Sarah is a dreamer (and a do-er too). She loves to dream about how to make spaces beautiful, plus she loves to sew, refurbish furniture, and make just about anything with her hands. She also dreams about ways to help her community, and make the lives of others that much better. Sarah did this through her online business, Babazeka. It supported social upliftment craft projects from all around the country. She has worked for six years alongside Women of Vision, a sewing empowerment project from Nekkies, Knysna, and she wrote a blog for five years about all things to do with handmade, social and environmental design. Three years ago she started Knysna’s Local Design And Food Market. All in all, HANDS is now a way for Sarah to combine her past work experience and her passions into one. She’s the Chairperson of HANDS, and looks after the day-to-day running of the business.
Lauren lives in Knysna with her husband, two young children and their Staffi. She grew up in Pretoria where she completed a degree in graphic design at the University of Pretoria. In pursuit of her career, she moved to Joburg in 2003 and co-founded a design agency in 2005. A few years ago, Lauren and her husband decided it was time to downscale, simplify (ha!) and move to a place where family, friends and a laid-back lifestyle take preference. iSpy started as a much needed creative outlet. Lauren wanted a place where she could create beautiful things – no crazy deadlines to meet, no bottoms to wipe, no hungry husband to feed. Lauren is inspired by textiles and patterns, vintage furniture, and anything ingenious or beautiful, particularly if it has a strong graphic slant. Lauren is the Graphic Designer for HANDS, and she works on Marketing and Product Design too.
Babes is the bubbly face of HANDS and is the first person you’ll meet as you enter our space. She has many years of experience in running a shop under her belt, from when she was involved in the Montebello Craft Centre in Newlands, Cape Town. Babes is another member of the team who loves to work with her hands. She’s impeccable when it comes to embroidery and beading, and is so excited about learning new crafting and business skills. Babes is our Shop Manager, Front-of-house, and also the Go-between our Designers/Crafters and HANDS.
Beatrice is one of those selfless people who just gives, gives and gives. She and Sarah met years ago through the Women of Vision sewing initiative, and it’s her giant heart which always stood out. She sews to earn a living, but in her spare time she started a soup kitchen, teaches art to township children, and works with her community to empower them with knowledge about HIV. Beatrice will sew permanently at HANDS each day, as well as oversee Production.
Lelia has lived in Knysna for almost thirty years. She has a background in textile, graphic and product design. She was involved with the well-known local brand, Tamelia, and now works alongside her husband in his London-based design companies, Tyrrel Katz and Nicky James. She has lots of experience when it comes to putting a range of products together, and so is involved in HANDS’ Product Design.