Meet Sandra, the creator of the cutest little crocheted hats available in our kiddies section this winter. They come in 3 sizes and 5 designs – Frog, Hippo, Giraffe,Puppy & Owl. We have almost sold out… but Sandra is busy, busy making us more! They will be in store soon!
Seriously… how cute??!!
Read on to hear all about Sandra and her gorgeous little business ‘Sugar & Spice’.
1// How did your business begin? When / where / how did it all start?
A few years ago I saw one of these magazines that you subscribe to that was purely about crochet. I was instantly ‘hooked’ (funny right?! Haha..ok maybe not so much). I taught myself how to crochet and quickly realised that I needed to find people to make all these wonderful goodies for. I couldn’t just keep feeding the stash. Because I make mostly baby/kiddies items, the name Sugar & Spice just seemed so apt (you know, Sugar and Spice and all things nice…). I started to brand the business in 2014 and have been going ever since then. I can’t sit still most of the time, and this is one way of keeping my hands busy while watching tv/waiting for time to pass.
2// Why do you do what you do?
Have you seen how cute babies look in crochet items? There is a sense of satisfaction in seeing something you’ve created helping make an already sweet little thing look even sweeter. More than this though, it’s a wonderful outlet for the creative side of me. It’s my way of winding down and relaxing. It’s also become my favourite way of gifting people. There is something special about handing over a handmade item to a friend, be it for birthdays or baby showers etc. It gives me pleasure to know that people really do still appreciate the time and effort that goes into handmade gifts.
3// When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?!
I had no specific plan or desire to be anything in particular. I guess I liked pretending to be a secretary (admin is my thang!!!) but no real career choice. I’m still in the process of figuring out what I want to be ‘when I’m big’. Having said that though, my real passion has always been teaching and education.
4// What inspires you when designing new products?
Inspiration comes from what I see. Be it in shopping centres, flowers in my garden, my friends Boston Terriers (Really, they are the cutest!!). Designing new products is something I often struggle with, but once the idea is formed and the project on its way, the process is so rewarding. I listen to what friends say, watch people as they shop and get a good feel for what people are interested in and seem to like the look of. And then I attempt to add those elements to the things that I do.
5// What are your hopes and dreams for your products?
I think an obvious hope and dream is that people will begin to get to know the brand Sugar & Spice and the quality of the product associated with the brand. From a day to day perspective, I hope that people who buy the products are satisfied with what they get. I hope that they provide everything that they were hoping they would when they bought them. Be it a smile of a friend as they get them at a baby shower, cute pictures of their kids wearing the beanies, warmth in cold winter months. Customer satisfaction sounds like such a cliché, but the truth is I hope that my products will make people happy!
6// What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far in your business journey?
Patience. Patience. Patience. Starting something up as a part time venture when you have a full time job can sometimes be a bit frustrating, so patience with the process is a must. There have been times when all I’ve wanted to do was call in sick and work on making things all day. But reality sets in and you realise you need something to pay the bills while your dream takes the time to get off the ground. Also, patience with myself in realising that not everything is always possible. I only have 2 sets of hands, and only have so much time.
7// Why should our customers buy your products?
From a general opinion, I think supporting local is lekker. There are so many small businesses out there (like mine) that really rely on the support of customers that come through your doors. From a completely biased perspective, Sugar & Spice products are really of fantastic quality and are made with a lot of time and passion. There is no single item that leaves my home unless I am completely satisfied with it, and would be willing to gift to a friend or even have/use myself. I really do believe that what my products offer are good quality and there is something special about them too.
8// What’s your favourite product from your line?
I am absolutely in love with my owl beanies. The colour and the detail (from the ears to the little braided ear flaps) are not only so much fun to make up, but are so satisfying to see completed and on a sweet little person. I also love making scarves and snoods (not stocked at Ruby). They’re quick to make up and I love how creative I can be with the stitches and the colouring.
9// About you? What’s your – Top Song? Top Food? Top beverage? Top Place? Top movie?
Top song at the moment: Whip it! By LunchMoney Lewis
Top food: Mom’s homemade mac & cheese!
Top beverage: A leeeetle bit addicted to Coke (yes…I know the sugar content quite well…I’m good friends with it!)
Top place: A little spot in the Old Transkei – Kob Inn
Top movie: Dirty Dancing
10// And lastly imagine you are heading out for dinner with a bunch of creative geniuses – who would be sitting around the table with you?
Maya Angelou – what a woman!