A regular item on my to do list is to buy some form of gift, this may not be related to my expat life, but rather my age, but it seems that each month there is a wedding, baby shower, moving house, or leaving present to purchase. On each occasion its nice to get something a little different and from Africa, ideally from social enterprise or at least locally made. This is the first in a 4 part series, Best Souvenirs to buy in Jozi, our top Baby Presents, the Best Wedding Presents and finally Children's Birthday Presents.
How about you? What have you enjoyed giving? Or what has been the best souvenir / present you have been given? Share with us in the comments below.
Following on from our post last week about How to say Goodbye. you will know I had a few leaving gifts to buy at the start of the year. My intentions / criteria for the gifts were:
- Be Johannesburg specific. It has to be something that will help them to remember their time in South Africa.
- It has to be light (and ideally small!) these guys will have probably already packed up their container, so the last thing they want is MORE big and heavy stuff.
- Something they don't already own.
- It must useful, beautiful or fun, otherwise what is the point?
After visiting shops all over Johannesburg, well mainly all over South Joburg (please let me know of shops and suppliers further up in Fourways) here are my final top 5 picks for generic gifts:
Iwasshot in joburg
Great brand, brilliant concept, photographer started working with street boys in town, teaching them to take photos with disposable camera's. Now they have a retail outlet in Rosebank and Arts on Main. Great story, great products, incredible cause.
ARE YOU AN EXPAT IN JOBURG? MAKE SURE YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME HERE WITH ALL OUR INSIDER INFORMATION click below for more information.
3. Shwe Shwe
Modern SchweShwe fabric comes in variety of colours and patterns used for African traditional dress. This wonderful social enterprise based in Parktown called Stitch makes:
Picnic Blankets, Quilts, Baby Mats, Table Cloths, Aprons & Serviettes, and Table-mats. Email Clare on email@example.com for further enquiries.
There is lots of beautiful unique jewellery here in Joburg.
Star Bright Girl has some lovely silver Africa pendants and some animals (great for kids) she is based in Durban (but Motherland Coffee - in Dunkeld and Rosebank stock it)
or in Cape Town Kin.
I had sneak it in - as much as I am tired of the beads - I do like to give every guest that comes to visit us a little beaded key ring, it supports the guys at the side of the road, and you kinda grow to the love them!
5. Yda Walt
About 5 years ago a wonderful friend of mine with a background in PR came across Yda. She offered to do her PR for her for free (she didn’t have a work permit) because her stuff was so good! Danielle sadly left shortly after she introduced us to Yda, but now Yda needs no additional PR, her products speak for themselves! I am pretty sure most friends I know have brought at least one of her magnificent products.
Based in Cape Town this gorgeous brand has become iconic in South Africa, we brought our kids their christmas stocking from there last year. Currently there is 20% sale at the beautiful Nonna (in Parkhurst or online), but only until the end of May. I bet you leave with more than just one item ;)
Essentially Life - Fox Street Market, cushion covers, homeware, silverware.
Young at H-art - great wooden protea's, rhinos, maps of Africa and homeware pieces.
- Art Africa - Parkview - more traditional african products - lots of beaded hair bands, christmas decorations, spoons, key rings along with Yda Walts wonderful products!
- 27 Boxes - lovely hand bags, dresses, jewellery, and cute Shwe shwe clothes for children.
- Kim Sacks - Jans Smutz Yda Walts, Star Bright Girl
- Art on Paper - 44 Stanley
- ShooShoo's - baby shoes
- Bryanston Organic Market (Thursday and Saturdays) I love the leather sandles and the journals/ diaries.
- Rosebank (Sunday mornings) selection of lots of souvenirs including etched glassware, Jozi T-Shirts / dresses / cushion covers.
- Fox Street Market (mainly food, but a few gems too!) Friday nights and Saturdays.
What are your favourite gifts?
Have I missed a gem that you know about?
Tell us in the comments below.
Please note all these recommendations are my own (or fellow expats living in Joburg), no sponsorship is provided for the items listed.