Isla Design’s colourful interpretation of our home-grown wildlife is a wonderful and welcome contrast to the conventionally manufactured toys we so often see. Owner Sam Doe lovingly designs and creates soft toys in a range of vivid colours and patterns in a style she describes as ‘slightly off the wall’. After trying out a range of career paths, Sam finally settled on a livelihood that took full advantage of her creative spirit and channelled it into her own toy business, Isla Designs. Since starting the company in 2011 she has been selling her wares at most of Durban’s popular markets including the foodie and design-led I Heart Market. The toys are great as a cuddly gift, but also work as fun cushions in kid’s bedroom. Created from 100% cotton fabrics sourced from across the globe, in a myriad of beautiful patterns, these special toys are finished off with unique buttons and contrasting wool felt details that add just the right amount of whimsy. Along with her plush and patterned toys she’s introduced a range of art inspired by positive affirmations. Giving locally produced presents supports local trade, and Isla Designs offer the perfect gift just in time for the festive season. Art prices start from R45 and toys from R70. For more information visit isladesigns.co.za, or find her current range during December 2012 at I heart Market in Durban. For bespoke toys contact Sam directly at email@example.com. Text: Nadia van der Mescht Nadia is a creative consultant who has a passion for locally crafted products. She works with fellow creatives to build their brand, online presence and press portfolio. Creativity with integrity is her motto. Read her blog at lovecupcakecouture.co.za.