Instagram Heroes: 8 Local Businesses We Love

In this week’s edition of Instagram Heroes, we’re shining a light on local businesses – and the savvy brains behind them using IG to grow their brand. From recent start-ups in home decor to well-established names in street fashion, keep reading for some of our faves to follow. 

Using Instagram to boost your craft or business? Submit your work below to be featured and win a ‘1000 Grams of Likes’ trophy!


Wakoyo began its life as a resource reimagining African art in 2013 and branched into a contemporary concept store and lifestyle brand in 2019. The vision? To bring the diverse cultures and styles of the African continent to an international audience. The aim? To deliver a rare mix of decor, music, art, and culture. You’ve probably seen their delightful Upside Down Animals, hand-carved by artisans in Malawi. They’ve got plenty of other beautiful wares too. Follow @wakoyo_ on IG. 


If you’re into sneakers in the slightest then Shelflife is already on your radar. If you’re still on the fence, South Africa’s leading premium sneaker and streetwear store might just convince you to take the plunge. Established in Cape Town in 2006, Shelflife opened their second brick and mortar store in Johannesburg after 10 years of business. They also trade online, with new drops announced regularly on Instagram. Follow @shelflifestore on IG. 


Skoon’s bio line on Instagram tells you what you need to know: “premium non-toxic skincare focused on inclusivity, sustainability and the joy of science.” Working from a Cape farm laboratory, Skoon’s products are formulated using unique South African species like rooibos, honeybush and buchu. Their flexible range can address a variety of skin concerns and you can rest in the knowledge that what you’re using was sustainably made, with the wellbeing of your skin and the earth held in equal measure. Follow @skoonskin on IG. 

The Atrium

The Atrium is an urban plantery and plant styling studio that helps you discover what plants to buy, with expert advice on how to care for them. Sourcing from top plant breeders around the country, this botanical emporium delivers straight to your door… making it easier than ever to kit out your space with a few green companions. According to the founder, “The Atrium is about sharing the joy of plants and making plants accessible to busy millennials who don’t necessarily have tons of space or massive gardens.” Follow @atriumplants on IG. 

The Seen Collective

This relative newcomer is making our cosiest dreams come true. The Seen Collective comprises a group of women hand knitting in Johannesburg with natural, cruelty free fibres. Each luxurious piece is made to order and is therefore unique, custom made to your measurements in the colours of your choosing. What we’ve seen so far from this initiative is gorgeous, and we can’t wait for what’s to come. Follow @theseencollective on IG. 

Skinny laMinx

“Made in Cape Town with good vibes and sunshine,” reads the bio of Skinny laMinx, and we don’t doubt it for a second. Clean pattern designs and unusual colour combinations characterise this studio’s offerings, which range from playful pillows to fabulously upholstered chairs and kitchen essentials. Their Instagram is a feast for the eyes, with plenty of behind-the-scenes videos and styling tips from the brand’s founder, Heather Moore. Follow @skinnylaminx on IG. 


Your search for the perfect tracksuit is over. Another recent start-up, Loskop promotes authentic slow streetwear with trendy, made-to-order trackies. Their pretty pastel-hued designs have amassed a steady following and it isn’t hard to see why. Beneath this candy-coated exterior is a mission to minimise waste and change the fashion industry from the inside out, which is what will keep us going back for more. Follow @loskop_za on IG.

The Urbanative

Multi-award winning studio The Urbanative mixes the functionality of modern materials with the philosophies of traditional African craft. The brilliant team headed by Mpho Vackier aims to tell contemporary African stories through furniture and product design, with all of their pieces manufactured right here in SA. New arrivals to their ever-expanding range include the powder pink Gcina desk and the gorgeous Wambo side table with woven sides. Follow @theurbanative on IG. 

Are you an Instagram Hero?

If you’re a creator or business owner in Sub-Saharan Africa using IG to grow your practice or build your brand, you qualify to enter our monthly Instagram Heroes awards series. The Creator category includes art, design and craft, as well as creatives and makers across all fields. The Business category is for local entrepreneurs, agencies, start-ups and well-established enterprises. Submit your work using the form below before Friday, 22 January 2021.

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