The Sassy Six: Our Business and Brand Highlights of 2017

There are a couple of versions of this quote, but I have always loved the essence of it. And too often we get so stuck in the day-to-day of life and running a business that we don’t pause to reflect on, and appreciate, how far we’ve come in only 365 days.

Sugar and Vice Quotes Words to live by

So even though we’re halfway through the third month of 2018 (can you believe it?), I want to take the time to share some of Sugar & Vice’s 2017 achievements.


New Motive hand-built platter range online - Sugar and Vice

For ages now I’ve wanted to create a more bespoke, organic range and was delighted when the opportunity to do so came up. Read more about how that came about here. Motiv is a collection of handmade, organic, contemporary and bespoke hand-built platters with potato prints. See more of it here.


Handmade ceramic range online - Sugar and Vice

For the Motiv range that I created for the European market I had to brush up on my ceramic skills, since I haven’t done anything like that since school (which was close to two decades ago!). It was a wonderful experience to learn from fellow creatives. It was also challenging because it was so different to the kind of design I mostly do, which is illustration.

3.) MADE PORCELAIN PENDANTS FOR NECKLACES (also to be revealed soon)

Handmade and painted porcelain jewellery pendants range online - Sugar and Vice2

I love necklaces (and I am rarely seen without one) and ceramics (see point above!), so why not put the two together? This is also what I love about the Sugar & Vice brand – it allows for creativity and experimentation across disciplines, because ultimately it is about decorating your life… in whatever shape, style or form it may be. As a designer and business owner it’s so important to exercise the creative muscles, because they so easily become “stiff” from too much focus on the business side of things. It’s an ongoing challenge for us designers to be creative, to innovate and to remain inspired and motivated. For me, trying new things is a great way to keep me excited and thinking out the box.

4.) REVAMPED MY OFFICE (will share the photos with you guys)

Revamped home office Pinterest Style - Sugar and Vice

I genuinely believe that beautiful spaces inspire productivity and contribute to our overall happiness. And since most of us spend most of our days working, a stunning workspace is actually essential (and a justifiable expense). Last year I renovated my office, which included having a custom workbench and desk made. It also involved a lot of sorting and organising (you may be familiar with my interest in minimalism…). I love the way plants add vibrance and life to a space so I incorporated lots of greenery too. The office makeover become a manifestation of life coach Gretchen Ruben’s theory that outer order equals inner calm. I love being creative in a beautiful and neat space and I’m so much more productive. WIN WIN.


New website reveal - Sugar and Vice

A website is a lot like a garden. It needs to be tended all the time if it is going to look beautiful and flourish. It’s definitely not something that you just build once and forget about it. I’m always making tweaks to the look and feel of the site, and working to ensure that the user experience on Sugar & Vice is top-notch, but last year we also did a massive upgrade. Of course we documented the whole process and you can read about it here.


Business achievements for 2017 - Sugar and Vice

You might be thinking “duh?” (or whatever the cool kids say these days) but this is a massive feat. When you’re a business owner every month is a challenge and every year that you manage to grow your business is worth celebrating. It’s not always easy but it is certainly very rewarding. It’s hard and stressful but I am glad I keep sticking it out and I’m looking forward to what more 2018 has in store for us.

Natalie Van Dijk - owner and designer

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