WITH a few patches of fabric, a sewing machine and creativity to spare, quirky Knysna artist Kayla Archer, 20, has created a thriving business.
Archer, owner of Humble Pie Design, has turned her hobby of making one-of-a-kind soft toys for friends and family into a full-time business, with customers across South Africa and recently also abroad.
And each of the toys is as offbeat and quirky as their maker – from a life-size unicorn with woolly hair or a bunny in a floral dress to a lama wearing a green hat or fox with a scarf. Each toy owner also has a hand in its design. “I encourage my customers to become involved in the process by either choosing the fabrics or sharing their ideas,” she said.
Archer did an art and design distance course through Cambridge University.
“When I finished my studies in 2013, I started sewing. It was therapy while I tried to figure out my next move. I started making toys for family and friends and everyone loved them.”
Since setting up the Humble Pie Design Facebook page in January, orders have been flooding in.
“By midyear I was receiving orders from all over South Africa and even had some of my products shipped to England.”
Archer has branched out and started a baby clothing range, including T-shirts and babygrows with her signature quirky designs.
Archer’s toys include anything from a 10cm stuffed animal to life-size creations.
“Most of my customers are new moms creating nurseries for their little ones,” she said.