10 Things: Heather from Heather's Leathers

Monday, 29 August 2011

I haven't done a 10 Things post for a while. So with the relaunch of the blog, I thought I should get back on that horse.

I would like you to meet my friend Heather. Heather lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where she works as a designer and illustrator. Heather makes the most beautiful leather brooches and has an awesome blog about them.  Thank you for sharing with us Heather!

Heather’s Leathers – 10 Things – Loves + Fascinations
  1. Anything related to food! Cooking it. Eating it. Or watching shows about cooking it and eating. I especially love risotto.  Check out Jamie Oliver’s recipe for grilled mushroom risotto: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/risotto/grilled-mushroom-risotto
  1. Paternoster. I love that little coastal fishing town. If I need to get away for some R&R, that’s where I go.
  1. SHOES! I just love shoes. But I especially love Iron First heels. They’re so quirky and fun. I have many in my wishlist. http://www.ironfistclothing.com/
  1. Lomography. I don’t actually own a lomo camera, but I would love to. The effect that the lens gives the pictures that it takes, is so vibrant and amazing. It can make the simplest of subject matter look so amazing and deliberate. http://www.lomography.com/
  1. Buttons! I love buttons. I don’t know why, but they fascinate me. They have so many uses, and yet they are the simplest things. I love to work with them in my brooches and earrings.
  1. Narciso Rodriquez. The most amazing thing you’ll ever smell in your life. Ever. http://www.narcisorodriguez.com
  1. Good wine. Nothing like a glass of vino. Im especially loving the Doolhof Cape Boar at the moment. Simple, easy drinking, everyday kind of wine, for a great price! http://www.doolhof.co.za/tastingnotes/cape_boar.pdf
  1. Once you go Mac, you never go back. I just love apple mac. Easy to use, massive in function and pretty to look at! www.apple.com
  1. Travel.  There are so many places in the world that I want to see. This pic is from a tiny little village that I visited last year, called Utelle, in the French Mountains, about 1 hour away from Nice.
  1.  World War I and II History, Anne Frank. I have a huge fascination with WWII and WWI ever since I was 9. I read Anne Frank’s diary when I was 10, and since then I was adamant that before I died I had to see the place where she hid away and wrote the diary. I fulfilled that “dream”  16 years later, when I visited Amsterdam last year. History is amazing! http://www.annefrank.org/

A little about me and how Heather's Leathers came about:

I am a graphic designer/ illustrator by trade but I have always enjoyed working with my hands. A few years ago, I found I had an absolute fascination and fixation with buttons - strange, I know, but we all have our thing. I started collecting them at garage sales, markets etc and planned to make something with them. I started making button earrings, which I wear almost everyday now. A close friend of mine, Sharon Boonzaier, is a fellow artist and designer, and she also works with leather. She saw the button earrings I was making, and suggested I try working with leather and incorporating the two. 

I bought some leather offcuts with the objective to make something at some point, but it wasnt until I had a function to go and I wanted an accessory to match my Iron Fist heels. They're very quirky, with bright blue, pink and green illustrated eyeballs - not your average pair of shoes :) So I decided to make an eyeball brooch to wear with my shoes. 

I had such fun making it and working with the leather, and really enjoyed wearing the brooch. As leather is pliable and be cut into any shape, its the perfect medium for me. So I started thinking up some more designs and started making them, some of them included buttons as well (of course). I had initially just made them as some fun brooches to wear myself, but a lot of friends and strangers started commenting on them. I started making them as gifts for friends for their birthdays, and eventually friends were asking to buy them for gifts for their friends. 

It was around October 2010 that I decided to create a website and a facebook page to see what the public interest would be. I was absolutely stunned at the response. Within the first week of starting the Facebook page, I had 100 fans, and a few publications asking to feature them in their mags. 
I am so very excited at the response my brooches have received and Im always so happy when someone appreciates them. 

Since the beginning of July 2011, I have been selling my brooches at the Fringe Arts on Kloof Street in Cape Town. It would be really great to get some stockists in Joburg and Durban, but hopefully that will come in time. 
I also have plans to expand the Heather's Leathers range to a wider range of jewellery and bags, but thats still in the pipeline :)
To find out more about Heather’s Leathers, visit:

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