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A sunny day at T Bag Designs

When we arrived today the whole group was gathered in the back yard having lunch. Everybody was in a particularly good mood and the reason soon became clear: one of the producers, Elaine, had brought her baby boy Albert! He’s so adorable and was of course passed from hands to hands. No one wanted to miss out on some cuddling. Philipp impressed everyone with his paternal skills.

It was such a positive atmosphere at work today. People where working outside in the sun painting the tea bags and eating, really just having a good time. We also got to know the volunteers; Sharon, her sister Lee and Jill. They come to T Bag Designs once a week to help out. They participate and teach sowing to the girls working here.

As Ane was fiddling around with the blog’s layout, I took photos of each person while they were working with the products and learned about the different stages of the production. Later we continued buzzing around at the office, and Jill went out to get some donated fabrics from another company; Upholstery Works. She came back beaming and loaded with bags filled with different textiles.

Luckily for us it turned out that it had been Sharon’s birthday during the weekend, and such occasions are celebrated with cake here at T Bag Designs. Few things boost the moral like proper good chocolate cake!

By: Thea B. Foslie

Ane and Thea arrives at T Bag Designs

The Norwegian internsThe interns are coming!
We are two girls from Norway who are in Cape Town to work with T Bag Designs for 3 months. It’s really exciting to be in Cape Town; a city filled with everything from spectacular nature sites to urban city life. We started our T Bag experience with a beautiful drive, passing wine yards and forests. Both were really excited to get together with Jill and the rest of the people at T Bag Designs. What an opportunity!
Naturally, our first day started with Jill offering us a cup of tea, creating a cozy atmosphere already from the beginning. It’s so nice to work in a place where the whole production and administration is gathered at the same place. In that way everyone can interact with each other, and you get to see what everyone is doing. The process from t bag to a finished product is really complex and involves so many people putting in their energy and creativity. Our creativity however, was bouncing of the walls as we sat down for a meeting with Jill, Phillip and Helen. As we got the overview of the business and discussed future plans and dreams, one thing became quite clear: we will not be lacking things to do! Several projects have now been started: which we will write more about the coming weeks.
While Jill where flying between customers and picking up paint, Phillip showed us around in the store, all three of us picking out our favorite items that we want to bring back home. After this we all stuffed our self together in the little office and started working on the blog, layouts and the online shop. Before we knew it the hours had passed and it was time to go home. But, we’ll be back tomorrow, possibly bringing some used tea bags our selves!

 

By: Thea B. Foslie

Breast Cancer Awarness comes to T-Bag Designs

We know we are a little early with this one but October is just around the corner!!  Most of our staff are female so we decided that a talk on Breast Cancer is a must.  Early detection is vital to a recovery.  The four men on our team hid their blushes and were rather amazed (and maybe a little comforted) that the person who came to talk to us was a male!!! Everyone listened to the talk very closely and hopefully took some of the information away with them to share with friends and family.

Gathered around the demo model

 

Here is a picture of some of the attendees and the to medical staff who gave the talk. From left to right – Elaine, Rachel, the two medical staff (sorry we did not record your names – oooops!!), Nomsa and Lucy (Jill’s daughter).

Daysman’s Big Day

Mr and Mrs Nogwavu

On 10th July 2010 Daysman Nogwavu got married!  He has had to put up with a lot of  teazing as he has been our ‘elagable batchelar’ for quite a few years!!  Many visitors to our workshop will recognise him as the charming guide who explains the many processes our products go through.  On the day the Bride looked radiant and the Groom looked handsome.  The wedding was attended by many family,  friends and most of the T-Bag Team, a few of which we have captured below.

Peggy with Lucy just in the picture! Russel (seated) and T-Man

Old maps to bags

We are always trying to find ways for our team to learn new skills and earn extra income.  When we were approached by Wendren Millford we were completely wowed by both her idea and her companies creations.  She had been offered a huge amount of A2 size maps that were going to be scrapped and was inspired to make carrier bags out of them!!  To make a carrier bag out of one of these maps takes a lot of precision and that is why she approached us knowing that we have a team of skilled people.  Wendren spent several early mornings, before work started, teaching the team how to make a carrier bag.  You can see in the picture below our team managed to produce the carriers.  It did indeed take a lot of precision but they look so good they are worth the effort.  

Map bags made by our team

Wendren is the owner of  Wren Design Company who make bags out of re-cycled materials.  Please take the time to look at her products on her website www.thewrendesigns.com. If you buy one of her bags you may be lucky enough to get one of these map carriers!!

Lucy’s Little Girl

 

This little angel belongs to Lucy!  This is her first child and she is a very proud Mom.  Little Bukho came into the world on 22nd March 2010. 

Lucy the proud Mom

We’re on the Green Map!

Advertising is an important part of any business.  It is vital to us, as our workshop is tucked away in a very pretty courtyard of offices on Hout Bays Main Road.  We have often joked that we are the best kept secret of Hout Bay!!  Even though we recently added signage to the entrance to the car park in front of the workshop, people often say that they have not heard of us!!!  One of the ways to attract visitors is to get put ‘on the Map’.  There are many tourist information maps available to the visitors to Cape Town but we are sure we are on a winner with this one!!!  The Cape Town Green Map is full of great things to do – places to go – sights to and see  all with the emphasis on leaving  a “lighter footprint”.  When our complimentary copies were delivered we had our picture taken for the Cape Town Green Map’s website – hence we grabbed a few of our goodies – another ‘marketing moment!!!

Rachel, Peggy, Elaine and Helen happy to be 'on the Map'