The Business of Botanicals
In the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of House and Leisure, we stepped inside the home of Chris Willemse and Dané Erwee. Together, they founded floral-design studio, OKASIE in 1999 and since its inception, it has grown to become an internationally acclaimed botanical empire. OKASIE is a trend-setting brand, well known for floral styling that pushes the boundaries of design and aims to inspire and amaze. Its offering includes floral retail, decor and flowers for weddings and corporate events, creative installations and product design. A one-stop destination for all things beautiful. The pair lament the omnipresence of the visual bookmarking tool Pinterest: it's taken what should be clients' individualistic and creative imaginings and damped them down into a 'cookie-cutter template,' they note. 'We strive to do something different. Using a conventional base of, perhaps, roses and proteas, we add aquilegias, clematis, pomegranate branches, waterblommetjies...' Floral design is after all, so much more than understanding which flowers go well together. OKASIE has it down to a fine art. Their work has graced the pages of a number of local and international publications. The brand has become synonymous with its signature bouquets, posies, vases and its own 'Cookie Bouquet' - a decadent hamper filled with an array of delectable treats. Chris is the Head of Finance and Business Administration. He primarily manages client relationships and administration. His considerable knowledge of the floral industry as well as his background in the horticultural industry bolsters his experience as a businessman and the 'numbers guy' behind the OKASIE brand. Dané is a gardener at heart and is the Head of Production and Creative Genius. His creative vision is the driving force behind the OKASIE furniture range, the sourcing of materials and beautiful bespoke concepts. Based in Stellenbosch, a 40 minute drive from Cape Town Central, the OKASIE shop extends beyond a retail destination - it's a sensory experience that is designed to inspire your creative side. They deliver within Stellenbosch and the Winelands. Deliveries within the Cape Peninsula can also be arranged. To discover the magical home of Chris and Dané, and to learn how to create four decadent floral features, get the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of House and Leisure.