Q&A with The Desert Rose Project

Hello friends! First of all, my apologies if you stopped in yesterday and found the site down. The bad news is, it was kind of a stressful day sorting that out. The good news is that the reason it all went pear-shaped is because so many of you have been stopping in to check out SouthBound Bride. You crashed the server, y’all! Which is actually a great problem to have. :) Anyway, I’ve made a few improvements, and the site should actually load a little faster for you now too. Thanks for your patience!

On to today’s feature. I am absolutely thrilled to bring this one to you, because it has everything I love. Friendship, entrepreneurship, art and passion for details, and some good old South African ubuntu. What first caught my eye about the Desert Rose Project was the gorgeous wire hangers that had started popping up in South African brides’ dress pictures, a local cousin to a trend that started across the pond, but with a unique African twist. I loved them, but I had no idea where they came from. Then I started working with Yolande Snyders, a Cape Town photographer and one of SBB’s friends and sponsors. I found out that Desert Rose is a joint initiative by Yolande and her friend Tendai, a local wire artist. Not only do I love what Tendai creates, but I was dying to know more of the story and how this unique partnership came about, so I sent over a set of questions to the pair of them, and I’m sharing their answers with you today. I know you’re going to feel as much enthusiasm for this initiative as I do, not to mention wanting your very own piece of Desert Rose art to add an extra something special to your getting ready pictures!

Hi Yolande and Tendai – thanks for answering a few questions for us here at SouthBound Bride! First of all, what is the Desert Rose Project? How did the two of you start working together?
Yolande: Tendai’s life-sized Madiba wire sculpture attracted me. I introduced myself to him after many occasions of passing his roadside “office”, as I like to call it. We both love art and we got on well from the start.
When we collaborated to work on our wedding hanger concept, I decided to start the Desert Rose Project to create a public platform where Tendai’s wire art and talent can reach more people. The Desert Rose Project’s supports Tendai; all the income goes to him. He also employs extra people in the busy months to help him with beading.

How did you come up with the idea of wire hanger art?
Yolande: I believe in recycling and making use of things for more than one purpose. As a wedding photographer, I get to see gorgeous wedding gowns on a regular basis, but they hang on a white plastic hanger that should stay in the closet. I used to carry my great grandfather’s wooden coat hanger with me to weddings for the dress shot, but I found it to be too bulky to complement the dress. My need for something simple but unique gave me the idea for a wire hanger with a difference. Tendai’s talent and creativity produced the beautiful beaded heart hangers that are so popular now.

Tendai, how are the hangers made? How long does it take?
Tendai: I make the hangers with wire and beads. Love, faith and hope gives me the passion to do it wholeheartedly. It takes around thirty minutes to make a hanger, extra depending on the beadwork.

Can brides customise their hangers? Have you had any unusual requests?
Tendai: Any request is welcome, since we have different taste all requests are done. We have had unusual
requests where names are too big for the hanger’s space and different designs instead of our original beaded heart.

One of the things I love about the hangers is that they add something special to those wedding prep shots. Yolande, as a wedding photographer, do you have any tips for brides wanting to get great pictures using the hangers?
Yolande: Yes, I feel strongly about presenting your wedding dress at its most beautiful, so it is important to avoid unnecessary clutter in the background of the shot and to hang your dress on a unique hanger. A wedding dress deserves to be showcased, hanging on a beautiful hanger. ;)
A little tip, buy a “meat” hook from your nearest hardware store, not all hangers have hooks that can twist to hang anywhere and the hook will make it possible to hang your dress from any structure.
Entrance halls or gardens offer other photo opportunities. A wedding dress will also present better if light can wrap around it, not hanging against a flat surface. Be careful though, hanging a wedding dress should be a two-man job – carry the bottom of the dress with a sheet to cover it.

Tendai, where do you find inspiration for your art?
Tendai: Yolande is a mountainous contribution and my family, especially my son, who is doing his third year business management degree, inspires me.

Yolande, what do you think makes South African weddings special?
Yolande: Our wedding venues are set in the most beautiful locations and we are spoilt with great weather most of the year. South African people are always ready to have good time and likes to celebrate at weddings.

How much do you sell the hangers for, and where can brides get hold of them?
Yolande: The Desert Rose hangers start at R65.00 and brides are welcome to contact me at [email protected]

What’s next for the Desert Rose Project?
Yolande: We are working on creative designs for the new wedding season. Something borrowed, something blue.

I’m passionate about…
…the Desert Rose Project because it contributes to the special occasion when two people surrender their lives before God.
Yolande: …photography & life. Through my love for wedding photography I had the privilege to meet Tendai.

If I won the lottery I would…
Tendai: …go in the townships and open a project to teach people how to make wire art, especially disadvantaged children. I would give to a charity organization to run an income-generating project.
Yolande: …not know where to start spending and giving away money. Of course Tendai and I would expand the Desert Rose Project to help others.

South Africa is…
Tendai: …a loving nation, supportive with potential to bring all races to work together regardless your background.
Yolande: …my home, filled with so much beauty and opportunity.

Images: 1, 3, 4: Yolande Snyders Photography; 2, 5, 6, 7: Willem Foster

Contact The Desert Rose Project

Email: [email protected]
Website: www.ysp.co.za/desert-rose-project/ 



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