News & reviews: Karoo pioneers, luxurious jewellery and boutique perfumeries

Stellenbosch Visio social editor MIRANDI NEL explores the new Boutique Haute Horlogerie in the Mother City, takes a perfume personality quiz, chats to the folk behind the Karoo Farm Box, finds out more about new transportation service She-Cab, and celebrates Usiko Stellenbosch’s 20th anniversary.

Boutique Haute Horlogerie

Boutique Haute Horlogerie 

Architects of Time is behind the new Boutique Haute Horlogerie concept store in the V&A Waterfront. The flagship store, with its minimalistic design and vibrant interiors, offers clients the opportunity to immerse themselves in the different worlds of the many brands. Customers may make use of a private lounge to view and try on the pieces in store. Adjacent to the multi-brand gallery, a space is dedicated to Chopard watches and jewellery, while other timepiece collections are on offer from Ulysse Nardin, H. Moser & Cie, Parmigiani Fleurier and Zenith. Dior Haute Couture, Hermès, Bulgari and Ebel are also represented by new collections. And according to Architects of Time, “The mould-breaking and rocking Messika diamonds jewellery gives the final touch of sparkle to this exclusive assortment.”


AuraVera, boutique perfumery

AuraVera was born from the uncertainty that swept the globe in 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. “To keep up with the world of tomorrow, we need to not only invent new ideas and products, we need to reinvent ourselves, again and again,” says the Aura-Vera team. Supported by strong science, psychological theory and artificial intelligence, it aims to help everyone who visits its online perfume store to understand and embrace their ‘superpowers’ and then pair these characteristics with customised perfume formulations that enhance the expression of the individual. Ready to create your custom fragrance? Then take the perfume personality quiz on the website.

Karoo Farm Boxes

The Karoo, boxed

Lani Lombard and her son-in-law Louis Steyn are the heart and brains behind the Karoo Farm Boxes that wrap up luxury items produced in the Karoo and surrounds and send them across South Africa and the world. “The year 2019 will forever be etched into our DNA as a year of hardship, desperation and drought. But out of that desperation grew eternal hope. When many farmers and their wives had no resources left, people from across our incredible country started packing boxes.” 

Inspired by the kindness of strangers all round the country, Lani and Louis decided to keep this spirit of giving alive and at the same time support Karoo pioneers and entrepreneurs in the throes of the drought. They pack their themed Farm Boxes with Karoo merchandise, thereby supporting the arid region’s farmers and small business owners as well as their workers. “Luxury is at the centre of our product and even though the concept is a humble one, our guarantee is that the boxes will always be packed with superior-quality goods,” the team says.

Safety for women on the move

In view of gender-based violence in South Africa, She-Cab has been set up as a transportation service for women by women to ensure safe travels. “We are currently operating through WhatsApp and hope to one day build a platform that will be able to connect female drivers with female passengers,” says the team. “The service is currently available only for Stellenbosch women, but we will branch out when we have the resources and platform to expand.”

Good to know: Contact them on WhatsApp, +27 (0)66 565 2560.

Logica Celata Bar

Logica Celata Bar

Master of kitchen design Valcucine has completed a unique installation in its Cape Town showroom: the new Logica Celata home wine bar, available in a variety of finishes. Its ergonomic and distinctive design transforms a working bar into a piece of art, with functional beauty as the result. Designed by Gabriele Centazzo, this latest model is the product of incredibly thorough research into the ergonomics of kitchen design and the most effective use of space.

As well as the wine bar, kitchen and food preparation models are available, each designed to meet the client’s needs. The plug points of the Logica Celata models can easily be moved to the most convenient position and for optimal use of space. Careful thought has been given to lighting, too, as it plays an integral part in how we feel. The wave of a hand controls the lighting behind the backsplash, for example, creating a mood in the kitchen that is specific to each person and occasion.

Good to know: To view the new Logica Celata Bar, join the team for an espresso in the showroom at 117 Strand Street or call them on +27 (0)21 035 1737.

Usiko Stellenbosch celebrates 20 years


Usiko Stellenbosch, based in Jamestown, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. The non-profit organisation (NPO) is known for its use of a ‘rites of passage’ approach, which provides guidance to at-risk young people who encounter psychological and social challenges that emanate from their communities. It uses mentoring, wilderness camps and group activities to help young people understand the value of education and empower them to work towards a hopeful future.

“We are grateful for 20 years of Usiko and excited because I think we are one of a select few NPOs that have made it to 20 years. It’s also my 20th anniversary at the organisation, which has meant 20 years of growth for me as well,” says Arnold Okkers, Usiko’s current executive director. “We have become stronger and are reaching out with our networks, which are not only in South Africa – we have strong international relationships, too. In this way we are able to give our participants more scope and opportunities to reach for their dreams. We have worked with more than 17,000 learners and, indirectly, their families, thus making a difference in the whole community,” he adds. 

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