know it is difficult to find that drive, but if you are passionate in what you do, you will do whatever is in your power to succeed.
If you start a business such as mine, which is based on sustainability and upcycling you not only sell such products, but a whole mind-set and lifestyle. This is a topic very dear and important to me and I try to reflect it in my everyday life. I think if you start a business from something you love and are fully committed about it is bound to succeed.
Tell us 2 things that are the BEST part about owning your own business and make it all worthwhile?
The best part about owning a creative business such as mine, is that I never have to waver or subdue my creative mind. I have the freedom to create whatever comes to mind and perfect it until I am happy with the result. I am the boss of my own time and can work in my own time frame, even though deadlines have to be met, I can do this on my own terms.
How has lock down affected you?
Sadly lock down has affected all small business owners, such as myself. We have taken this time to help our community by starting to produce reusable fabric face masks. Every mask we have sold so far we donate one on the customer’s behalf to an organisation called Sanitize South Africa.
They are currently working with a Covid 19 disaster response team which are distributing all essential goods to those most in need in Westlake.
Our newest mask designs are colour- in- yourself kiddies masks. We love the idea that the kids can create their own designs and let their creativity flow and depict their individual personality on their masks.
Check them out on Facebook!
And Instagram – they would appreciate the follows!
Keen to buy? Yipeee! Here is their online shop.