Women’s Month Series – Alexia Klompje
Alexia Klompje and I share a first floor studio in Paarden Eiland with beautiful views of Table Mountain. I only knew her via her brand, Klomp Ceramics, before we moved into together but we have become fast friends and to be honest and I couldn’t imagine not having her in my life.
Alexia has gone through many sea changes over the years moving from architecture to styling and finally settling into ceramics. Inspired by her life, experiences and things around her, each piece of ceramics is part of Alexia’s story.
How did Klomp Ceramics begin?
I was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012 which upon removal left me unable to move the right side of my body. The recovery was slow and as a creative person I needed something creative to do whilst I healed. Unsure of what that was, I had a dream one night and in it this voice told me I needed to start working with clay. That was it. Playing with clay allowed me to express myself, tell my story and heal. And Klomp Ceramics was born.
What has been your biggest challenge in starting your own business?
I’d say self-doubt & fear. Taking your creative passion and turning it into a financially sustainable business is terrifying and takes
heaps of courage.
What is your one piece of advice for small business owners?
Be brave, be sensible, reach out to other small business owners, share & always stay true to who you are.
Can you explain to us a little bit about your creative process? How does the thought behind a new collection begin and how does it grow?
It’s different for each collection. Sometimes a new collection stems from a need to explore, a colour or texture that’s inspiring me or an emotion I need to express. I can say that every collection comes from a story I’m trying to tell. I have an idea and then I run with it!
Is there a particular design or collection that you have created that is just without a doubt your absolute favourite?
The Nebulae Range & my Geometric Jugs have a special place in my heart. Both relate to a very specific, very magical time in my life – a unique part of my journey. I was pregnant with my daughter when I (we!) created the Nebulae Range and I was deeply wounded and trying to come to terms with my new physically challenged body and exploring the concept of perfectionism when I created the Geometric Jugs. The Everyday Range in it’s minimal simplicity is very much where I’m at personally right now – or what I’m striving for at least, so I’m totally in love with that range presently.
How do you feel being a female in South Africa and more specifically, a female business owner in South Africa?
Right now I feel good! I used to find it hard but now I give zero F’s and kick ass proudly as a woman. I have a daughter to inspire!
What are you most proud of in your business?
My personal growth. I feel like I’ve been in an intensive almost 2 year therapy session!
Which strong females have a major influence in your life and/or work?
You! and a few others – previous studio mates Claire Keet from Sentiens, Maria Magdalena from Maria Magdalena Atelier and Carla from Bofred. You all inspire me, keep me going and share with me in such beautiful ways both personally and in business.
I know you’re a working mom, how do you juggle your work life balance?
Haha. Yikes. Trying to strive for the right work/life ratio here as I find that I have zero time for myself right now. But my family comes first, always, and when I’m with them I try to be as present as possible. Then work. Things have been a little topsy turvy of late but I have a really supportive husband who catches the home ball if I I drop it!
When the going gets tough, what is your go-to self love ritual to get yourself back on track? Or what rituals do you keep in place to stay motivated and focused?
Uh, to be honest there’s no self love going on now and I’m consequently burnt out. That’s my next project. I do try to go boxing at least twice a week. This always gets my head clear and lets me blow off some steam!
There is an art in being soft and strong as a woman. How do you find a balance between the two?
This has been a lifetime exploration for me and I think that’s the ultimate balance as a woman. My daughter helps me to stay soft, because I have heaps of strong. Being a mother has softened me in such a beautiful way. Slowing down also allows me to soften and that’s what I’m exploring next too.
When do you feel the best version of yourself?
When I’m momming, quietly playing with clay, out in nature, sharing with an open heart.
What do you think the world needs more of?
Love. Always love. Compassion. Truth. Integrity. Hope.
For more posts like this click here.