Friday, January 30, 2015

Feature Friday // Roxy Hutton of CityGirlSearching

Welcome to the second Feature Friday where I feature upcoming self starters, photographers, designers, entrepreneurs and game changers -  all looking to make a name for themselves and inspiring those around them at the same time.

The first Feature Friday showcased Anna Atkinson from Anna-Louise sleepwear

My second Feature Friday is the stunning Roxy Hutton over at CityGirlSearching.She is a twenty something year old South African photographer, blogger, stationery store owner and teacher currently living in South Korea.

I met Roxy when I was at Rhodes, and attended many of her intense spinning classes - is there anything she can't do? She is just the most bubbly, sweet person and is just too creative for words. 


1. Roxy and her pup Shadow
2. Rox and her hubby Dale - their farm wedding pics are just too beautiful. You just have to see them.
When/how did you decide to start your stationery store?
The stationery store has the most gorgeous, cutesy stuff on it. It will make you want to go to South Korea like yesterday. 
Roxy does a mean manicure! 


When/how did you decide to start your blog?

I started my first blog (FarmboyandCityGirlHitAsia) as a way to document my life in South Korea when I was first teaching English in 2010. When I moved back to South Africa in 2011 I felt like I needed more of a creative output, and I wanted to focus on more of the pretty things in life. And so CityGirlSearching was founded. I started reviewing places in and around Johannesburg, as well as doing makeup reviews and recipes and sharing more of the beauty I was inspired by in South Africa.

My love for stationery compounded when I first walked into one of the millions of unique stores here in Korea. On just about every corner you’re bound to find stores filled to the brim with pencils, notebooks, washi tape, letter sets, note cards and so much more. I knew that I needed to find a way to share what I had found here, and of course to try and get rid of the boxes of stationery I had already collected! And so my stationery store was born.


Your photography is incredible (check out Rox's portfolio here) – where did you learn to take such amazing pictures?

Thanks you for those kind words. I learnt all the basics from my husband who was the one to contribute all the travel photographs to our first blog. When he had had enough of photographing flowers and nail polishes I picked up the camera, armed with a lot of patience and set about trying to re-create pretty images I found online. Pretty soon I learnt enough to make and style my own photographs and have found a new passion too.

What does your typical work day entail?

I teach English to Middle School girls here in South Korea and so the majority of my day is spent teaching and lesson planning. Every morning my husband and I are up at the crack of dawn to walk our little rescue pup, Shadow. Then it’s a quick breakfast and then off to school. After work it’s out again with pup on a hike around our town before dinner.

What do you love doing on the weekend?

I often collaborate with my stylist friend, Storm, on styled shoots involved paid clients and friends. We set up Pinterest boards during the week and then head off in my car to scout out locations. I also work with Storm to host DIY days with here in Korea, as a way of bringing together like-minded people.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

This is a tough one.  I usually find advice the most helpful after I’ve learnt a hard lesson. As the only way to really learn something is to do it, do it wrong, and then learn what to do better next time. So I guess I would say the best advice I’ve ever heard was to never stop trying, and to never be afraid of putting yourself out there and making mistakes.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve always wanted to be a teacher (I don’t plan on teaching English here in Korea for the rest of my life) but I definitely want to head into teaching little ones when we get back to South Africa.

What inspires you?

God. Travel. Early Mornings. Exercise. My husband. Warm sunshine on a cold winters day.

You have traveled extensively – where is your favourite place?

This is a hard question! There have been definite highs to each and every place we’ve travelled to, and just as many low points (getting food poisoning and then the flu on an island hopping adventure in the beautiful tropical islands off the Philippines…missing our flights back from Vietnam and only realizing we had maxed out our credit cards when  we tried to book later flights…catching sand fleas in Malaysia and having scars and bruising for 6 months due to the most insane itchy bites on my legs) and yet I cannot contain my excitement at the thought of our next travel destination. You learn so much about yourself and your partner/friends when you travel, and it’s one thing that you will never, ever regret doing.

Your pooch is adorable! Can you tell us about him?

Thank you! We rescued what was then a little black and brown bundle of fluff from the middle of the road late one night. Here in South Korea dogs are often abandoned (there is very little population control down on street dogs) and a lot of dogs are kept in cages and bred for meat. Our little Shadow was destined for the soup pot and so there really was no two minds about keeping him once we laid eyes on him. He has since grown into a very mischievous and handsome boy, who loves the snow and most especially, loves dirty socks! We aren’t sure what he is exactly, we thought he was a Korean Jindo (a special, but common breed  of hunting dogs here in Korea) but he is looking and acting more and more like a husky everyday. So we are going with the term ‘Jinsky’…a bit of a Jindo/Husky/Pavement special. If you’d like to you can find more of him on Instagram using the hashtag #ShadowTheJindo.


Thank you so much Roxy for agreeing to be featured!

Follow Roxy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

Most importantly - don't forget to check out her blog and stationery store

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review // EOS Lipbalm

New on SA shores is US import EOS lipbalm! It's available in South Africa at The Bikini Club, Beautyworx and Hashtag Awesome. [The Bikini Club features Rachel Roy four packs and a special edition Wildberry.]


The first one I got was the Pomegranate Raspberry. I ordered it off Hashtag Awesome and it arrived six days later so all and all I was pretty happy!
The other two are for friends I promise... 
On that note, they also stock Renova, Urban Decay, Anastasia Beverley Hills, The Gentleman's Beard Oil and Too Faced. They are a new store who imports luxury brand and are definitely worth a squizz!

The second one I got was a gift from one of my besties - she bought it in Hong Kong. She bought me the Strawberry Sorbet one which to be honest I prefer to the Pomegranate Raspberry.

I was a little bit nervous that it was gimmicky / all about the cute packaging - but I have really loved mine. They are such gorgeous presents and are so nice for your handbag.

They are touted as being "95% organic and 100% natural". It also has vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil in it, so it really is good for your lips. Overall I am really happy with them, they are really beautifully scented and are a different and fun product to add to your make up case.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Feature Friday // Anna Atkinson of Anna-Louise Sleepwear

Helloooo - You are looking at the first installment of FEATURE FRIDAY! 

I will be featuring upcoming self starters, photographers, designers, entrepreneurs and game changers -  all looking to make a name for themselves and inspiring those around them at the same time. 

My first Feature Friday is showcasing Durban talent Anna Louise Atkinson of Anna-Louise Sleepwear, a luxury sleepwear collection which provides stylish and comfortable designs for both men and women locally designed and made in South Africa.
 
How stunning is her sleepwear? Shop the range now!
Where do you come from?

I live in Durban.  I grew up here but after matriculating I decided to move to the Western Cape and study at Elizabeth Galloway Fashion Academy in Stellenbosch. I ended up living in Cape Town for 7years before moving back to Natal.  

When did you decide to launch your own business?

Growing up, my mum owned her own retail stores selling luxury bed linen and gifts.  I always knew I wanted to follow in her foot steps and one day own my own business. So after working in the magazine industry for two years, I went onto work for a PR company and then onto working for a big retail company and then knew it was time to launch Anna-Louise.

What advice would you give women wanting to open their own business?

If you can dream it, you can do it.  There’s a quote I love by Steve Jobs – “If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed, the vision pulls you.”  I think this quote is so powerful, If you really passionate about something and love what you do, you will make it a success.

Why sleepwear?

After finishing at Elizabeth Galloway Fashion Academy in Stellenbosch my dream was to become a designer, so I gained experience in retail, media and styling before focusing on my designer dream.  While gaining experience with big retail companies and media houses, I saw how people’s lives were becoming faster, more demanding and leaving less time for luxury and relaxing. Anna-Louise was born for my love for sleepwear and the frustration over the lack of sophisticated product available in the market.  Anna-Louise Sleepwear creates a calm in the evenings, a balance in the chaos of life that helps leave the stresses of your day behind. My vision was to create sleepwear without teddy bears, cartoon characters or corny sayings that anyone would be proud to wear all day, every day.

 Your branding is beautiful! How did you decide on your brand's aesthetic?

When I launched Anna-Louise, the branding was pink and girly.  As Anna-Louise has grown and after we launched our men’s collection I thought it needed a little something stronger.  So I decided to keep it classic and go for something timeless.

What does your typical work day entail?

Every day is different.  Being the perfectionist that I am, I wish it was more structured but a phone call can change the whole day’s routine.  I spend the mornings responding to mails, sorting out online orders – wrapping and packing them up and the afternoons are spent in my car sourcing fabrics, choosing new threads and buttons and making sure orders are completed in time.

Today was a perfect example of how a phone call can change the day – I had a bride call me, who is getting married tomorrow. She asked if she could place a personal embroidery order, luckily I had the stock she was needing but spent most of the day making sure the embroidery could get done and the delivery could take place before her wedding tomorrow.  I hate to let people down and try my best to get their orders done, especially when it comes to bridal orders.

What do you love doing on the weekend?

My fiancé and I have recently moved house, we actually in the middle of renovations so our weekends are spent house shopping, choosing paint colours or sorting out things for the wedding. I am loving every minute of all of it.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

“A river cuts through rock not because of its power but because of its persistence.”

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always knew I wanted to be involved in fashion and design.  From pre school days, I was dressing my dad, mum and older sister and always telling them what to wear and what to buy.

1. Anna is an avid traveller and recently jetted to Seychelles with her fiance
2. Must read this! "Girl Boss" by Sophie Amoruso
3. She has amazing taste in cushions - these puppies are available from Emeline Designs.
4. She also posts awesome foodie pics. What can this girl not do?

What inspires you?
My mum’s always been an inspiration to me.   She’s always lead by example, so I would say she is my main inspiration.  I have and always will inspire to be like her.

“Success in life comes when you simply refuse to give up, with goals so strong that obstacles, failure, and loss only act as motivation”.

Some more casual (beautiful) travel pics 

Thank you so much Anna for agreeing to be featured! What’s really sweet is that Anna featured me on her blog way back in 2011 – so incredible to see everything that you have accomplished in such a short time!

Follow Anna on Instagram (all of her pics featured here are from her beautiful Instagram account) ; Twitter ; Pinterest and Facebook