So last Saturday, the Spruce girls headed to one of our favourite annual events  in Jozi: the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair. Last year was our first time attending the event, and we recounted how amazing it was in a post on the blog. This year was no different; great food, an amazing array of wines, champers and gins, a stunning showcase of design – from fashion and jewellery, to interiors and furnishings, and most importantly a gorgeous, relaxed summer vibe that made it one of the best places to be in the city!

To quickly recap – the fair is aimed at showcasing 120 of South Africa’s top artisans, where visitors are able to interact with the talented producers and enjoy their highly coveted products.

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We loved everything about the fair this year (the sizzling Jozi weather definitely helped out too) so we have decided to put together a list of our top five exhibiters.

  1. Henriette Botha

We’ve been following this stunning jewellery brand on Instagram for a long while and were so happy when we got to meet the lovely Henriette in person. Not only is she super sweet and stylish, Henriette creates the most beautiful and interesting yet affordable pieces of jewellery. She uses the skills of local crafters to produce pieces that include combinations of beadwork, semi-precious stones and crocheting. She also takes the time to ensure that her pieces are made from top quality brass, which are then coated in either gold or silver plating.

Her stand on Saturday looked exquisite and we are definitely coveting many of her items which we both hope to add to our jewellery collection soon.

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  1. 1701 Nougat

It’s no secret we love good food finds, especially when they are good sweet finds! 1701 hands down produces some of the best nougat we have EVER tasted. This Joburg-based, family-run business uses solid copper pots that come all the way from Paris in order to create their delicious varieties of nougat. We had a taste of the almond version and the roasted macadamia variation; both were divine without being overly sweet. We both left with a box of the roasted macadamia as we just could not resist. It certainly didn’t hurt that the design and packaging of the products is inspired from the beautiful Lauderee; classic, elegant and sophisticated.

Do yourself a favour and order some, you won’t regret it!

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  1. Ballo

One of the best things about the HMC fair is that we get to see how many young entrepreneurs are making a name for themselves by creating unique or bespoke products. It is even nicer when you actually know the entrepreneur personally. This is the case with Ballo and Alistair Barnes, the creative genius behind this supper cool eyewear brand. Ballo creates eyewood frames that combine recycled paper and off-cut timber, which are then laminated together to form a unique, durable set of eye frames. Each pair is handmade in their factory in Woodstock, so not only will you be getting a rare product, but Ballo supports job creation in SA.

For more info on these products as well as the list of stores where you can find Ballo eyewear, check out their website here.

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  1. The Counter

Another ah-mazing food find (we can’t help ourselves), but this time slightly different. Instead of operating out of one space, this innovative team of two sells their decadent products and gourmet foods at markets, festivals and restaurants all around Jozi. The Counter also offers catering services, and after tasting one of the best burgers we’ve had in ages you will understand why this amazing duo (Meg and Ian) are becoming so popular.   What is even more amazing (apart from the fudge that we may have stuffed our faces into) is that they have a ‘Love Box’ which you can subscribe to – so every month you can receive a surprise box filled with DIVINE goodies. Definitely our cup of tea 🙂

Make sure you check out their website, and their Instagram feed which is always drool-worthy.

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  1. Zana

Another brand that we have been following on IG for ages and one which we were so excited to meet in person – it’s always good to see that behind a successful brand are wonderful people creating it. We met Melissa Louise, Zana’s interior designer as she showed us some of Zana’s beautiful creations. This all-girl team focuses on producing pieces ranging from beautiful cushions and tableware to quirky prints and essential accessories. Zana designs and produces its own material and patterns, and we just love what the brand exudes; fun, creative, fresh and vibrant.

The company also organizes workshops around the country where you can actually learn their techniques and tricks behind their beautiful range of products.

Their website and online shop is definitely worth a squizz!

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All in all our verdict remains the same as last year: the Sanlam HmC is one of the best days out in Jozi! If you haven’t been yet, we highly suggest you diarise the 2016 event as soon as it’s announced – definitely not one to miss out on!

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