Local Business: Washi Bug

So what type of creative/crafty person doesn't love washi tape?! We love it! We first found out about a local KZN business Washi Bug after seeing them at a few markets and fairs around Durban. They have such a brilliant range of tapes that looking at their products is like being in washi heaven! While they are local for us, their online shop makes them very accessible to the rest of the country too.

They are also one of the awesome sponsors for our Christmas Giveaway (if you haven't entered yet, get on that here!), and we are absolutely obsessed with the gorgeous gold and white washi tape they sent us for our giveaway gift pack - we wish we could keep it for ourselves!

There is no doubt you'll find something you like at their online shop, with over 500 incredible designs. Directly translated "Washi" means "Japanese Paper" and in the words of Washi Bug, loosely translated washi means "A New Crafty Obsession"! You'll be surprised at just how much you can do with washi tape, and once you start, you won't be able to stop.

Washi Bug is also hosting a fun, interactive competition at the moment, where YOUR design could be printed onto washi tape. Isn't that cool? It's so easy to enter the 'Washi This Space' washi tape design competition - you just have to go to their website at washibug.co.za.

We couldn't tell you about a design comp if we didn't enter it too! So here is our entry below: our Ruby+Swallow 'pluses' which have become part of our branding, and we just love the grey and coral! Holding thumbs that we win :)

We interviewed Jaime, the owner of Washi Bug, and you'll find all her answers below about how her business started and where she sees it going.

What is your business name and is there a meaning behind it? 
The word ‘washi’ is made up of ‘wa’ meaning Japanese and ‘shi’ meaning paper. Needless to say we caught the ‘washi bug’ and just had to spread it J

Did your business start off as a hobby or has it been a dream of yours since you were younger?
I began my own obsession with Washi Tape in August last year whilst searching for some new ideas for our wedding guestbook, when I stumbled upon this flexible & forgiving medium. It cost me (or should I say my husband-to-be) a small fortune and a slight re-evaluation of the wedding budget! I started pulling in favours from friends and family from far afield to stock my stash - needless to say this didn't satisfy my needs for long and so The WashiBug was born...

Tell us about your business in three words.
Giving you Craft Blanche (sorry that’s 4 words… )

Tell us about your products in detail.
Washi-tape is a fresh and versatile tool for craft lovers, but it offers so much more and that’s what WashiBug wants to encourage – washi tape is actually everything you want it to be! From decorating a wall to a vase, wrapping gifts or getting creative with stationery or creating boundaries in classrooms or bedrooms; it’s easy and fun to use… that’s how we roll!

Why would/should people buy your products?
We stock a wide range of washi tape, with over 500 designs on our website. We also import the original, superior quality washi tape from Japan - MT were the first to develop washi tape and they have since expanded their range to include a décor selection – perfect for your temporary décor needs.

How do you market yourself and your business?
Our journey began at the Shongweni Christmas Market mid-December and we haven’t looked back since (an early start I might add; a 4:00am wakeup call). Between my mom and dad (I’m so lucky!) and me and my ever-so-willing hubby, we now exhibit at most of the markets in the Durban and surrounding areas – including the new and trendy Market @ The Square. We also featured washi tape at the NWJ Bridal show in February and our biggest achievement this year, has been the East Coast Radio House and Garden Show. Between the four of us working for weeks till all hours of the night, I can proudly say, it was well worth the effort; WashiBug was placed on the map!

Where are you based?
Online, online & online.

What inspires your creative process?
Nature and the many other local creatives out there that push me to up my game

What makes you smile?
The sunshine, a good song and my husband

Right now, what are you happy about?
Our recently launched ‘Washi This Space’ Competition. Contestants submit their unique pattern via the WashiBug website and one lucky winner will have their design printed on two thousand washi-tape rolls, to be distributed throughout South Africa. An opportunity for everyone to express their best and to showcase local creative talent!

I never leave home without…
Clothes, but that’s a good thing right?!?

How can people get hold of you?
Email: spotus@washibug.co.za
Facebook: WashiBug
Instagram: papertreepics
Pinterest: papertreepins/washibug
Twitter: papertreets
Web: www.washibug.co.za