House of York
House of York
  • Eveready Group
    Kestrel Wind TurbinesEcocellEveready South AfricaEveready Batteries South AfricaEveready Lighting South Africa

4 Local Female Creatives Embodying Our Philosophy of Living Creativity

01 August 2019

This Women’s Month, we are paying tribute to four proudly local female creatives who embody our philosophy of Living Creativity. From pastry chef Chantel Stoltz and kitchen extraordinaire Wilandi Esterhuysen, to fashion designer Gugu Peteni and interior designer Brigitte Hills. By leading their lives and businesses with creative flair, these four ladies are making big waves in our home city of Port Elizabeth and beyond!

Chantel Stoltz

Chantel Stoltz is a passionate pastry chef and the proud owner of popular cake business, Perfectly Crafted. Despite her continued business success, complacency hasn’t become a word in Chantel’s dictionary and she believes that innovativeness is key to staying in the game.

To this end, Chantel and her team spend hours on Instagram each week scouting new trends and coming up with ways to incorporate them into the local market. Her innovative approach has also led to the launch of a new bakery called Sprinkled – a first for PE as the selection, ordering, and payment process is all completed online.

Today Chantel enjoys the freedom of working for herself, but the journey hasn’t always been easy. From humble beginnings baking out of her kitchen while still working full time, to running not one, but two successful bakeries.

“When you start a new business there are many constraints:  time, money, energy. You can easily be discouraged from pursuing your dreams,” she says, “Use these constraints to motivate you to think outside the box. That inspires creativity.”

As for what sparks Chantel’s creativity? Quite simply, she eats cake every day! “We are always experimenting with new combinations and tastes, and that feeds through into the interesting and fun products we produce.”  

Visit www.perfectlycrafted.co.za and www.sprinkled.co.za to see and order Chantel’s delicious creations.

Wilandi Esterhuysen

Wilandi Esterhuysen is a creative genius in the kitchen. Her unique food ideas, inspired by a background in architecture and interior decorating, are what impressed judges and viewers alike on season two of kykNET’s popular reality series, Koekedoor.

Besides for her love for creating food, Wilandi also hosts food workshops and designs a range of quirky ceramic stoneware and wooden boards. “My career is diverse because I am not bound to recipes and ingredients but also the art of displaying these items, and the construction of the tools to display it,” she says.

One of the biggest challenges she’s had to overcome is that of imitation. “When you work in a creative industry, technology today works for you and against you. It is a great tool to communicate but also an easy ground for ideas to be used. This should not be seen as a drawback - when your ideas are used it is a compliment and a motivation for yourself to create new ones and stay ahead.”

Her advice for young women wanting to enter the food industry is to always evolve and never stop being curious. “Read, look around you and speak to people. Whether you eat it or display it, food is a social art. By staying fresh you will always discover new opportunities to stay valid in a very competitive market.”

To quote her favourite saying by Mario Testino, “My favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.”

Visit www.wilandistudio.com to shop Wilandi’s extraordinary products and secure your spot at her next workshop.

Gugu Peteni

Gugu Peteni is a young and gifted fashion designer making great strides in South Africa’s fashion industry. At a young age, she already has a notable list of achievements to her name – including being on the list of emerging creatives at the 2018 Design Indaba and participating in the first season of Project Runway SA.

“I grew up binge-watching the show, and I have always said I could never do what they do, and then I did. It is still so surreal to me, and being the youngest on the show and straight out of university proved to me that there is nothing that I put my mind to, that I cannot do.”

Gugu currently works as an in-house designer for Mohair South Africa and is the mastermind behind her own brand, GUGU. Her resilient spirit and love for the creative process are what keeps her pushing through many 24-hour workdays and 7-day work weeks. “The process of watching a collection come to life from a vague idea in your head, down to a sketch, to sourcing and cutting fabric and finally watching it come to life is a feeling I can never tire of.”

She finds her inspiration almost everywhere – from her immediate surroundings to everyday things, people and stories. “But also women have always been a huge inspiration to me,” she says, “Especially my mother, she is incredible.”

In celebration of Women’s Month, Gugu will be showcasing at the annual Museum Gala by Mantis to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Museum. Follow Gugu on Instagram (@gugupeteni) to keep up to date with her latest collections and designs.

Brigitte Hills

Brigitte Hills is a renowned interior designer with an impressive portfolio of work across South Africa. Not one to shy away from challenges, she lives by the philosophy that you are only as good as your last project, so attack each one with all you’ve got.

Brigitte is currently working on Algoa FM’s new offices as well as a new hotel for Coega. As for her biggest accomplishment to date? “I can’t really pin it on one project, but working on the FIFA Stadium in Port Elizabeth was a great honour,” she says. “Mostly, I am proud that I have a good client base which has stuck with me over many years, so hopefully that means I’m doing something right!”

Inspiration for her designs largely come from travel and nature. And she especially loves how no two projects are ever the same – different spaces, environments, needs (and shoe-string budgets) continue to keep Brigitte on her toes.

Her advice for any young women wanting to break into the industry? To study at a reputable university or college, and to keep in mind that interior design isn’t as glamorous as it may appear on TV. “It’s hard work and you have to be 100% dedicated,” she says.

Visit Brigitte’s website at www.brigittehills.co.za to find out more on her services.

 

Living Creativity

Read our articles for ideas on how to decorate, unclutter and enhance your home.

Read more
Living Community

All about what is happening at House of York

Read more