An exchange of letters: a conversation between Nonhlanhla and Crochet Couture ZA
We spoke to Nonhlanhla Blessing Ndlovu about Crochet Couture ZA, her sustainable creative expression. However, we felt writing this feature in an essay format would not allow you to feel connected to the creator of Crochet Couture. Therefore, we thought it was best, since we asked her to pen a letter to her business in our conversation, to write her story as a letter too.
This is the story of Nonhlanhla and Crochet Couture ZA.
If Nonhlanhla sat down at a desk to pen Crochet Couture ZA a letter, it would read:
‘Dear Crochet Couture ZA,
Sometimes my mind takes me to a time that is long gone, to the moment I first laid my eyes on you. You have held my hand throughout and I am thankful for the peace and serenity you have brought into my life.
Through you, I have not only learned how to crochet, but I have learned how to give attention to detail, how to have time to myself, how to be at peace and constantly remain calm. There is no other thing I am thankful for more than the lesson you have taught me about the existence of beauty in being patient to see beautiful things arise. You are a reminder that there is beauty in things that take time. And since everything that flows from you is handmade, that makes it even more precious.
I am forever grateful.
And if her beautiful handmade creation could write back, we imagine that it would retell their story. And maybe it would go something like this:
(Everything written below is based on the story Nonhlanhla told us of Crochet Couture ZA).
Our story began seven months ago during the time the country had to stay home at all times with three words in the YouTube searchbar. A how to crochet and the a single click from you is how I conceived. And you have not let go of the wool and needle since.
My name, Crochet Couture ZA, mirrors what I am, crocheted garments, and how I am created, by hand. The ZA reflects our place of origin, South Africa.
It is from the depths of your heart to the palms of your hands and the motion of your fingers that all of me is given new life. Every single strand that comes from you is a continuous pattern of my rebirth. I say this because Crochet Couture ZA is born every time you produce a garment.
In addition to this life that you provide me always, it warms my heart to know that I am not just a newfound hobby discovered during a strange time in the world. I say this because you inherited your love for using your hands to create from your mother. Having grown up with a mother who is a tailor and who took the time to sew your Sunday Best outfits for church weekly, Crochet Couture ZA is something that connects you to the woman who gave you life. Additionally, in the same way her creation of your Sunday Best outfits was an addiction, so are my rebirths to you. And to know that Crochet Couture ZA was wanted wholeheartedly is beautiful.
You saw the need to make room for sustainable fashion in South Africa through crocheting. May you never stop making room for what the world and Mother Nature need (from fashion).
Thank you for being inspired to never give up on every garment. Here is to more searching and discovering patterns on Pinterest. Here is to creating more for women and opening our arms wide for others to also wear us.
Crochet Couture ZA.’
To be a part of their story and learn more, visit: https://www.instagram.com/crochetcoutureza/.