Wednesday, 22 April 2015


My mother-in-law recently sent me this beautiful quotation ‘have a good cry, wash out your heart. If you keep it inside, it’ll tear you apart’. And it made me think of our project. 

The tears we’ve cried this year alone make me realise that running a Community Project sure ain’t for sissies. They are tough on your heart. Tough on your emotions. Tough on your family. Tough on everyone involved. But through the tears there is growth and through growth there is understanding. It's a way of learning together and it restors our faith that we are on the right path. Sometimes we may veer off course, but by sticking together and finding the laughter through all the tears - we always find our way back home. 

And that's when we feel tears of joy. Tears of happiness. And a sense of deep fulfilment that after nine years we've somehow beaten the odds and built a heartfelt community. Wow, now that's worth all the tears in China! LOL. 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bring it On

It’s crazy how the year has come to a screeching halt. It always seems to creep up on me. But hurrah! 2015 is on its merry way and the ladies and I can’t wait. New beginnings. Renewed energy. Fresh ideas and positive hopes and dreams. It’s been a busy year for us all (with highs and lows) and we are so grateful for all the love we have received throughout the year.

We owe our countless blessings to all our lovely customers and friends for their continued love and support. Our hope for you is that you spend this special time with the people you love the most in this world. Rest your hearts, relax your minds and enjoy the moment. Yesterday is behind you. Tomorrow is still on its way. And today is all you can be. So just be you. 

See you next year x

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Hands & Hearts

I haven’t written in a little while but that’s not to say there hasn’t been a lot going on. The ladies have been amazing. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. They completed an order for 2500 Africa Key Rings for a wonderful customer of ours in just two weeks (we usually take six). That meant not a lot of sleep and very sore fingers. There was a true spirit of Abuntu at Pinky Place over that period. Needless to say, the ladies are still exhausted. But, unfortunately with Christmas events and staff parties there’s no time to rest.

As I write this they are sewing their little hearts out to get another order delivered to a customer tomorrow (220 Bushfelt Decorations). Poor Martha, in-between this all she has also been running to and from town (a two hour taxi ride) trying to courier other orders to customers and stocking up on supplies. We are truly suffering because of this postal strike. It makes our hearts sore. We can't explain it in any other words!
The good news however is looking forward, we have found two wonderful courier companies who’ll collect from Makapanstad (Fedex & Royale International). So we will be using their services from now on. With so much hard-work and love put into each order - we need reliability, and like most things Government owned & run, that is not always the case. Come on SAPO – pull yourself together. The underprivileged people of South Africa are depending on you.


Thursday, 11 September 2014

It's Wine o' Clock

It’s that special time of ‘event’ again. The Western Cape Wineries Annual Heartfelt Charity Wine Tasting Event at the Two Oceans Aquarium.  So if you’ve not got your tickets - the good news is there is still time to buy them online. Last year we raised over R20 000 for Mmakuba Primary School. This year we are aiming to double that – and would love to buy the kids new sporting and playground equipment. It’s always a fun evening filled with delicious wine, food and open hearts. Not to mention sharks and other gorgeous ocean creatures. There are 14 wineries taking part this year and you’ll even get a few goodies with your glass – so please come and join us. We’d love to have you there. Pretty please with a cherry on top. We don’t want to beg . . . but pleeeeeaaaaaaase come and join us.  It would make so many little hearts very happy.
Other than helping with the organising for the event, we have been very busy with smaller orders after finally finishing the third part to the large order from ‘The one who can’t be named’. The ladies really pulled out all the stops and got everything made and delivered on time. My heart swells with pride at the thought. Sleepless nights, overtime, heart palpitations . . . all worth it and what a boost for the ladies and the community.

We are also still busily working on our new 2015 range – to be launched before the end of the year. Think babies, weddings and lots of pretty hearts. It’s been great fun putting our designs and ideas together and we’re also teaming up with a fabulous company called Ruby melon – so watch this space. Until we meet again - remember to always follow your heart.



Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Feeling the Love

I promised to tell you the story about our little miracle that happened to one of our brides last week. And it proved again to me that the power of love truly is the greatest gift of all – together with God's plan and a little divine intervention. I guess, when I really think about it, it’s the belief we all had that the bride was always going to have our wedding favours (220 Mr & Mrs Penguins to be precise) at her wedding. Her belief, the ladies belief and my belief. I guess putting positive vibes out there and believing in only the best outcome, is one way of initiating a positive result. And believing it’s all in God’s plan. I guess the proof is in the pudding or in this case the proof was in the penguins.

Our gorgeous bride Louise, not the most enthusiastic of brides (her words, not mine) had decided a few years ago that she wanted to have our little penguins as wedding favours at her wedding one day. She and her husband had a special ‘love’ for penguins and it truly had meant a great deal to her to have them there. When she ordered, we were in the middle of a very tight deadline, so could only get her favours finished and couriered to her on the Thursday – her wedding was on the Sunday. But we paid for the special service of Speed Services (through SAPO) for next day delivery – which meant they would arrive at her office on the Friday.

On Friday morning I called Charlene to have a catch up on things in the office and she told me that Louise’s parcel was on its way. You know that little voice that speaks to you, but you never really listen? Well it was speaking to me. Something was niggling. So I thought I’d call Speed Services to find out where the parcel was. They couldn’t find it. Then I was told that they could. It was still at the Pretoria post office. It needed to get to Johannesburg (JHB). They would keep me updated. I called back about 18 times – by which time they were getting very irritated with me. Then I decided to take a drive to my nearest post office to speak to the manager in charge. The niggle was still niggling. Maybe she’d be able to help me. But no, we were told that Speed Services were actually on strike in JHB – surely something they could have told us the day before? The parcel was stuck in the Tshwane Depo. It wouldn’t arrive till Monday.

But Monday was too late and we just couldn’t take no for an answer. This is where perseverance truly paid off. Our bride needed her penguins darn it! I called the manager. I called the guy who managed the manager. I just called and called to explain to anyone who would listen that our bride needed her wedding favours by Saturday. Please could someone help. Then a break through. I was told that the manager would send out an email to the night staff in Tshwane to ask if someone could please intervene somehow and help. The email went out at 5pm on Friday afternoon. They didn’t usually deliver on a Saturday and couldn’t promise anything. They had my email address. I still went to bed with that niggling feeling.

On Saturday morning at 8am I apprehensively opened my computer – I read the email threads that had come through overnight from the skeleton night staff. They had the wrong tracking number so couldn’t find the parcel. Then an email reply from Charlene at 1am with the correct number. But how? She wasn’t even on the emailing list. I was. They didn’t have her email address. I was fast asleep when all of this was going on. But by some miracle – still a mystery to us – she received just the one email about the tracking number and it woke her up. So she replied. Which meant that they could find the parcel and get it on the 7am delivery truck. Had she not done that or received that email, the penguins would have spent the entire weekend in solitary confinement. Instead they arrived on Saturday afternoon and made their debut on Sunday at the wedding. An absolute miracle to say the least.

I still believe it was divine intervention and God’s plan to make sure that Louise had those wedding favours at the wedding. She was totally oblivious to any of this going on behind the scenes which in my mind meant that she was still giving out positive energy and truly believed she was going to have her penguins at the wedding.

So I guess my advice to you is - the next time you hear that little voice in your head. Listen to it. And the next time something happens which you can’t explain - know that you are being looked after. Even the insignificance of an email can be significant. You just have to look for the clues and believe that where there is love there is lots of it to go around. Miracles can happen. And best of all, they can happen to you.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Happy Mother's May

Oh how we love our mums. At Heartfelt we’re celebrating the joy of welcoming two new babies to the Heartfelt family. One born four months ago and one still on its way. Very exciting for us all and such a blessing. It’s been a busy old time at Pinky Place. The ladies worked all hours to get Doppio Zero’s Mother’s Day gifts delivered on time (2300 items J). They made beautiful heart peg magnets – which apparently went down a treat (and so did the delicious Mother’s Day lunch). We have also completed another large order for ‘the one who can’t be named’ (3000 items) – and the ladies are working on the second part to their order (another 3000 items) – to be delivered in June. Gulp! So it’s full steam ahead and lots to get done. So on that note, I better run. But just quickly wanted to say – happy Mother’s May (yes, we’ve decided to celebrate mum’s the entire month of May). Keep loving, laughing, grounding, nurturing and teaching your children to be great, kind little people - the ones this beautiful country of ours needs. We vote mum for president!

Friday, 31 January 2014

In Loving Memory

It’s the friends that come into your life that bring meaning to it. They make it count. And when all is said and done it’s your friendships that carry you through the hard times and make you the happiest on your journey through life. That's why we have so much to be thankful for.  Having recently lost one of our dearest friends Berton Bosman – it’s hard to accept that we will never see him again. Yet, we still feel his love and warmth in our lives because of the meaning he brought to us and others.
On Sunday the 26th of January, a group of his friends did Ironman 70.3 South Africa, to not only honour Berton, who died tragically at this event in 2013 – but also to raise money for Heartfelt. Berton played a huge part in setting up Heartfelt and did a lot of work with us over the years on a personal as well as a business level through BDO where he worked. We have no words – just a feeling of love in our hearts.  Thank you to all 12 of you who took part in the race (there were 9 in teams of 3 and 3 who did the event as individuals) and to each and every one of you who made a heartfelt donation on Behalf of Berton. We raised over R20 000.

I know that wherever he is, he is looking down on us with a big smile on his face. We'd like to send a special thank you to Matthew (& the Ironman 70.3 team), Catherine and all of Berton's close friends and family.
Berts, thank you for being such a special and caring friend to us all - because of your kind and generous nature, even in death your love lives on in our hearts and memories forever. Rest in Peace, our beautiful friend.
* ps. And no, this did not take me one minute to write ;)

Friday, 6 December 2013

Our long walk to freedom

Africa is Africa. Hardship seems to rule the day. Don’t get me wrong – I think there are wonderful opportunities and general prosperity for many. But when it comes to the majority who find themselves  in poverty - it always seems to be two steps forward and ten steps back. This isn’t an observation I’m making because of what happened to Martha this week. Which has effected the lives of all the Heartfelt ladies and their families – as well as mine (however that pales in comparison). It’s something that I’ve observed over the past 8 years I’ve been running Heartfelt. Just when you think you are on top of things, something happens (usually devastating) and then you have to dust yourself off and get back to the plight at hand – general survival. My heart aches.

Martha (& all the ladies), but particularly Martha, has been working so hard this year. She never asks for much. She puts all her love into what she does to ensure that the ladies are ok. Finally after 8 years of working hard – there was a little lump sum of money for her and the ladies to have for Christmas – and we’re talking little. Now it’s gone. Gone at the hands of opportunists who prey on the vulnerable. I won’t go into the whole drawn out story - but in a nutshell, she was robbed and our Heartfelt bank account cleaned out. She has been left totally traumatized. And I am left totally disheartened.
We were so excited for Christmas this year. We are meant to be having a party next week when we close for the holidays. The ladies were getting bonuses for a year of incredibly hard work and lots of love put into it. We finally had hope in all our hearts (mine was bubbling over after all the sacrifice and hard work it took to get to this point). But Africa has other plans. It wants you to remember who’s in charge. It needs to you harden up. So you can suck it up.
Maybe we should look on the bright side. Martha is safe and alive. We have loving customers who are willing to help. We have the courage to get back on that horse (we always do). We have love in our hearts and each other to share life with. We are survivors. 
And as I sit here writing this, I’m listening to the contributions pouring in for Madiba. His death is a bittersweet parting. Our loss pales in comparison to our countries loss. When will a man as great as he, come to Africa again and bring us hope? We therefore have to keep his legacy alive and move forward in true Madiba style. So to honour him and all that he stood for - we will try our best to put what happened behind us. We will find love in our hearts and forgiveness. We will move forward with courage and positivity. We will walk our own walk to freedom – Amandla!
Wishing all of you a blessed Christmas and a happy new year. Here’s to a wonderful 2014. And as Madiba once said, ‘A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination’ – so let’s work together in 2014 to make it a better tomorrow for us all.  
We love you Madiba –  thank you for teaching us what true forgiveness really is - forever in our hearts x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Heartfelt Wine Tasting Event

Wow! R23 000 was raised for Heartfelt at the Western CapeWineries Heartfelt Wine Tasting Event on the 1st August (thank you Chrissy). It will go to the gorgeous children at Mmakuba Primary School in Makapanstad. We have got such exciting plans for them and can’t wait to bring a little joy to their lives. We’ll let you know what we spent the money on in the next couple of months – so watch this space. Martha caught the bus down to Cape Town and nearly died when she got to the Two Oceans Aquarium for the event. Having never been to an aquarium before – she watched in absolute amazement as the fish swam all around her. Thank you to Western Cape Wineries for bringing so much joy to our lives. And a very special thank you to everyone who took part – from the wineries to the guests, your love and support is truly appreciated by all of us. So here’s to you - chin-chin. 

Friday, 17 May 2013

A Blessing in Disguise

We’ve been busy busy busy at Pinky Place. Martha and the ladies have been working on an incredible order for a large Pharmaceutical company – the one who can’t be named. Their approach is a special one – caring for the carers. So we have been blessed with a company who truly is able to make a difference to our lives and those of the people in the community. And, as we speak the ladies are still sewing their little hearts out to deliver part 2 of 3 large orders. The team behind the 'one who can't be named' even came out to Heartfelt for a day to meet Martha and see the ladies at work – which turned out to be a very special day for us all.

But feeling the love hasn't stopped there. Some really special friends of ours have just completed a 3994km Tuk-Tuk Race around India – all in the name of Heartfelt – and managed to raise a whopping R12,925 to go towards the project and the community. They took 13 grueling days to complete the race, endured all sorts of obstacles along the way and managed to live to tell the tale - coming 13 out of 70 participants! Well done Team Dazed & Confused (to you and your incredible support team). We are extremely proud of you and can’t thank you enough for being so bonkers. We live in awe!

So as you can imagine with all that’s been going on at the Project lately we’re feeling rather loved right now – and for that we count our blessings every day.