I am so excited that I got to interview one of my favourite local bloggers and creative consultant, Nadia van der Mescht. She is one of the most well known ladies in the creative business industry and helps other creatives grow their businesses!
What is your background?
I have a marketing and fashion background. I have worked in both industries successfully, which includes a stint at Burberry’s Head Office in London. My background has truly equipped me to understand business on a global scale, but with a local, focused foundation.
How and when did you start your business?
I started my business in 2008. I felt uninspired by my day job and decided to start making accessories, first as gifts and then as products to sell. It was partly inspired by my very first business which I started when I was twenty. I missed creating and making things, so I launched my brand via I heart Market that takes place once a month at the Moses Mabida stadium in Durban. I was one of the very first vendors and was amazed by the wonderful support I received. Over time my brand has changed direction and grown into what it is now. My understanding of the South African creative market lead to my advice being very valuable to fellow creatives and so the consulting side grew and grew.
What products and/or services do you provide?
I offer a bespoke service to creative business owners. I assist them with the finer details of running a successful, independent brand with heart and soul, but with a business element to back it up. Together with my team I offer a range of services from resource matchmaking, through to web design and branding. The aim is to make it easier for creatives to get the support they require. It can be pretty damn scary going it alone – I offer guidance, a helping hand and encouragement. I also offer workshops which I host around South Africa which cover a well-rounded break down of successful business, including social media.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In the world around me. I am a firm believer in going off-line for inspiration as often as possible. I often find my clients inspire me through the daily challenges they face together with their unique products. For on-line inspiration I often gravitate towards Instagram which also sparks off creative ideas or nourishes my wanderlust.
What is your favourite décor or stationary item in your house?
Tough one… as I try to select everything with meaning and purpose. If I had to pick it would be a small white container from Germany / Kunstabteilung. I found it at a kooky second-hand shop, but the craftsmanship is exquisite. It is almost paper thin and its beauty lies in its aesthetic simplicity, rather than the value.
Do you have any special blogs or websites that you frequent?
I find that I don’t have as much time as I would like for blog reading, but I prefer to stay updated with my favourite creatives via Instagram. I’m always looking at different sources of inspiration to read and learn from.
Your favourite stationary shops and items?
Simply… Typo! I also adore Rifle Paper Co, Smythson for a touch of luxury and Loveletters Stationery I find that shopping around is best – I like to find beautiful stationery in unexpected places or shops.
My favourite stationery items (see image above): The black notebook featured is one such design. Also included is a Rifle Paper Co to do list which was a gift from my best friend, Sam. The Eiffel Tower scissors are from Typo and are a prized procession. I collect unusual scissors and this one is surely the piece de resistance. MT Washi Tape from Japan is another favourite – I use the polka-dot pattern for branded or business packages.
Do you have any special advice for someone starting their own creative business?
Get help. As creatives we think we can do everything, but the truth is we need to establish where our time is best or most effectively spent. Getting help means that things can be done properly from the get go. Secondly, find what works for you regarding social media. There is this intense and urgent need that people feel in that they think they need to be on-line across all platforms. My parting thought is to strive for consistency on-line and through your brand. I believe… to shape a career from creativity one must find a way to channel it into something consistent – yet still inspired. That is the challenge.
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