Our feature in The Umhlanga magazine

We were so thrilled to be featured in The Umhlanga magazine this past week! Not only do we both love vibrant Umhlanga, but we also both live here (just down the road from each other in fact!). This has become our little playground, and we loved that we could be a part of a publication that celebrates the "aspiring lifestyle of Umhlanga, capturing the best places to eat, the social lifestyle, business interviews and the destinations that must be visited".

We hope a few of you have managed to grab yourselves a copy of the mag, but for the rest of you, we thought we'd share our little Q & A profile on the blog. Enjoy, and happy Friday!

Name: Filipa de Oliveira and Kim Walsh (known as Fil and Kim on the blog)
Age: 25 years
Blog: Durban Lifestyle & Wedding Blog
Career: Graphic Designers / Entrepreneurs

1. Tell us about your blog, what is it called & what do you write about?
Our blog is called Ruby + Swallow, and we started it in 2012 as a space to capture all our creativity as graphic designers. We’re a Durban-based lifestyle blog focusing on our lives around Durban – what we do, what we love and where we go. We’re all about covering major trends (be it fashion, beauty, decor, or photography), sharing interesting things that we love, and exploring our favourite topic: weddings! We love everything wedding related and we post wedding tips, wedding trends, and even wedding venues in and around Durban.

2. Why a blog?
In our opinion, blogs are one of the most useful marketing tools of our day and age. We were so overwhelmed by the massive response we received after starting our blog as a personal and creative outlet, that it gave us the push we needed to start our own business. As well as being a blog, Ruby + Swallow is also a platform to market our wedding stationery business, as it is a chance for potential clients to see our portfolio of work and get to know us. Working as a designer and being a designer are two very different things and we found that the creative fulfilment from Ruby + Swallow far outweighed anything we had ever found in a job. Running a blog was a way to get inspired again and to stay current and relevant.

3. Future of your blog?
After a successful first year, we decided to re-launch and consolidate our brand vision. Our new look is fresh, current and most of all a reflection of our personal design aesthetic. This is the first media platform where we have launched our new brand, so we are very excited about it! We plan to carry on the blog for a long time, with a larger focus on our company. Our core business is about keeping our designs on trend, as well as keeping our customers happy, with a strong focus on customer service, competitive prices and attention to detail. We also have a few other exciting plans for our brand, which we’ll reveal soon.

4. Blogs you love?
Internationally, our favourites include Joy the Baker, A Beautiful Mess, and East Side Bride. Locally, we enjoy too many to name here, but we’ve been impressed by the blog network Tgether, which brings five popular Cape Town bloggers together on one platform.

5. Why should people read your blog?
Ruby + Swallow is unique in that it is run by a duo of young women, who both love design and blogging, and this makes our blog very distinctive amongst others in Durban! We love covering events in and around where we live, so our blog is a great way of finding out about things to see and do in Durban. As a wedding blog, we’re great for any bride starting her wedding planning journey, as we regularly feature bridal fairs, Durban suppliers and venues. We love blogging about wedding trends, so we’re a great resource for ideas too! To share the creative process between two people is very special, and it is the way a lot of our dreams have been born. We’re always on the same wavelength, enjoy working together and truly believe that two heads are better than one; so grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy reading through posts from the Ruby Team.

6. Books on your bedside table?
Filipa is currently reading “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood, while Kim is reading “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. There are also always editions of Women’s Health and Good Housekeeping on Fil’s bedside table!

7. Fave shops?
There are so many! We love Cotton On as their clothes are on trend and affordable, Zara has a great range of wardrobe basics and Lovisa has amazing jewellery. As designers, we adore Typo, as it is an absolute must for anything stationery related.

8. Latest Obsession?
Lately, we’re in love with info-graphic design, and we’re even in the process of designing wedding stationery in this style for two clients. We are also absolutely obsessed with beautiful food photography and Instagram {find us on Instagram with the handles @Kim_RubySwallow and @Fil_RubySwallow}.

9. Fave Destination?
We love Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique for a fun holiday with friends, the Knysna forests for a romantic getaway for two, and Phuket is the ultimate beach holiday destination!

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