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.

Pincushion sml

I am so excited to share this brand with you! Threads That Bind Us is just the most incredible brand. I came across them for the first time at Kamers Market in Pretoria last year and was taken by their beautiful embroidered items. Absolutely unique and creative and so, so exquisite. From cushion covers, to tea towels and napkins and pouches – in an array of colours. If you are looking for proudly South African items, that are designed and made with love and showcase our beautiful landscapes and flora, these are for you.

The lovely Emma and Leila are the wonderful #girlbosses behind Threads That Bind Us.

We chatted to Emma and she had this to say about their business.

How do you create these masterpieces?

Our designs are a celebration of what surrounds us, and are hand drawn and then stitched using free-motion embroidery, which gives the feeling of “drawing with thread”. This freehand machine embroidery technique used to “draw” with thread means that each product is one of a kind.

You opened your own business – How does it feel to be a successful business owner that inspires others and loves what they do?

It’s a lovely thing to be able to open up a business with your sister and both be happy in what we do. We have complimentary skills which work really well together. Leila is the designer, free stitcher, maker, and bookkeeper. I am the sales and marketing, social media, admin, and customer care side. We have so many makers and entrepreneurs that we look up to and learn from, that to think that we inspire others, makes us really proud.
We love the fact that we have made something out of nothing, and that people are enjoying what we make!

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

You need to believe in what you’re doing.

You will be doing everything, from the dull admin stuff, to the accounts, to the designing and making, to the networking.(luckily, we can split all these things between the two of us!) It really helps to have an amazing support network too.

No one else is going to do the hard stuff for you.

Often the learning comes from actual doing. People can tell you things or you can research for ages but you need to do it to really learn. South Africans are so good at this!

We both lived overseas for more than 10 years and had to relearn this skill.

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

We have a lock down survival plan, so we will get through this. We’d like to scale up and move more into printing our own fabrics, which will naturally open up more diverse product ranges. What has been highlighted through the Covid19 Global Pandemic is the need for more eco-friendly products, so we would like to build on our “Threads for Life” range. We are yet to crack the overseas market… we’ll get there! When trade fairs open up again, we will be joining more of them.

It feels almost counter intuitive to be talking about future plans while we’re still in lock down, but this is the beauty of being a small business – we can pivot and adjust to what we feel is our best way to add value to people’s lives.

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

Do it, you’ll never know unless you’ve tried it! Do your research, be prepared to work hard, and stay focused.

We give fear too much power, what’s the worst thing that will happen?

Also have some savings for the first year!

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

1. Flexibility! We are not confined in our working hours, so as long as we’re getting everything done, we can enjoy life as well. It’s a great incentive to be super productive in a few hours, and free up the afternoon for a lovely walk on the beach or mountain. We also make all our decisions which is empowering.

2. Doing what we love and seeing the joy our products bring to our customers. It’s a lovely circle of giving.

How has lock down affected you and your team?

We have had to close our little retail space in Kalk Bay which is sad, but has made us focus more on our online presence. Luckily, we have a small team, and as we slowly start our production up again we are realising that there is still a need for beautiful handmade products. People still value the human connection, which is confirmation that we’re on the right track.

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Please check out their website for more info! And follow them on Instagram and Facebook. They would appreciate the follows, likes and shares! x

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