Ethereal Bound Journal – Visual Storytelling

Ethereal Bound Journal – Visual Storytelling

[e t h e r e a l] extremely delicate and light in a way that seems not to be of this world.


What a beautiful word, and although Matanna Katz and Liese Kuhn, founders of Ethereal Bound Journal , share similar qualities of ethereality, I can add with confidence, that they are also two energetic, lively individuals, very much of this world who had me up at 7am on a Monday morning for a catch up in the bustling heart of Cape Town.
Meeting with them and listening to their stories and adventures of how Ethereal Bound Journal came to be was an early Monday morning well spent. I think, in fact I know, I walked away inspired and refreshed, motivated to take on a new week. These two inspiring creatives can’t help but spread their ethos of community wherever they go, and definitely splashed a bit my way.

One of the things I love about their amazing business is that it started organically, unplanned and in season. Matanna, having studied Art Direction and Graphic Design, worked on the Espresso show on SABC as well as their sister show, Top Billing, passionate about creating. Liese, an aspiring actress who studied a Bachelor of Arts degree and got a Cum Laude in Live Performance at AFDA, fell in love with visual story telling, met up with Matanna for a possible unrelated project, and they immediately clicked. Their talents meshed together forming something…ethereal. Their compatibility was evident as soon as I heard them casually call each other by their nicknames during our conversation, I won’t say what they are, you’ll have to meet them and ask them yourselves.

Both of them standing behind the camera with Ethereal Bound Journal, they keep it as natural as possible and that is what caught my attention. Their desire to endorse a slower life in their industry is contagious, as I’ve mentioned you can’t help but be inspired after a juice with these two. They consciously plan shoot days so that they can use as much natural light as possible and take as much time needed to give their clients the most beautiful organic shots. With no studio or lighting, they use what nature has blessed us with and simply, make it work.
With a slow living mentality, these ladies are making sure that the bustle of the mother city is not getting them in a spin. Besides drawing inspiration from other creatives, their biggest contributor is nature itself. Depending on what they’re working on, they look at raw textures and the simplicity of the natural fauna and flora around them, something the majority of us look past on a daily basis.

These two city girls, although nestled in the heart of chaos, have chosen to take it slow, one organically inspired story at a time. We are so excited to see what they come up with next. If you’re looking for authentic content or unique story telling, these are the ladies you need to speak to.

Happy snapping, Jessica.

Matanna Katz | Liese Kuhn
Social Media Content Creators |

Ethereal Bound Journal is a collaborative venture of two creative souls;

Matanna Katz and Liese Kuhn, in the pursuit of visual storytelling in savouring life’s unadorned pleasures.

We specialise in creating ethereal, high quality digital content for a variety of businesses and brand’s social media platforms.

Our services provide art direction, photography, food/prop/floral styling, video content, cinematography, graphic design and creative consultancy.

We reside primarily in Cape Town, South Africa, but we are open to traveling locally and internationally on selected projects.

We are currently developing a stone tableware range and a variety of slow living inspired curated authentic South African nature and photographic workshops for 2017.

From the founders.

The Cotton Company – Turkish Towels

The Cotton Company – Turkish Towels

Although these Turkish beauties are not made locally, they are sustainably and ethically hand crafted by a family in the furthest corners of Turkey. With limited access to technology and our fast paced lifestyles, this family still celebrates the joy of…well,family. Rather than chasing riches and fame, they take their time making sure each towel is put together with the necessary time required to produce a well handcrafted piece. A slow living life, hmmm, sounds so attractive! Well, let’s meet the lady bridging these beauties to South Africa.
Who is behind The Cotton Company? 
My name is Madeleine Hugo. After many years of living in Europe and then also Istanbul, Turkey, it was time to come back to South Africa and we settles in beautiful Paarl. I used to work in the wine industry and to have vineyards around me seemed to be important! While living in Turkey, I discovered amazing families still producing Turkish towels and home textiles as they were generations before. We are please to offer these quality products now online in South Africa.
What was the process like getting to this point?
The idea started while living in Istanbul. We used to and still use Turkish towels everyday and it fits in perfectly with our lifestyle in South Africa. I did a lot of market research, read a lot of business books and went to an amazing branding workshop with Anzel van Biljon, from White Kite Studios. I loved every step of creating this business. I always tell myself, ‘Baby steps!’ Things do not happen over night and in the end I will get there. (<– Truth! Preach it sister!)

Are your products locally made? 100% natural textiles? Why?
We work closely with a small family of traditional weavers in rural Turkey to produce our Turkish towels. Our towels are made of 100% premium cotton and hand-finished with tassels on the fringes. The final products are delightful to touch and stunning in their quiet simplicity. With a multiple number of uses from practical beach wraps, sarongs, picnic blankets scarves and throws to quick drying towels, Turkish towels offer an inexpensive little luxury for everyday use.

Would you consider The Cotton Company environmentally friendly?
YES! Pestemals (Turkish name for these towels.) are so lightweight, they are more energy efficient than a typical Terry cloth towel. they dry quicker after use, so they don’t take on a musty smell. The environmentally friendly result – they don’t need laundering as often. And when it comes to washing them, they rake much less space in the washer and much less in the dryer. It is actually better to line dry them. And can I let you in on a little secret – the more you use and wash our Turkish towels the softer they get. (Hello!)

What inspires you?
I get super excited about other creative people. (Us too!) Young people starting their own businesses and getting recognised for the work they do. I love stories of people and listening where they come from. I get inspired by beautiful visuals and travel, foreign languages, amazing scenery and exotic markets. (Oooh!)

What relaxes you after a long day behind the scenes of The Cotton Company?
At the moment I am a South Africa craft gin fanatic, buying every craft gin that is available in South Africa. Again the creativity of South Africans amazes me and warms my heart. I live to eat and definitely do not eat to live. I appreciate good food and wine and my biggest pleasure is finding the next secret spot. It can be a restaurant or some talented person that opened a shop selling what their passion is.

Where can we find you/your products?
I like supporting businesses and do wholesale, but the easiest place to view our Turkish towels is on our website as well as out social media platforms. (See below.)

Let’s get towelin’, Jessica.


Madelein Hugo

The beautiful Madeleine gifted me a stunning grey (favourite colour!) Turkish towel and although it’s a frosty temperature outside, I can still use it as a scarf or a throw. I love that it’s so versatile and easily multifunctional. I get to use it for winter now, but in a couple of weeks, this little grey buddy of mine will be traveling with me all the way to the sunny blue beaches of Greece, where it most definitely will be used as a towel. Conveniently taking up minimal space in my bags and super lightweight. Thumbs up for sustainability!
Jessica Combrinck

W I N ! W I N ! W I N ! 
In collaboration with The Cotton Company, we’re giving away T W O  hand crafted Turkish Towels!
Check out our Instagram for more details.

Lulu & Marula – 100% Natural Skinfood

Lulu & Marula – 100% Natural Skinfood

Just like any successful business, it all starts with one willing person, a great idea and a whole bunch of passion! It wasn’t much different for founder and creator of the natural skincare range that is Lulu & Marula. Jesslynn Schlamm is a local to the beautiful mother city and a very inspiring boss lady. We catch up with her and find out what makes her a creative who cares!

Who is behind Lulu & Marula?
Me, Jesslynn, and a small team of part-time helping hands. For a long time it was only me working on the brand, where I did everything from produce, label, pack and shipping all of the products, as well as managing the online store, all admin stuff, emails, press inquiries and social media. Now, I still do all of that, but I also have an all-gal team that assists with production of all the products, social media and online marketing. (What a boss lady!)

What was the process like getting to this point?
It was very organic (<–We love that), in that it started as a whim, and I slowly built the brand up as my side hustle while still working full time. I’ve slowly moved what was originally my side hustle to become my full time work, and focus more on Lulu & Marula. That’s not to say it was easy – it’s a constant emotional battle of self-doubt and lack of time to get things done! (We think she’s smashin’ it!)

Are your products locally made? 100% natural textiles? Why?
Yes, we make everything by hand ourselves, from the products that go inside the bottles and jars, to the packaging and labelling of everything. All our goodies are 100% natural, made with natural carrier oils, essential oils, clays, herbs and floral waters. This is important to us because your skin absorbs everything you put on it. There is such an emphasis on what we eat and how we treat our bodies, and if this is so important, then our approach to skin care should be the same.(We agree!) Plant based ingredients are powerful healers, and can be super effective at treating all types of skin concerns. I’d rather use the real thing on my skin than something synthetic made in a lab, which is designed to mimic a natural ingredient, where its only benefit is the cost.

Would you consider Lulu & Marula environmentally friendly?
Yes! All our products are biodegradable, and we use glass packaging that can be repurposed (hello cute mini vases, planters, and jars to store your bits and bobs!) (So sustainable!) Plus, we’re conscious about the amount of water and energy we use to produce all our products, minimising what we use to only what i necessary.

What inspires you? 
The place I live – Cape Town’s deep south – I’m surrounded by so much beautiful nature. I’m also hugely inspired by the local female entrepreneurs in this country – they are doing such amazing things to lead their own categories. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

What relaxes you after a long day behind the scenes of Lulu & Marula?
Taking a walk with my pups in the forest or on the beach. They make me laugh so much. I’m a total dog lady.

Where can we find you/your products? 
The full range is available from our online store – You can also find a list of our main retailers there, as we stock some beautiful stores in Jo’burg, Cape Town and Durban.

Take care of your skin, Jessica


Jesslynn Schlamm

Since using Lulu & Marula on my skin, I’ve hesitated putting make-up on. My skin feels so soft and with winter heading in our direction I usually get dry patches on my face, not this time! I’ve been using the balancing cleansing balm and the purifying treatment oil. What I enjoy about the product is the amazing smell from the natural oils, it even helps me sleep better. Very soothing right before bed. I’ve resorted to putting the treatment oil on my husbands face so I can smell it even longer at night. :):) hehe.
Jessica Combrinck

W I N ! W I N ! W I N ! 
Thanks to Lulu & Marula, you could be spoiling your skin with a luxurious facial oil!
Check out our Instagram for more details.

Buying clothes you ABSOLUTELY love!

Buying clothes you ABSOLUTELY love!

Eek, the struggle is real. I have been shopping for a (preferably local) jacket for the past three weeks, which doesn’t sound awfully long, but when your wardrobe is in desperate need of one and it’s kind of chilly outside, then three weeks is forever! Nevertheless, I am still looking. But while on this jacket hunt of mine, I realised that even though I know exactly what I’m looking for, I have no clue what I want! Please say this makes sense to someone out there? I blame this problem on the heaps and heaps of choices we have when walking into clothing stores, as well as Pinterest, erg. Who would’ve thought so much inspiration could lead to so much confusion. Bleh. Regardless, I could spend hours scrolling down their home page. (Insert in love face.)

But seriously though, don’t you feel like the more options you have in front of you, the harder it is to make a decision. It’s like there’s an undiagnosed ‘the-grass-could-be-greener-on-the-other-side’ illness that I’ve been hit with, because mercy me, I could possibly be sitting without a jacket this winter. H E L P !

These days, it’s hard buying clothes we absolutely love don’t you think? Let me give you a scenario: there are five black blazers, that look almost identical but they’re not, this one is shorter, that one has a different zip or button. So which one do you choose? The one you absolutely love? The cheapest one, which usually ends up being the one lacking quality. The best fit? What if that’s three of them? This dilemma usually leaves me paralysed to make a decision and I walk away with nothing afraid that if I bought at least one of them, I would go home thinking about the other options and regret my decision.  This is literally the space I find myself in often.
BUT, there is hope at the end of this fashion dilemma tunnel. Be content! That’s what keeps speaking to me. Jessica, choose the one you notice first, the one that caught you’re eye when you walked in, the one you won’t stop thinking about when you go home. And once you’ve bought it, BE CONTENT! (And stop looking.) Sounds like boyfriend advice. That’s for free. 😉

Happy deciding, Jessica.

S U C C E S S ! So I was eyeing a 100% cotton denim jacket essential, and as described above, contemplated (procrastinated) getting it. I saved it to a wishlist and as soon as I was ready to slam the purchase it went on sale and was no longer available online. Of course no store close to me had my size in stock, bleh. Last week my husband and I ended up in Cape Town for an appointment and decided to try Canal Walk, and mercy me, behind a few jackets, right at the back, hung the last denim jacket, size 8, with MY name ALL over it!
It pays to wait, and be sure of your next purchase. I was not hesitant at all buying this garment. As sure as sure can be and I love it.

W I N ! W I N ! W I N ! 
You and a friend could be chilling hard in an original J E S S G R E E N tee! Check out my Instagram post regarding this giveaway for more details.

OH Simply Granola!

OH Simply Granola!

“for the bon vivant at heart!”

{ n i c o l a  k o k } founder and creator of all things Simply Granola and the nicest little lady you’ll meet in the Helderberg basin. Sitting opposite her on a beautiful Thursday morning in Somerset West, I was able to hear her story and how this childhood staple became a storm that overtook her kitchen overnight. Not only handy in the kitchen, Nicola also juggles a full-time job at The Pretty Blog, and on top of that, a wifey to her husband Dries. The granola magic often happens after hours and on weekends but driven by excellence, this go-getter never compromises on the best quality possible. Growing up, Nicola tells of how her mother made delicious granola for breakfast and how she has adopted this habit and started making granola for her husband, adapting the recipe slightly for a healthier result. Now a one man show, she conquers many breakfast tables outside of her own. Enjoying her handy-work one morning, curiosity from her colleagues at work soon turned into orders which sparked an ember and ‘Simply Granola’ started making it’s mark. It was mid 2016 where Nicola had the opportunity to meet and work with local creative Marize Albertyn from ‘She Is Visual’ who kindly undertook the development and design of ‘Simply Granola’ as we know it today. Learning from the process she says, “It was like 600 lessons rolled into one very short space.” Completely preservative and additive free, Nicola has turned her breakfast option into one of the healthier and better choices for a balanced lifestyle. Instead of sugar, she uses raw honey and sources most of her ingredients locally. Woohoo, we love that! Nicola’s will and perseverance to carry on and make her after hours venture a success inspires me and i’m sure it has the same effect on you. I can’t wait to see what flavours she comes up with next.

1493846220281She now sells her beautifully packaged granola online as well as in stores such as ‘All Things Good Café’ in Stellenbosch. Upon ordering her ‘Classic’ batch she very kindly personally delivered to me not only my order but also a 250g ‘Oh My Cocoa’ packet too! Needless to say, I managed to get about one serving from that packet and the rest my husband can explain. Definitely our absolute fav, but if chocolate is not your thing in the morning (there is something not right if that’s the case!! kidding!), she also has an option called the ‘Peanut Butter Lover’ for those of us bon vivant at heart! Clean, streamlined, and easy to navigate, her website serves to be a doorway to breakfast happiness! Do yourself a favor and place an order for the freshest granola around town.

Happy eating, Jessica.

Photographs by Basque Imagery

Nicola Kok

W I N ! W I N ! W I N ! 
I bet your mouth is watering! For your chance to taste all three flavours of Simply Granola, go check out our Instagram post regarding this give away. You could be crunching away this time next week, the winner get’s three 250g bags with all the flavours!

May We Live With Less

May We Live With Less

This month I really want to focus on less. Less stuff, less distraction, less ingredients, less chaos! In turn, i’m hoping to come out on the other side with more time, more space, more satisfaction and more life! As you will realize, I am a massive advocate for knowledge so I research as much as I can. Google is a close friend and Youtube serves to be a great tool for documentaries that aren’t necessarily released on a big scale. At the moment, I am tickled by ‘minimalism.’

{m i n i m a l i s m} a tool that can assist you find freedom. As defined by two men who call themselves ‘The Minimalists.’

“Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”

I recently watched their film called ‘Minimalism: A Documentary’ and i loved it. I won’t give too much away but they were two guys climbing the corporate ladder together with lives falling apart and in search for their contentment in “stuff.” They realized this was a flawed system and opted out. It’s available on Netflix, (and if you’re like me and uncertain if having a subscription to Netflix is such a great idea, you can just sign up for their one month free trial and opt out before you need to pay anything or commit to a series with 10 seasons.)

We’ve seen similar movements popping up around us that all relate somehow. In the fashion industry we have Fashion Revolution, supporting a more conscious way of buying as well as buying less and sustainably. In the food industry, we see people going back to the basics, living off the land again, literally. Looking for the real organic deal, instead of Monsanto GMO junk. In the lifestyle industry, we see people gravitating towards monochrome spaces, clean lines, less stuff, more room. Our creatives are becoming more innovative in designing for the future, preserving our resources and making sure the way we live now, won’t have such a massive impact on the way we would need to live in the future. Designing smaller houses with more versatility, holding only what we need and not what the world is telling us we should have. Creating shared office space and communal lunch spots where not only are we saving on space but also ressurecting the community aspect that social media and technology steals from us.

This month I want to get rid of what we don’t need, sorting through the essentials and keeping what we actually use. As humans, with a million choices presented to us everyday, it gets hard to say no and to realize when we’re just buying to satisfy a craving, or when we actually need what we’re buying.

Happy cleaning, Jessica.