Being creative has been ‘who I am’ & what I always seemed to naturally gravitate to since I was a child. I took art throughout my school career & went on to study Interior Design at Natal Technikon. After I graduated, I got my first 'real' job up in Johannesburg as a junior interior designer. About a year later, the travel bug bit & off I went to the UK, and ended up staying for 4 years. Upon my return to SA I started up my own interior design business & had FNB as a major client. Shortly after this I had my first child, my daughter Roxy, & being new to motherhood, thought I could continue working as per usual with a baby....how wrong I was! So I stopped working full time & picked up working 5 years later when my 2nd child, my son Reece was almost 2 years old. This venture came about by chance...we heard about a concrete paving & tile manufacturing factory that was up for sale & thought it would be a good way to generate an extra income & give me something to keep busy with. Little did I realise at the time just how big an impact buying that concrete factory would be. This is where I was introduced to working with concrete & being exposed to what a beautiful medium it can be to work with.
Fast forward to the 2008/9 recession and things were not looking good for any development & not great either for a business relying on the building industry. I tried a joint venture which ended as fast as it began, and I was left wondering, "so where to from here"?
I tried to figure what I thought was worth investing my time, energy & soul into. I certainly didn't intend or ever dream of owning a mosaic company when I was younger. Life happens, and I found myself at a cross road in my life. I was being strongly urged to 'get a proper job' and I knew if I did I would also be giving up my desire to be alongside my kids as they journeyed through childhood. I wanted to have an active part in their lives, so I made a choice to make a go of what I thought could work & what I had been playing around with (mosaics) while I had the concrete business. As the buiding trade slowed down after 2008, we quickly moved from making large concrete tiles to making small mosaic tiles & inserts for the crafting community.
I started in my garage, with my loyal & trusted staff member Tangi, who was an employee at the concrete business. Many of you will know Tangi and what a great person he is if you have ever visited my shop. He is always the friendliest, happiest person, nothing is too much for him. What a blessing to me & this business he is. We have journeyed together, coming up with recipes & formulas for making our tiles, starting with a small selection of tiles, selling through other retail stores, and to finally building my own online website to sell through.
Now, we find ourselves at somewhat of a cross road again - being so inspired by the current trend of Moroccan and geometric pattern tiles, I started playing with a few designs towards th end of 2017, once again using concrete as our preferred material for the tiles. I came up with a few designs and made moulds to test the waters. You can see the range of Moroccan inspired concrete tiles here on my website. So, over time, the core business of Earthly Mosaics will change and we will do away with manufacturing of mosaic tiles in favour of the concrete indoor and outdoor geometric pattern concrete tiles.
And a real gem service that we offer is custom design tiles - because we make our own moulds, we can custom make almost any design - the possibilities are endless! This is probably one of the most exciting new directions yet for me and Earthly Mosaics. I plan to roll out the geometric designs in many other products, Moroccan tile tables, Moroccan tile mirrors, coasters with geometric designs, jewelley with geometric patterns...there is so much we can do.
- Kim -