This weekend, we had a fabulous weekend workshop at the Skinny laMinx studio, run by Jade Paton of House of Grace Design. Yup, Jade’s the one who has been reinventing macrame plant hangers (and more) across Cape Town for the last year or so. We caught up with her after she’d put together our gorgeous new shop window to find out more:
Hello Jade! How did you first become interested in Macrame?
While I was working in my family business Lush Flowers, I had very casually created some basic plant hangers to sell in the shop. Not long after, I was on holiday in New York and Los Angeles, where I saw what a huge trend macrame had become. I saw a gap in the South African market, and seized the opportunity, and in July 2015, I launched House of Grace Design. My timing was perfect and my business took off very quickly.
My interest really sparked at a slightly later stage when I realized how much was possible with the medium. I started to see beyond the bohemian/retro 70’s aesthetic, and started creating African-inspired, bold and colourful hangers, or minimal and modern designs. It is a medium that can be applied in so many different ways.
I went on to create headboards for beds, screens, curtains, table runners, wedding arches, chairs for restaurants, art installations and bags for fashion shows. I still have so many ideas and projects that I want to realise!
What services do you offer?
I create custom pieces for client’s homes, as well as installations and pieces for spaces, and events, and I also supply a number of local stores (including Skinny laMinx). I am basically keen and willing to macramé almost anything!
Who are some of your clients?
I have worked with Woolworths, creating an installation for their winter homeware launch, as well as their window displays.
I created bags for Cape Town fashion designer Nicholas Coutts for his recent A/W Men’s week show.
Kat Pichulik and I collaborated on a series of hanging chairs for a hotel.
I made chairs for Johannesburg restaurant Mama San eatery, and made an installation for the Spring menu launch of dim sum restaurant Beijing Opera.
I supply stores such as Lush Flowers, LIM, Vamp, Superbalist, Indigenous, Mash boutique, Heartworks, Cecile & Boyd, Arc, Fabricate, Stable and of course Skinny laMinx 😉
Which of your projects are you most proud of?
I will say that creating 46 chairs all by myself in Johannesburg for Mama San restaurant definitely was the hardest I have had to push myself. Nothing beats the feeling of having achieved this! But I am generally proud of most of my work because a lot of time and thought goes into each piece and it’s always amazing to see my visions come to fruition, especially if the job is on a larger scale.
How many people work with you?
I have two casual employees, but am looking to hire someone else to work with me full-time. I’d really like to teach someone a skill and have him or her produce pieces, while I work on product development. But I am such a perfectionist that I struggle to let other people do the work.
What’s the most interesting macrame design you have created?
Each macramé piece is interesting and unique in its own way. I did choose to hang one of my wall hangings above my bed, as I got too attached to sell it.
Thanks so much, Jade! Come and see her handiwork in real life in the Skinny laMinx shop window for the whole of March, and find out more about this lady’s knotty talents on all the usual platforms: Instagram / Facebook / Web (under construction)
And if you missed our workshop at the weekend, email firstname.lastname@example.org, as we’re looking forward to doing another soon.