There’s definitely no shortage of local women who create beautiful things. And as part of our commitment to inspire you to run fearlessly in the direction of your dreams – and pursue the things that allow your mental health to thrive – allow us to introduce you to N.Be_Love founder Neo Mutuma.
Through her three-year-old homeware brand, the former magazine creative director creates distinct pieces using cement that look and feel like timeless art pieces. And it all began when, during a walkabout at a popular Joburg creative hub, she spotted beautiful cement pieces that she felt were overpriced. A week later, she was playing around with cement creating and painting coasters that far surpassed her own expectations.
More than anything, Neo found healing in expressing herself through this form of self-taught art therapy. From there, what started off as a hobby grew into a fully-fledged business aimed at creating original one-of-a-kind pieces to adorn homes and spaces of art appreciators.
“N.Be_Love means the greatest virtue is love,” explains Neo. “This ethos flows into all aspects of the brand. Every item is handmade, carefully crafted and packaged with love.”
READ MORE: Meet Makori Mosiuoa Of Nahla Sleepwear
What’s a typical work day in your life like?
Being a solopreneur means I have my hands full daily. I take care of all the runnings of my business from raw material to delivery. On a typical workday, I’m in my workshop, listening to a podcast or music while fulfilling orders or creating new designs. On a less dust-filled day, I’m packaging and sending off products to my valued clients or taking photos and updating my online store.
How would you like N.Be_Love to land in the hearts and homes of your clients?
I would like N.Be_Love to be recognised as a brand that offers decorative pieces which are unique and feel like art pieces in the home. The tones and textures I use and create offer a serenity and tranquil aesthetic to spaces, that’s the atmosphere and sentiment in which each piece was created; from a calm soul.
How has your transition to entrepreneurship been?
Initially, it was quite turbulent, I found it hard to find my feet and hone in on one vision. Transitioning from being an employee, expecting a salary every month to not making ends meet some months presented new challenges and required a huge adjustment from me. It’s mental gymnastics. I quickly recognised the privilege of holding down a nine-to-five but with God’s grace, I eventually found my rhythm and figured out what is most essential and what I really need.
Talk us through your wellness journey. In essence, what holds you together?
Unequivocally my faith holds me together, hands down. It is literally the glue that keeps me balanced. Over the past few years, I have come to a new appreciation of God’s presence in my life and I feel more connected.
Rediscovering the love of working with my hands has been a great gift that came out of the distressing years of Covid. Art therapy has always been one of the best tools in my healing kit, second to that is retreating to nature and enjoying safari landscapes – they feel like home.
What wellness practice reminds you to stay on track when the going gets tough?
Gratitude. It’s one of the three core values in my family. Practising gratitude keeps me conscious of what I have gracefully granted unto me. When I bring myself back to a state of gratitude I’m able to see, even in tough times, that I have a lot more to be thankful for. This also elevates my creativity which is the one tool I need to overcome most obstacles.
What inspires your designs?
Nature; it’s textures and warmth and unadulterated rawness. Nature doesn’t need anything else to be breathtakingly beautiful and worthy of admiration.
What can we expect from N.Be_Love in the coming months?
More beautiful and larger pieces, new textures and new colours. My goal is to find N.Be_Love a physical home in homeware and decor stores, tourist markets and interior design studios.
Where can we buy your items?
From my online store at www.nbelove.co.za