Words: Tivania Moodley | Images: Supplied
Kylie Bilse formulated the Earth to You brand to offer clients the opportunity to have customised jewellery at an affordable price.
How did your business start?
I have always loved unique jewellery and started making these pieces for myself as I couldn’t find different, eye-catching jewellery locally. I started getting compliments on my jewellery whenever I wore it, so I decided to start making it to sell and it just took off. I like to use semi-precious stones, driftwood and shells as I feel they are nature’s gems.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
The main market that I sell my jewellery at is The Shongweni Farmers and Craft market. It’s located on the outskirts of Durban, among the sugar cane fields, overlooking a gorge with a waterfall. It has a serene, picturesque vibe that’s an attraction all on its own.
How did you find your premises?
I often visited the market and loved the vibe and variety of items they had on offer there, many being hand-crafted and local. I contacted the managers and the rest is history.
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
The market has been around for 20 years and has grown into one of the best markets in South Africa, attracting people from all over. The market’s surroundings have a real rustic, earthy feel and I feel it complements my brand perfectly.
Who are your neighbours?
I have many talented entrepreneurs around me, one of whom is Doug, the silversmith. He creates all his jewellery from scratch.
What are the shop rental / sales prices like in this area?
The rent we pay at the market is very reasonable, at R300 per stall for a Saturday morning.
How many people go through your store each day?
I have about 100 people browsing my stall on an average Saturday morning.
Do you have any expansion plans?
I definitely want to take my business international.
Do you operate online as well?
I have an online store where I have a few of my jewellery pieces for sale and have an active Facebook page (@earthtoyou).
What’s your most popular item?
I sell a lot of the crystal necklaces, especially the pieces with spirit quartz which is only mined in South Africa and has a beautiful, sparkly appearance.
Earth to You
083 391 4224