art, Interviews

Amanda du Plessis: Evolution Products

Janus Boshoff
amanda du plessis I was born and raised in Pretoria in a gorgeous thatched-roof house filled with colour and texture. I create the Evolution range and homeware products for local and international clients. The thing I like most about my work is discovering nostalgic narratives about South Africa and elsewhere, such as the stories of outsiders who fell in love with our country or the people who came from different backgrounds and professions and were urged to create visual representations of the magic they experienced here. My earliest memory of beautiful design is my mom’s clothing and the pieces of shweshwe and Liberty prints I had to sort in colours for her quilts. My personal style is classic with a twist. My top local textile designer is Jenny Gifford. We met years ago while I was sourcing products for Stuttafords. She’s an incredible, original, authentic textile artist with an exquisite sense of colour. I bought my favourite cushion from her 10 years ago. My favourite item at home is my husband, Rudolf. He’s drop-dead gorgeous, calm, shy, humble, a great partner and the best dad our boys could have wished for. My go-to comfort food is slices of apple layered with almond butter, an idea I got from my friend, Amanda Webber. My kitchen-cupboard staples are gin and tonic. My favourite restaurants are in Melville: The Great Eastern Food Bar for its salmon tacos, and The Leopard for its white anchovies. I always travel with a soft, navy wool scarf with a subtle script that my mom bought me in Amsterdam. I’ll never forget my trip to Poland. I visited Auschwitz, which was riveting, and Kraków, a creative surprise. My next dream holiday destination is the Eastern Cape. I don’t know this part of the country at all. My greatest regular indulgence is spending time next to a sports field watching my boys. If money were no object, I’d treat myself to a trip to Japan to visit my darling friend, Liz. I’m currently reading Autumn by Ali Smith and Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit. I hate it when people are unkind. I’m not good at fitting all that I want to do in one day. I get up most mornings at 5am to train and prepare my children’s breakfasts or lunchboxes before heading into the office where admin, clients, production and marketing take up most of my day. I then collect my boys from whichever activity they’re at, help them with their homework and, in between all that, catch up with friends and family. When Rudolf arrives home, I might watch Father Brown with him before bed. In my next life I would come back as my mother. She’s the wisest person I know. This story was originally featured in House and Leisure’s May 2017 issue.