If you’ve been following me for a while, you might have seen that I love sharing awesome South African inspired businesses in Australia.
I came across Shweshwe Roots a few months ago and just love the bright, colourful designs.
It was only later I found out it was owned by South African born Kristin who now lives in Victoria.
I spoke to her about how she decided to bring a piece of sunny South Africa to Australia through her gorgeous jewellery.
Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Kristin and I am a mom of 2 little ones originally from Cape Town.
I met my husband in Bristol while ‘living’ in the UK and he is from Australia so this is where we chose to settle in 2015.
We live on the Bellarine Peninsula just outside of Geelong.
I was born in Cape Town and my parents and the rest of my family still live there so I have a daily connection to South Africa.
When and why did you start Shweshwe Roots?
I started making Shweshwe button earrings about a year ago for myself and as a creative outlet whilst being off work having recently had my little girl. I did some markets for some extra money and the response was good so I just carried on.
I NEEEEDED to do something now that I was at home with 2 little ones and not ‘working’!
I needed something for me.
I wanted to work for myself so that I could be flexible with my little ones but I also needed a creative outlet. I got carried away creating and then decided early this year that I need to TRY and make this work properly.
It’s been tricky and time-consuming but soooo personally rewarding and I am so proud of what I have achieved. I now have a website and Shelly Horton even wore my earrings on The Today Show. I was HYSTERICAL.
What’s the story behind the name?
Funnily enough its actually more personal than it sounds. Shweshwe is obviously the fabric I use and I feel like its beauty needs to be shared.
The term roots, however, came from a few things. I initially wanted something to refer to MY South African roots but also emotional roots.
Personally, I have had a challenging 2 years and I have dealt with and learned a lot.
I have faced demons and dealt with them head on and I have got to a point in my life where I am realising what is important. I am still learning to love and make time for myself but for me, roots resemble nurturing your soul, looking after YOURSELF, being true to yourself and really standing tall with your roots deep in the ground and being proud of who you have become.
What do you offer at Shweshwe Roots?
Unique handmade jewellery and accessories that are bright and bold and made with Shweshwe.
I love doing custom orders. Due to the vast amount of colour and pattern choice with Shweshwe, I love the giving people the opportunity to work Shweshwe into their own personal style.
How do you come up with your designs?
I just come up with them all the time.
I look at earrings and other accessories and dream up a way to make them ‘shweshwe’.
It’s my favourite part of all of this. I LOVE it!
How are people reacting to your products?
I still need to work on getting more exposure but overall people seem to LOVE the bright and bold designs Shweshwe offers.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you aren’t working?
Mmmm if I am not working I am a mom to a 1 and 4-year-old so relaxing isn’t something I could put down here as much as I would love to.
At the moment, getting out and about with my kids and husband and demented border terrier pup makes a good day.
Anything exciting coming up at Shweshwe Roots?
More colour and more designs every day. When I hit 1000 followers on Instagram I will be doing a mega giveaway so follow me and keep your eyes peeled.
You can find Kristin over at:
Website – https://www.shweshweroots.com/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/shweshwe_roots/
Faceboon – https://www.facebook.com/shweshweroots/