So before my trip to South Africa I was browsing the world wide web for some Christmas gift ideas when I came across the Sugar & Vice website. WOW, I was completely blown away at the amazing products and art work that capture the heart of Cape Town where I am originally from. Natalie mixes the old with the new in her designs and her slogan ‘decorate your life’ really captures everything you see on her site. Her story is a pretty amazing one too, inspiring all of us creatives to step out and just do what we love! I really enjoyed interviewing Natalie and her answers are pretty uplifting and have encouraged me to be bold and courageous in my gifts and abilities! Have a great Wednesday all! Dream big always! X
1. How did Sugar and Vice start and what inspired the name?
The name Sugar and Vice was initially inspired from my surname ‘Vice’. I really like the yin and yang element of two opposing elements positioned together like that of Sweet and Sour, Kind and Wicked etc. and that’s why I chose the sweet connotations of sugar to accompany the ‘vice’. I am a firm believer that positive and negative forces attract and have made sure my product range offers that same balance as should the name. I feel that it’s the perfect fit to describe my designs and product range such as the Innocent Dear against the Daring Sugar Skull.
I love beautiful things – things that are beautifully made, beautiful to look at and ones that create beautiful memories and feelings when shared with loved ones.
Growing up, I dreamed of the day when I would have the opportunity to make a home for myself to share with others. After school, I went globetrotting for a while before returning to South Africa to study interior decorating, graphic design and completing a mini MBA. I got myself a job and after hardly any blood, a fair bit of sweat and lots of tears I eventually got my own place. In doing so, I inherited my grandmothers beautiful emboya couches and my great grandmother’s gorgeous dining room chairs and discovered modern vintage – the successful blend of old and new. My dream was becoming far more than just a reality and I embarked on a mission to create a home that would speak a thousand words.
It quickly dawned on me that there was a huge gap in the market for exquisitely unique yet affordable household trimmings and accessories. In order to find something original and gorgeous – I scraped and saved enough to be able to buy good quality fabric from a local supplier which I then had printed, I drew tattoo like patterns and had them printed on my scatter cushions and the old inherited furniture was upholstered. I rolled up my sleeves even further and after a lot of very late nights, even earlier mornings and endless cups of tea – Sugar and Vice was launched.
S&V contains all the things I have in my home and all those that I would like to have and the journey has been electrifying. I create my illustrations by hand and then use my computer to digitize and transformed the artworks onto an array of different products available in my online shop. As like my home, S&V will never be complete but rather a work in progress. I am constantly busy with on-going projects at home and at S&V – upgrading ideas, redecorating rooms, redesigning motifs, creating new artworks and reworking old ones.
Creativity, passion and attention to detail are the only things that go into my products. And being sourced and produced locally means no matter how deep my imagination goes, your wallet wont.
2. What inspires you most as an individual?
Everything around me, in nature I find the most inspiration – I get inspired by the colours and patterns.
3. Were you born in South Africa?
4. Do you create all the art for your online products and what is the process for this?
All my designs I have hand drawn, I scan it in and digitize it, then I get it printed on the various products.
5. Do you like to keep busy on new projects and what are you working on at the moment?
Yes I am constantly working on projects in my head. Always contemplating my next move. I am planning to bring in different colour ceramics and products. Also working on some new designs. Watch this space.
6. What is your most prized material possession?
That’s a tie between my recent Kindle that I got as a gift and my laptop, okay who am I kidding…my iphone!
7. What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
Finding the time to get everything done that you want to do. To stop thinking about your business every waking second of the day and then dreaming about it at night.
8. What do you do in your spare time?
I love nature, going for hikes, drawing, cooking and reading.
9. What advice would you give to someone looking at taking their art to the next level?
Start small, believe in yourself, stop being hard on yourself and just do it.
10. Where do you see Sugar and Vice in the next 5 years?
I am dreaming big and would like to open a physical shop and workshop and be able to continue sending little parcels of happiness all over the globe.
11. Where can our readers find you online?
I sell on my own website and on the following platforms: