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Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas

Pushing the envelope with trendsetting ideas
Elsje Designs creates fun & functional gifts, stationery and table decor with a true South African touch


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Friday, May 25, 2012

The perfect office for a rainy day


When is it time to reinvent yourself or your business?

You do not want your product or service to become boring. My goddess of reinventing herself is Madonna. Whether you like her or not, she has managed to keep reinventing herself and her brand at least three or four times a decade for over 25 years. Fashion designers are also expected to come up with a brand new collection of designs every season.

The only way to keep ahead in this or any business is to consciously make a choice to work diligently in reinventing your business. Keep the essence of who you are, yet express it differently.

I think it is time to change or re-think your product or services when…

◦ Other folks start copying your ideas or design. I know some can have a hard time being copied, however, think about it this way (aside from being a great compliment to you) you know you are doing something right when you are being copied.

◦ You are not making any money. I have had tons of ideas or designs I thought were fantastic on paper, except no one else thought so and they never sold.

◦ You have a design everyone loves and you do it more than three times. If this is the case, it is time to get rid of it or do it differently. Yes, I have been guilty of repeating the same design over and over until my clients say not again.

◦ Last but not least, if you are designing or giving a service that you find boring, even if it’s selling, it’s time to change it. We should not be in the business of boring ourselves.

What has kept me going for so many years is the excitement I get when I am trying out a new design or new service.

Thank you very much for reading my thoughts.

Still a bit of chaos in my life...  I never knew renovations (and decorations) would take this much time.  Maybe I'm just super pedantic.  My dear husband was extremely patienct is is LOVING our new home.  We painted horisontal stripes in the dining room and it's really amazing.  Having so much fun, inbetween unpacking a zillion boxes.  Tomorrow it's high heels and sexy clothing after a few weeks of Ugg (or Ugly) boots, tights and messy sweaters. 

This little office would be filled with too many distractions but it is pretty amazing!  I love the mix and match and all of the great vintage pieces.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Decor: Grey palette

After renovating our new nest, I'm so much more attentive to fabrics, colour and soft furnishings.  My latest love being plush velvets and deep buttoning.  I love this room - the modern style with beautiful pieces to inspire.

Winter Fashion 2012

1. Knit yourself a snood (scarf + hood = snood).
This ingenious, yet simple infinity scarf can be styled at various lengths and even worn, as the name suggests, as a hood!

Ten trends to wear now: Ten trends to wear now

2. Wise up: wear an owl

The owl is the motif of the winter catwalk collection, and has exploded on the high street. So easy to make your own. The owl has to be the easiest bird to draw. Use an old T-shirt or a plain American Apparel one as your base, draw on your owl with fabric pens. Leave it there, or embellish with wooden beads and buttons for the full homespun look. Easy!

Ten trends to wear now: Ten trends to wear now

3. Belt up
One trend that stood out at internasional fashion weeks were a belt-cinched waist. Almost any outfit can be styled with a skinny belt (you will definitely need one if you are thinking of going down the bulky muppet fur coat route). Unlike other trends, this involves little effort outside buying a belt/digging one out of your wardrobe and is easy to put in to practice asap.  The waisted belt is still on the must-have list. Wear it over your fitted winter coats and jackets to give them an instant winter update.

4. Femine/Masculine
This season, there is a fascination with both ultra feminine, as well as masculine-styled fashion. Combine both influences in an easy way by wearing a girly winter dress with rugged worker boots.

5. Don't worry about matching your accessories anymore.
With the diverse choice in easy-to-coordinate neutrals and naturals for the season, like winter greys and leather browns, your bag, belt, and shoes can work together in a complimentary rather than 'matchy-matchy' way.

6. Winter fashion is all about layering.
Layer socks over stockings with skirts and slouchy knitwear cardigans over dresses and blouses.

7. Red and nude
There is a lot of talk regarding the return of brights for winter. One of the most eye-catching seasonal colours is scarlet red. Note that the newest way to wear colour is to combine it with a neutral, for example, a nude tone.

8. Please report for duty this season!
Military influences are key. You can be overt with this trend, by wearing the newest in military-styled jackets, or wear it subtly with casual items in a shade of army green.

9. Fashionable flats
Give your feet a well-deserved break by stepping into some fashionable flats like masculine-style brogues, pretty pumps or tailored loafers.

10. '70s style is back!
Represent this beloved boho look by wearing flare pants with pussy-bow blouses and maxi skirts with slouchy knitwear. Oh, and don't forget our oh-so-'70s floppy felt wide-brimmed hat.

11. Leggings - still a staple item
Leggings, which over the past couple of seasons were considered to be a fashion item, have very much become a staple piece for every woman. We simply love them, as they are relatively inexpensive and will stretch to fit, even if you miss out on a couple of sessions at the gym.

Ten trends to wear now: Ten trends to wear now

12. Glitter goddess

One of my favourite makeup trends from London was the explosion of glitter. OK, so a sparkle lip doesn't have a whole lot of catwalk-to-high-street crossover –  but glitter will be huge for winter. Start now with nail varnish. And if you're feeling brave, get the full glitter-lip look.

12. Accross the body bag
With women being known for their advanced multi-tasking abilities, the across-body bag is every working woman's ideal bag. Wear it across your body, or shorten the strap to a hand-held length. Two different looks, one bag.

13. Bright colors

The bright colors we saw last summer, keep the coming winter season in fashion. Yellow, orange, cobalt blue, teal, purple … Combine these colors with gray or black or go for an outfit in a single, bright color.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Computer glitches being tended to

Pinned Image

My apologies to all my clients and future clients - I have experienced major computer issues since the selling of the wedding section of Elsje Designs.  It is being tended to and I hope will be sorted soon.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nearly there!

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Phew, another week to go and we will be done with renovations!  Thank you to all our clients (and soon-to-be-clients) for your patience during this time of change.  It will be worth the wait!

photo:  Sarah Groundwater Law