Sam Bear Things by Samantha Strydom

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Handsome Things chatted to Samantha Strydom about her brooches, inspiration and the things she loves.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I love design, art, illustration, colours, patterns, pretty things, nature, knitting, painting, films, photography, animals, folk music, ballet, running, yoga, traveling and food.

I studied fine art at the University of Witwatersrand and majored in video art.

I work in the world of advertising as an art director at Ogilvy & Mather, Johannesburg where I work with the most amazing and inspirational people ever.

How did this side project get started?

I am a creative to the core. I am so happy when ever I am making something especially if it is something beautiful. I run a little business called Sam Bear Things where I make jewellery, do illustrations and knit dreamy bear hats for adults and kids. It started a few months ago when I realised I hadn’t made any art since I’d finished studying and that made me really sad. So I decided that had to change and I gave myself a long-term goal to be continuously creating something. I started making brooches and pendants from clay and painting them. They have become my tiny canvases that I can fill with anything I want to and that makes me really happy.

Local creatives/makers you admire?

A few local people who I admire are Dear Rae jewellery, Skinny laMinx and Skermunkil.


Is that a dog on your shoulder?

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Everyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with dogs. That’s why I was so excited to find these custom-made dog brooches (and other woodland creatures) on the Kittens with Mittens blog. I’ve featured Mariet’s work here before, so you can read more about her.

You can order them from Mariet –

Kittens with mittens, I’m smitten




I recently received one of those emails that just make your week. No not the one where I was told I have a distant cousin in Lagos who’s left me an obscene amount of money and all she needs is my banking details, ID number and pin code in order to transfer the money, it was simply a link to a blog. I immediately thought of that terrible, terrible, terrible R&B song, “Kiss me through the phone,” because I wanted to give this person a virtual hug through the internet. (I’m currently working on the lyrics of my R&B debut single, “Hug me through the internet”.  It’s gonna be big).

After my virtual hug was over I immediately contacted the talented Mariet Vosloo from the delightful Kittens with Mittens to tell us more about her handsome fur kids and her handmade label Poncho. Over to Mariet.

I share a home with two gorgeous cats, Bobby and Snoekie, a beautiful puppy named Morris and two awesome guys, Rouleaux (my boyfriend) and Andries. The guys and I met while studying at the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography and then ended up living together in Cape Town. It’s really great to have two creative people around whose opinions I value. They keep me motivated and are always keen to share ideas.

My love for handmade things started when I was little. My mom was constantly busy making cool things and always involved my sister and I in her crafty projects.

Embroidery soon became a passion which led to me starting my own label, Poncho. I’m crazy about animals, especially my own furkids who are my main source of inspiration.

My brooches are very detailed and take many hours to complete, so I never have a lot of pieces available and therefore don’t stock any shops. I do however have a little shop section on my blog and also love doing custom orders.

Thanks Mariet!

Artist Profile: Meet Nadia from Cupcake Couture

Nadia van der Mescht tells us a bit more about Cupcake Couture:

“Cupcake Couture is a small accessories brand that I started in order to create and craft.  It has grown to so much more and is now my full time focus, coupled with the digital management side of the business and the creative consulting that I do.  Each product is handmade and created with lots of love.  I imagine the person who might use it or wear it and enjoy adding each precious button and detail.  I hunt for special things…buttons, old haberdashery items, ribbons and beautiful vintage pieces to embellish each brooch or accessory. 

 You can find my products via my online shop…place your order and expect a pretty package.  You can visit me at I heart Market in Durban which is on the first Saturday of each month.  Here you will find my pop up shop and Build-a-Brooch stall which allows you to design your own brooch.”

Her pretty Blog:

Her Shop:

Thanks Nadia!