Creative Business Exchange - Cape Town

I somehow haven't shared the photos from the Creative Business Exchange in Cape Town. I worked with Decorex & Caesarstone to host a creative business workshop. The overall experience was so wonderful and it was an honour to be able to share my knowledge and to parnter with two awesome brands. Visiting Cape Town, staying in a lovely hotel, chatting to creatives... what more could a girl ask for! In addition Heather Moore of Skinny laMinx and Haldene Martin spoke about their own creative business journeys. They are both successful in their own right and I relished being able to gain from their insight.
If you want to know and see more about my experience or what the workshop was focused on... then take a look and listen:
Feature on BizCommunity & One More: Thanks to the lovely Leigh Andrews.
Interview on CliffCentral: It was great to speak to the Rookie and Rockstars team.
A few pics from the Durban event.
A quick chat about the experience.

A Package to Post

*When I'm not working with creative business owners and brands - I like to take a little break and send snail mail. This global revolution has sparked off an industry that has built new businesses, websites and inspired several books (like this one). Earlier this year I wrote an article for Ideas Magazine to share and educate fellow creatives on the art of correspondence.

I'm just about ready to post off this snail mail to a friend. I haven't taken part in much swapping or mailing this year, so it was really nice to take some time out and get creative. I've seen a few ideas on Pinterest using a folder to package up pretty things for your penpal. I had a ready-made folder which I decorated and added the envelopes to. The Pukka tea is for the receiver (I don't want to mention her name so that it will be a surprise) to enjoy while opening / reading the letter I sent. I filled each envelope with an assortment of papery things like stickers, Project Life Cards and a few other flat stationery items. I used mostly MT washi tape bought from Washi Bug. It works so well, sticks consistently and the colours are beautiful. 

I added the gold Chinese style knot button which allows the folder to close. The details are a mix of washi tape and I used lots of Amy Tangerine stickers.

I've been loving the tassel trend and they are so easy to make. I found some really cheap wool in a local haberdashery and made a few to add to gifts. The Typo paper bags / envelopes are perfect for wrapping too.

I found this vintage floral print style hanky at Pep (love a random bargain), it was only R4 and I used it to wrap up a bunch of smaller stationery items. The pattern is bright and happy - a lot like Cath Kidston (on a budget). The plain kraft circle tags are from

The lovely heart tag is from Millamae - it's the perfect base for decorating.

I hope you enjoyed seeing inside my snail mail envelope before it sails the seas and heads faraway.

Intermediate Creative Business Workshop: 29 August 2015

TO BOOK: Visit the booking site - click here.
DATE: 29th August 2015
VENUE: The Benjamin Hotel, Florida Road, Durban
FULL DAY COURSE: 9am - 4:30pm
COST: R1000
If you have questions - feel free to email me / click here.
Space is very limited so don't delay.

The workshops are aimed at creative business owners in a variety of fields from photography and design to crafters or even bloggers. If you have your own business (or want to start your own) and want to learn and prosper, then the workshops are ideal for you. The Intermediate Workshops are for those who are in the industry and on the right track, but would perhaps like step it up a notch.

The workshops started in Durban with sold out dates and an amazing array of creatives joining in and 2013 I added Joburg into the mix as well as Cape Town in 2014. All past attendees have given wonderful reviews. Creatives who attend can look forward to a day of learning with practical examples and case studies of successful businesses. The day is the ideal platform for networking within a creative environment. All the courses include a delicious lunch, snacks, a really lovely goodie bag and a host of giveaways from wonderful brands.

TO BOOK: Visit the booking site - click here.

How do I know I'm intermediate? 
You already have an understanding of social media and own a business / blog or are thinking of starting one. You enjoy being online and want to grow your business / blog even further.

The Facts:
This workshop is aimed at creatives who are ready to expand, grow their business and blog readership. You would like to get an even better understanding of the various tools available to you.

What does your hard earned money get you?

Creative Goal Setting:  How to breakdown and achieve your personal and business goals.

Creative Branding:  Tying your brand and business together as one. We cover the essentials of what creates a good brand.

Online Presence / Social Media Tips:  We will focus on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and how these can work towards generating customers. clients or blog readers and in turn more sales and opportunities.

Blogging Tips:  Planning, scheduling and basic creative tips for putting posts together.

Creative Marketing Ideas:  Fun, cost effective ways to generate interest in your business or blog.

How to Approach the Press & Connect with Influencers:  Want to have your products or blog featured in magazines? I will give you the tips you need, from what to say to how you to say it.

Question and Answer Session:  A time for you to chat to me about your problems, new ideas or even plans for your business.

In addition you will receive snacks, an amazing lunch, the chance to mingle and make new friends as well as network. A goodie bag bursting with wonderful surprises will also be waiting for you!

TO BOOK: Visit the booking site - click here.

If you have questions or want more info: 
Email me ( or call me (072 093 7730) or for bookings click here.

Less Brings More Fulfilment

We live in a world where we are consistently told that we need to be doing more. You need to work more, make more money and strive for more. We are lulled into thinking that whatever we have done, earned or bought is only a prequel to the bigger and better things that are still to come. We fall victim to being expected to live in the now, yet every message within society points towards the next big thing and how far we still have to go. Live in the now, but don't you dare forget to get back to work and earn more money so that you can start thinking about the next car / house / holiday / possession or accolade that needs achieving. We also spend a lot of time apologising for things, especially if they don't measure up to other people's level or view of success. For example "I know my house is small, but..." or "I know my car is old, but..." or "I know my business is new, but...". We are so well trained to do this and usually we aren't even prompted to begin our list of 'sorries'. Apologising and wanting to just let the world know that we are aware that things are not yet good enough, but we are working on getting it all up to an acceptable / successful level. It's terrible and hardly anyone is immune to feeling some form of inadequacy at some point in their life (if not every day). I don't like it and we need to stop living like this. This is both in our personal and professional lives and even more so in small businesses.

Most of us presume that if people leave the safety of a corporate job it's because they want the ever elusive 'MORE' or that they want to build an empire, run the world and be the boss of said empire with many, many people working for them. But... what if you don't want 'MORE'? What if your dream is to have a small business and for it to stay small? In most cases people will tell you that you are crazy, that you need to be building an empire and surely you are stupid if you aim to stay a small business.

Today I want to tell you that less is more and that it's okay to be happy with what you have achieved, despite the fact that the world will tell you otherwise (every single day). The thing is not everyone wants to have a huge business and that isn't a bad thing. It also doesn't mean that their business is not a success or that they don't care about making money, building their life or expanding what they do. It comes down to that fact that sometimes when we take on less and don't succumb to what society labels as success - then our overall happiness can in fact be worth more to us.

It's a tough balance to strike though. I love challenges, but I also spend a lot of time extending my comfort zone which isn't always a sustainable way to live or run a business. As I observe people and businesses I admire I often find myself marveling at how wonderfully balanced their lives look. It isn't that they aren't working hard or striving for more, but they are doing it at their own pace and taking time to just enjoy their current success. It has taught me to not be so hard on myself (a work in progress) and to not think that every single business related plan I make has to be GIGANTIC in it's complexity and size. I don't have to run huge workshops all the time, which is just one example. Sometimes it's as simple as 'less is more' because it brings you happiness and a different type of success.

A few reasons why less can bring more fulfilment within a small business...

More focus:
When things are contained they are easier to focus on. You can really pay attention to each element because a project or goal is a manageable size.

Connecting on a personal level:
When I organise things on a smaller scale - I might not be able to make as much money, but I get to connect with each individual on a personal level. It not only feels good, but makes sense too. At the moment I would rather impact less people, but ensure that I can thoroughly assist them.

Quality over quantity:
This year's Etsy Party is the perfect example in this case. I was able to really make sure every aspect was just right as it was smaller and far more manageable. It brought me so much more personal happiness as I felt like I was able to do a better job.

It's easier to make a start:
Huge tasks or projects can be scary, so we put them aside or procrastinate. Making it more achievable means that you can grow, but on a level that allows you to still feel that you have control.

A certain level of control is maintained:
We all love an element of control (yes you too) and when we do less, but with more of a focus our control is maintained.

I want to encourage you to do things at a pace that allows you to enjoy the present, the success already achieved and to understand that we are all different. We strive for different things and levels of success and that's totally okay. Phew... that feels good! Sometimes we need to set boundaries so that we are not drowned in seeking 'MORE' consistently and in turn our true business dreams vanish because we are so busy thinking that we need to be making all these things happen. There is plenty of time for achieving and taking time with your journey will bring you more happiness in the long run and that's more than anyone can ask for...

Nadia van der Mescht All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger