Beautiful, locally manufactured, functionally light-weight and hand-painted, Seed Store’s unique collection of pot planters are on trend and in demand.
Founded by friends Jess de Bufanos and Clare Parker, who have been friends since they met at school in Grade 4, the business was born from their shared passion for design and making their own homes look beautiful.
“In the beginning we didn’t know exactly what the business would be, but we knew we would make a great team, and that we both had a desire to do something entrepreneurial after being in the corporate world for years. We wanted to own and grow something that we were proud of,” says Jess.
Both women left their corporate jobs to embark on a venture in manufacturing modern, beautiful planters. They called their business Seed Store.
“We are both passionate about design and making homes beautiful. Everyone loves bringing foliage and greenery into their homes, especially us, but finding modern, beautiful planters for our homes has always been a challenge. Inspired by Australian and New York décor brands, we decided to design our own pot planters for the South African market,” says Claire.
Their vision started to take shape at the start of 2017 and they began looking into feasible manufacturing options in by the middle of last year.
“Because we were determined to use local suppliers to help us build a scalable business, it took some time for us to find the right people to work with.” They officially launched in April 2018.
Because Jess and Claire wanted to create lightweight pots, they started exploring various materials and manufacturing processes that would give them the best quality light-weight product. It was through trial-and-error that they found their current Durban-based fibreglass supplier who has been instrumental in their business, guiding them on a learning curve of moulds, materials, manufacturing.
“While we out-source the production element of the raw unpainted pots, we manage our team of painters ourselves. Initially it was the two of us measuring, taping and painting the pots – taking a lot of experimentation to get the best quality types of paint and tapes. We have now employed and trained up Siyabonga who is our main man when it comes to the hand-painting of our pots.”
Drawing inspiration from a number of leading Australian and New York décor brands where modern, stylish pot planters are on trend, Jess and Claire’s designs are modern in their linear and symmetrical patterns, with a colour pallet of predominantly black, white, grey, rose gold and blush.
“I love the way you can mix and match our pot designs and sizes. We offer four different sizes and nine different striking and complimentary designs. The combinations are endless. We are also introducing brighter colours and new patterns inspired by latest trend forecasting. We have also just launched our new baby pot to the range, which is a gorgeous orchid pot,” says Jess. Her ultimate dream, she says, is to see the business grow to the point where they can employ more artisanal South Africans.
“We hope to add more beautiful, hand-crafted homeware products to our online store and maybe even open our own retail outlet in time, so watch this space…”
Seed Store pots are available at Catalyst in Umhlanga Village, Freerange at Piggly Wiggly as well as online on their website.