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Christmas Wishes

[Image source: Skinny Laminx – elle decoration South Africa] To my fellow daydreamers, I don’t know if anyone is out there reading, but if you are I just want to say thank you for taking the time and to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a truly blessed New Year. May 2011 be the year your daydreams come true!

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Eric Raisina Couture House Experimenting with Texture

[Image credits: Eric Raisina] Experimenting and playing with textures form the basis of Madagascan fashion designer, Eric Raisina’s innovative and luxurious designs. Through his Eric Raisina Couture House, the Madagascan fashion designer uses his love of textures to inspire and shape his clothes, using natural materials such as silk, raffia, sisal, linen and cotton which have become trademarks in his designs and serve to add depth and sensual movement to the clothes. This passion for texture has led to a continual exploration of different cultures and the diverse techniques found across Africa and Asia in particular; and ever the researcher Eric Raisina continues […]

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Missibaba South African Luxury Leather Handbags

Take a trip into the Wild Wild West via Cape Town, with Missibaba’s latest collection of enticing luxury leather handbags and accessories. One of a group of leading South African accessory designers, Chloe Townsend the inspiration behind Missibaba is a self-proclaimed leather fanatic, having honed her skills in London before returning to South Africa and setting up MissiBaba. [Image source: shop-label]

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Tunisian Ceramics Stylish Handcrafted African Homeware

[Image credit: Greater Good] Having tried my hand at pottery many years ago as part of my fine arts module and being absolutely rubbish at it – they always exploded in the kiln!!! – I have a deep admiration for artisans who can produce the most exquisite and beautifully decorated pieces. Not too long ago I came across some stylish African decor in the form of these really pretty Tunisian coffee cups on the Greater Good Network, and loved the intricate patterns and vibrant colours.

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Paradise Coffee The Finest African Coffee Beans

Based in Kyiv, Ukraine; Kyiv Coffee Factory brings you a carefully selected range of the world’s best coffee including African coffee beans. The coffee is marketed under the brand name Paradise and comes beautifully packaged, it was through the packaging showcased on African Digital Art where I was introduced to the brand. Included in their offerings are some of the finest African coffee beans from: Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi and Uganda.

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Innovative Modern Basket Furniture

[Image source: Elle Decoration – South Africa] Take a giant, oversized woven basket and tip it on its side, add some sturdy wooden legs and voilà you have a piece of modern basket furniture in the form of a chair, the Jeddah Seat to be precise. I appreciate its not that simple but the resulting effect is an ingenious approach to the humble, yet stylish woven basket giving it a contemporary look in the process. Woven from rush, the Jeddah chair by Italian designer Angelo Figus is a beautiful example of handwoven craftsmanship and attention to detail.

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Africa Travel To The Mandina Lodges in The Gambia

[Image credit: The Gambia Experience] Emerging from a hideous week of snow and the ensuing chaos, the appeal of getting away from it all has sent me into sunshine daydream overdrive, and I know I’m not alone if various conversations I have had are anything to go by, so cue some internet globe-trotting. If you fancy a variation to the run-of-the-mill holiday by the beach, then situated on a mangrove tributary flowing of the River Gambia you will find the Africa travel destination Mandina Lodges at Makasuru Forest. The Gambia is on my ‘must visit places’ list and given how I love […]

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South African Fashion Designer David Tlale Theatrical Inspirations

[Image credits: David Tlale] A leading South African fashion designer, David Tlale is one of those designers who leave you wondering just where will he go next. Defined as a brand for go-getters and jet-setters, wearing David Tlale is definitely not for the demure. With a flare for drama and theatrics, David Tlale’s eponymous line is a voyage into: yards of slinky fabrics, an explosion of frothy tulle and chiffon, ruffles and lace, exquisite detailing and gorgeous colour combinations.

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Iman Home Textiles A Model Collection

[Image credits: Iman Home – CalicoCorners] Revered as an international style and beauty icon, Iman brings her brand of luxury and glamour to interiors. Beautify your living space with Iman Home textiles a range of designer fabrics reflecting Iman’s global life. Featuring the rich patterns, textures and colours of peacock feathers, zebra hides and Ikat textiles, vibrant motifs are embroidered onto opulent silks.

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Coccolily Bold Edgy Fashion Designs

A belief that every woman deserves to be draped in luxury and have her body enhanced with special clothes is the philosophy of African fashion designer, Naana Tennachie Yankey whose bold, edgy designs are softened with feminine touches. Named Coccolily, Naana’s line is daring yet playful designed to draw out the edge and sexuality within every woman.

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Exquisitely Handmade African Christmas Decorations

[Image credits: Tintsaba] Getting ready to trim the tree? Christmas is a time for giving, receiving and sharing so why not let your tree embody that sentiment with meaningful ornaments. Bypass the convenience of picking up mass-produced baubles from your highstreet store, instead find out what local artists, designers or community organisations have to offer, and it goes without saying your local church, school and community fairs are sources for uncovering some unique gems. With so much to chose from I have zoomed the spotlight on organisations like  Tintsaba whose wonderfully simple yet stylish African Christmas decorations brought a smile to my face.

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Tebazile Contemporary African Jewellery Brand And Bold Accessories

Expressive and free-spirited, contemporary African jewellery brand Tebazlie is an eclectic collection of timeless handcrafted statement pieces. The highly wearable jewellery collections serve to mix the colours and textures of traditional West African and European motifs, produced in semi-precious stones and metals. Bold designs in the form of necklaces, cuffs, collars and rings are inspired by vibrant colors and indigenous patterns of Africa.

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Heartworks Heartfelt Handmade Teddy Bears South Africa

[Image credit: Heartworks] Today is the first of December, and World AIDS Day. Marking this day, today’s offerings introduce you some gorgeous, cute and cuddly handmade teddy bears from South Africa courtesy of the talented ladies at Heartworks; an embroidery group based in Khayelitsha that was started in 2004.

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  • This popular Africanisim beautifully illustrates the pioneering spirit of togethernes. It highlights how working and collaborating with others can propel you to new heights. Building a business rarely happens in isolation. Atelier Fifty Five seeks to to shine the light on African brands, and this includes extending a hand by sharing our knowledge and expertise to help African brands become the best they can be. So let us go together. Sign up to the Atelier Fifty Five Academy mailing list and join a community of ambitious creative business owners dedicated to creating brands that make their audiences sit up and take notice.⁣
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.  #quotes #inspirationalquotes #motivationalquotes #africanproverb #brandstrategy #creativeentrepreneur  #entrepreneur #mycreativebiz  #brandbuilding #africanstartup #africanbusiness #makeithappen
  • Preserving traditional skills the Kayla cushion by Frida 54 highlights the art of Tritik, a process of knotting and sewing that results in a variety of symmetric patterns. Handwoven with 100% cotton from the cotton mills of northern Cameroon the textiles are dyed with handmade dyes using ancestral techniques. [📷 credit: @frida_54 ]
  • Values . Respecting the design [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Infuse your interior style with the colourful elegance of African beaded necklaces courtesy of The African Woven Necklace light shade by @moderngesture. The design features graduating circular hoops each hand wrapped with colourful woven thread bands. Handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa by designer Candice Lawrence, the lighting is available in the  Atelier Fifty Five shop. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive