Buying retail products online is easy, but finding hidden gems from local artists is so much more satisfying, and at the same time, you will have a unique statement piece!
Thunzi Forest Chalets and Hot Tubs founder and owner Trenwyth Pledger believes South African businesses should support, uplift, and empower each other. The lodge has a unique touch of various local businesses and artists.
Tren says, “I love supporting local SA artists and only try to buy from the normal large chain stores if I see something unusual for guests to appreciate. We are constantly upgrading and trying to keep up to date with the trends, but at the same time, we want to keep Thunzi authentic and for guests to experience ‘that bush feel’! Not too modern, but guests have all the required amenities and more.”
Every piece of art displayed at Thunzi has a story, and we wanted to find out more. Here is a closer look into how Thunzi has supported locals…
1. Fine Art – The first step in supporting locals is visiting markets or farmstalls in South Africa. “I took a trip with my sisters to visit my brother in Cape Town, and I bought beautiful original fine art of birds and Pangolin at the Houtbay market by artist Matthew Bell.”
2. “At the same market, I also bought a few original artworks from Libby Bell’s Botanical series.”
3. Protea Placemats – “When I went away with family to a farm near the Orange River, I bought protea placemats at a farmstall in Colesberg, I thought they are so unique that I could use them as a wall art.
4. Ceramic Wall Art – “ I bought these entirely handmade wall art ceramics from Madam Bottany and are made by a local artist – Julia K. Ceramics.
5. Crocheted blankets – Anelle is locally based in Jeffreys Bay and can crochet anything you’d like; she has a natural talent for crocheting and puts a lot of love into everything she makes.
Anelle Wilmot – 0712639543.
6. Wooden Nguni Heads – “I also love visiting the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront, a must-see whenever I go to Cape Town. I bought the wooden Nguni heads for the Nguni chalet. A perfect fit!”
7. Cushions, blinds, and upholstered furniture – “I only get my cushions, blinds, and upholstered furniture made by the best in the business, Finer Furnishings in Port Elizabeth.”
8. Furniture – Most of the furniture at Thunzi was made 18 years ago by a local company when Thunzi first opened. Last year, we got Simon Ratcliffe to refurbish the furniture from dark wood to light wood. We wanted a “fresh” new look.
9. Hot tubs – The Kolkol & Buitengewoon Woodfired Hottubs are locally made in South Africa. We have added hot tubs to the Nguni, Kingfisher and Turaco chalets.
10. Pret-a-Pot ceramics – “Most of the ceramics in our chalets come from Pret-a-Pot. I usually go to their factory shop in Gqeberha and buy goods from there. I also check in to their Plett branch and always buy a pot or two… I can’t resist! I know the owner, Nicole, and we hike Lady Slipper together; we love nature and the outdoors.
Pret-o-pot is locally manufactured and sells artisanal decor, servers, and planters.
11. Hanging Baskets – “My family is always willing to help, so my very creative mom made hanging baskets with various mini succulent gardens hanging from different heights outside the Stargazing Dome.”
12. Stone Aggregate – “We get all our decorative and other stones from Supacrush Mobile Crushing Contractors, partly owned by my husband Mark – which forms part of the Scribante family! The rock wall at Reception is made from Supacrush stone, and all pathways on the property.
Let’s uplift and support local!
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