At the recent Durban bloggers meet up, we were given a gorgeous greeting card to use for Mothers Day, kindly sponsored by Swee & Moo. I did some digging on the label and decided they were the perfect candidates for my Homegrown Creatives series. Meet Chantelle and Richard, a lovely young creative couple based in Durban…
Who are you and what do you do / make / sell?
We are Swee and Moo, or Chantelle and Richard Armstrong. We make hand made and hand drawn greeting cards for the moment.
Did you always know that you were headed in this direction – how did you get where you are today?
We wanted to do something fun and creative together. Rich used to make cards for our friends and family, and everyone loved them. So we thought that we could combine our creative and organisation skills to start a little business. Because there is two of us, it keeps us motivated and inspired, even if it means that one of us is cracking the whip. We try to do a little every month as we both have jobs and Rich has also gone back to University to do his BTech in Graphic Design.
What makes your work / products / services unique?
We try to combine hand drawn and hand made work with humour, fun and beauty. The Swee and Moo characters are representations of us at times. We try to put a lot of love into our cards.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Our life experiences are our main inspiration, and trying to capture expressions is really fun. We love hand made things and appreciate the honesty and simplicity of children’s drawings.
Who are your creative idols?
We don’t really have creative idols. But God is pretty inspirational. We’re often in awe of how He’s made things.
Where do you like to hang out – what are your favorite spots in your town/city/country?
We love the beach, we go for morning walks on the beach, we go for runs, skates, surfs. We love cafe Jiran and Moyo on the pier. We enjoy walking around our neighbourhood – we have got Essenwood Park pretty close by.
Given the opportunity, where would you like to travel/explore?
Everywhere! We love experiencing new places. But we’d probably start in Europe.
How does a typical day for you play out?
We wake up super early and have some gluten free breakfast – flapjacks being the favourite. Chantelle goes to school (Grade One Teacher), Rich goes to work/university. We come home and cook dinner while listening to music. We work on Swee and Moo after dinner when we get the time and on some weekends if we are not spending time with family and friends.
With a day all to yourself (no meetings, distractions, to-do-lists) and an unlimited budget, what would you get up to?
Wow, this question is quite mind blowing! There are so many options and we’d want to do everything. We might settle on going hot air ballooning. You’re welcome to test us on what we’d actually do.
If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
Many things! Different things on different days, but certainly something creative. We’re very curious and would love to learn and do a bunch of other things.
Where can we stalk you?
What does your workspace / studio look like?
Our spare room!
What it the work/design/product/project you are most proud of to date?
We love the “Grow Old with you” card the most. It brings so much joy to people as they spot it on the table. We guess that this is our aim: to make people smile and laugh. We love it when little children pull their parents to our table to show them the cards and when old people giggle as they walk past. It just makes our day!