Sugar & Vice – The name
Let’s break it down; when you think of the word Sugar you immediately think decadent; delicious and oh so sweet. In my minds eye I am picturing a luscious chocolate cake dripping with goodness. When you think of vice; what comes to mind? wickedness; badness; iniquity etc. Now put these two together and what do you get. Two forces that are opposites but work so well together. When I first spotted Sugar & Vice on Instagram; I was immediately drawn to it not only by the brand name; but by the products. By now you all now that I look for products with a strong brand presence in terms of being unique as well as having an amazing story behind the name. If you are looking for a curate selection of bespoke lifestyle products, home ware & apparel and bonus being that its all handmade by South African artisans and ethically sourced, then Sugar and Vice is the brand for you.
In the Loop
We recently had a #ctmomswhoblogevent in Cape Town; and we were very fortunate that Sugar and Vice was one of the brands that supported us. The products that we received was of the highest quality; but most importantly; the selection was unique. I was intrigue and I just had to get to know the person behind the brand, and thus; I bring you an interview with Natalie Van Dijk- Founder and designer of Sugar & vice
Interview with Natalie Van Dijk
Introduction: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your back ground?
Natalie van Dijk (nee Vice) always knew two things: that she wanted to run her own business and that she wanted to incorporate her creative talents into this business. The impetus to make this happen eventually came in the form of her retrenchment from a comfortable marketing job in 2014. Rather than acknowledge defeat, Natalie saw this as an opportunity to reinvent herself and make that business idea happen! Sugar & Vice was started without any funding, handouts or loans. Instead Natalie van Dijk relied on tenacity, hard work and an uncompromising commitment to her vision to build the brand.
When did you start Sugar & Vice shop, and why?
Describe Sugar & Vice in five words.
Handmade, edgy, unique, beautiful,
Explain the selection process of sourcing new products.
All the ceramics, cards, prints are my own range and the rest I select products that I think will compliment my current range.
Your Instagram account is gorgeous. Who photographs your products and who does the styling?
Thank you. I do all the styling myself and find inspiration from Pinterest. I’ve had Chenel Kurger from James & Jaxon photograph my products in the past, but more recently (2017/2018) I’ve used Judy Stoffberg.
What challenges have you faced whilst running your company?
Loneliness and working too much.
How do you overcome these challenges?
I work in coffee shops some days, just to get out of the house. I’ve committed to only work 8 hours a day and no longer, so I can enjoy down time.
What do you love about owning your own business?
The flexi time and doing what I love.
Which job title best describes you?
Designer / Marketer
How many days per week do you work on average?
5 days a week
Do you consider yourself an Entrepeneur?
Name three things that you can’t go a day without and that help you run your business.
Instagram, Shopify, Facebook
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own business or brand?
Do enough research before you start, start small, have the right processes in place from the start.
Do you feel like you are living your passion?
Is there anything you know now, that you wish you knew when you started your business?
I should’ve started with a smaller range, SEO is super important for your online shop, wish I started earlier with that.
Which people have been enormously helpful to you?
All entrepreneurs that I’ve met along the way and there has been so many. I’m not afraid to ask questions and will call or message anyone and ask advice, people are usually so helpful.
Who is your target market? If I were to give you a referral, who would I be looking for?
Lastly is there anything that you would like to add?
A few of my favorite picks from Sugar & Vice Shop
There is just so much more that I can add to this post, but I would like to invite you to explore their online shop for yourself.