It's been a while since my last blog post, but let me assure you, I'm still here! I can't believe it is already Easter 2018. For me, the arrival of the Easter holidays has always signified that the year is well and truly into full swing and any denial about the festive season ought to be firmly dealt with, haha! I've had a very busy and difficult start to this year with a lot of life changes and also a few life difficulties- I guess this is all part of this life's journey and one must embrace it.
Those of you that follow us on Instagram might have seen my last post where I was talking about changing the direction and focus of Savanna Republic.
Hello Instafam! Sooooo, I've been awful quiet for most of this year. That's what happens when you've been doing some hard hard thinking!!! Firstly, I must thank all of our friends, followers and of course awesome customers who've supported us these last few months. You've truly made it an awesome ride. When we started Savanna Republic, I wasn't really sure which way things were going to go.......
I started Savanna Republic as a project born out of many things really. Firstly, I have an incredible fascination with e-commerce and have always wanted to be a 'practitioner' in some way and Savanna Republic allowed me to do just that. I love making things with my hands and have been fully immersed in the maker movement, long before being a maker was a thing and long before any hashtags! The age of social media has been amazing and has allowed us to connect with each other beyond all kinds of barriers and in starting Savanna Republic I really drew inspiration from so many different people and communities that are part of the maker movement.
I'm a knitter, sewist, baker, permaculture gardner, and counting! I was mixing my own natural hair products long before the days of Youtube and influencers and shout-outs and recall a time when coconut oil was an exotic thing you hunted down from some dark health shop owned by a little old vegan lady with a sharp features and opinions to match.
That is how I found myself launching Savanna Republic officially in November of 2017. It has been an exhilarating journey really, and I've learnt so much about creativity, agility, accountability and authenticity. I'm really blessed to have met the people I've met, from suppliers to other entrepreneurs and of course, to our customers who have trusted us with their money!
Despite all of this, I have felt like a big and important part of me had been quashed and I finally realised a large part of that is that I had stopped being me (Shingi!) and had forgotten the very essence of why and how I got into e-com and that fact that at my core, I love and I need to make things - I love being a maker first and foremost.
Lots of thinking and brainstorming and tea drinking has ensued until i eventually found my ah-ha moment at the bottom end of a cup of matcha green tea! Ten years ago I was splitting mango seeds and making hair butters with the old lady's coconut oil in my kitchen. That made me soooo happy. I need to do that again. Ten years on, I still care deeply about what we (we are plural now!) take in, what we expose ourselves to, and also what impact this has on the planet.
I am therefore taking a leap of faith and am re-engineering this corner of the internet where I will share with you my journey in re-exploring the beauty of making things by hand again: handmade soaps, hair butters, all the things!
Over the next few weeks I'll be redesigning this site - and revealing our new logo (because logo's are everything right!) and doing away with some products. I will also, of course, be bringing in some new things - so as I go on this journey you may see us listing things which I find useful myself, and which will hopefully add value and be helpful to others who are also on a 'handmade journey!'.
I would sooo love this to be place where I can connect with other makers and artisans, and I'm sure there are so many others, particularly here in South Africa who are probably also starting in this journey, so it will be really good to connect - hope you'll stay a while.