A woman making a difference. Interview with Helette Pieterse

A woman who believes in the power of hope and the positive change it can bring to our country. We sit down with Helette Pieterse, CEO of MAD Leadership Foundation and chat to her about what motivates and inspires her on her quest to #MakeADifference.


Having studied Accounting and then post-graduate studies in Value and Policy Studies and Education Policy Studies, the first part of Helette's career was working in Finance as a Financial Director.


"I am a true believer in the power of Education and how it can change the world and I am very fortunate to now have a job where my passion meets my background and experience."

- Helette Pieterse 


What made you join MAD Leadership Foundation? 

I realised that I needed to do work that was meaningful to me. As I've said, I'm a true believer in the power of education and how it can change the world. This quote by Nelson Mandela says it so well: “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.” Education breaks down walls and opens doors. When I saw this opportunity at MAD Leadership Foundation advertised I knew this could be the meaningful work I wanted to do. What I like about MAD Leadership Foundation is the personal approach to providing comprehensive support to each individual scholar on the programme - it makes a sustainable impact. 


What are your dreams for the future of the Organisation? 

I have many dreams and big ones. But the first one to mind is the dream of 1000 leaders on the programme. That is the ambitious goal we set for ourselves - to have 1000 scholars on the programme - can you imagine the impact and ripple effect if we can have 1000 young people with leadership potential have an opportunity to realise their dreams and ambitions without placing the burden of the financial implications of a good education on their families who are already struggling to make ends meet. 


What’s the most rewarding part of your job? 

This is a difficult question. There are so many elements to this job that makes it rewarding: the shared joy when we tell an applicant and their family that they will be receiving a scholarship; the interactions with our scholars who have the ability to energise and inspire me; the interactions with our loyal supporters and partners; the synergies we discover with like-minded individuals and companies, like our relationship with Rialheim. All these things give me hope for the future of South Africa and that is rewarding. 


And the most difficult? 

Not being able to help every deserving young person who apply to join our scholarship programme. 


What advice would you give to your younger self? 

I would borrow this piece of advice from the Greek Philosopher, Epictetus: “The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control." 

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Being a woman, how important is it for you to inspire other women in business? 

As a woman, I hope to inspire not only other women in business, but women, and especially young girls in general. It's not always easy, but it really is worthwhile to see the magic that happens when your voice is heard, when your opinion matters and it is acknowledged that a woman's perspective adds value. However, because it's not easy women often forget to acknowledge and support each other. I want young girls to truly believe that they can achieve anything they want to. 


What is your advice for success? 

Work hard and dream big. 


Who has been your biggest inspiration? 

I have had many people in my life who inspire me, who make me want to do better, to be better. But if I had to single one person out it would be my Mom. She has shown me how to be a strong and independent women, but also she has taught me compassion and empathy and I am truly grateful because this has helped me find my purpose in life.  


How has working with Rialheim been? 

It has been inspirational, an absolute pleasure. The thing that makes it special is the intent, values and beliefs of the people of Rialheim. Working with an organisation who also strongly believes that South Africa's future is bright and that we have a responsibility to help build that future is what makes it very special. 


What would you like your legacy to be? 

To have paved the way for whoever comes after me to have a strong foundation upon which they can build and improve.  


One quote to live by? 

I love words and have many, many quotes I believe is worth taking note of, so this is not a quote, but a motto that drives me - "Privilege entails responsibility." 


What more can we expect to see from you? 

I would love to say that you can expect to see me help fundamentally change our education system for the better so that every child in this country has a fair chance in life, but that is my big dream. The only thing I know for certain is that you can always expect to see me work passionately towards making the world a better place.


If you would like to donate towards to the foundation please use the widget below.

* Donation in ZAR
Darryl Gouws
Styling tips by interior designer, Lauren Egan

Styling’s fun, right! It’s a chance to play around with nice things (my favourite things are ‘nice things’) and put them together to make it look, well, even nicer. I recently got a chance to play around from nice things from Rialheim at Design School at a shoot for The Block Shop. The brief for the shoot was pretty open: have fun and provide images that demonstrate how the products can work together, which gave me and my “Style Buddy” Laura Stanley, pretty much carte blanche on what we’d like to pair together to make styling magic (IMHO).

We immediately gravitated towards the Rialheim Humanity Face Bowl because of its versatility (it’s a plant holder! No wait: it’s a bowl! No wait: it’s a sculpture!) and it had a point of interest in its shape and form, without being that bowl at the party that’s all “Look at me! Look at me!” (those bowls are so irritating, amiright!). We used it predominantly as a planter as it’s hard to not put a plant in a pot that has a face - which if I’m honest – can sometimes look gimmicky, but as this piece is quite elegant it absolutely worked for our left of centre aesthetic.

Look, I don’t want to give the impression that Styling is as simple as ‘pick a bowl, put a plant in it’! What is made to look glamourous through the lens is balanced out by a complete lack of glamour and a good dose of chaos behind the lens. An explosion of bubblewrap, double sided tape stuck to your face, anti-gravity moon walking to avoid tripping on photography cords, and guaranteed everyone’s running around in yoga pants and sneakers. There’s an obsessional amount of tweaking – constantly moving and twisting things by millimetres, adding and removing objects to get the balance just right. But gosh, it’s a good feeling when you get that perfect shot in the bag.

Thanks Rialheim for bringing the ‘nice’ things for us to play with – we’ll be back for more!

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Behind the scenes of The Block
We chat to Harrie Colella, The Block Popup Shop Manager

We chat to Harrie Colella, The Block Popup Shop Manager

My journey began with The Block Shop in early January 2018, after receiving a message from Block Shop co-founder, Sarah Armstrong, and Design School teacher (and former block contestant Jenna Densten), both suggesting I strongly consider a new job opportunity. I was correcting grade 2 spelling tests at the time and almost fell off my chair, unable to focus for the rest of the day, I was so excited! It was a no brainer- I HAD to take the gig, even though I had no idea what the gig was- ha! I decided to put my job on hold as a primary school teacher for the upcoming year, as I had just completed a certificate IV at Design School in Abbotsford and knew an offer like this was rare and highly sought after for Design graduates.


I had NO idea what I was in for or what my new job even entailed, but I was wide-eyed and keen to delve into any task given. Having been a long time fan of the television show (The Block), I was SUPER excited to be apart of it all and soak up any experience possible. I soon learned that 2018 was the first year that The Block Shop was set to open a pop up store opposite new block in St Kilda, and I would quickly need to source enough stock to fill a shop!


Setting up the pop up store began only three and a-half weeks prior to launch night. Its purpose was to showcase a small percentage of the great products that were stocked in the online store, and give local artists a platform for contestants to see their work. I had to job of contacting suppliers and ordering enough products to fill a very large, (still under construction) shop. I wanted to source eccentric and quirky items that would suit the Gatwick perfectly. The fast paced work environment was unfamiliar and something I quickly leaned to keep up with. Much like a frantic Sunday morning on The Block, the 24 hours leading up to launch night was a rush to the finish line, swiftly unpacking boxes with trinkets of all sorts, hanging art and deliberating the all important cushion placement in-store. 


The launch night was a huge success, contestants old and new came to check out the shop and sink a champaz or two. The common consensus was not only that this will be perfect to style new Gatwick, but also just what Fitzroy Street was missing. The next day, we were open for business! Whilst the show was in production my main focus was to assist contestants in getting our amazing products into their apartments. The shop was always full of people and a really fun place to be in, between the crew, contestants, sales assistants and suppliers -we were working at a million miles a minute. Saturday afternoons were always the most frantic, having contestants making last minute purchases, soon becoming very tight-knit with this years bunch, as they knew they could con me into keeping the shop open until 7pm! The long hours and endless hustlin’ were well worth it, as this season will see a record amount of Block Shop products used in the styling of The Gatwick.


The Block was in production for 12 weeks and week-by-week, the Block Shop team and myself were always ecstatic when hearing that our products featured in a room reveal of a Sunday. For me, my FAVOURITE job was calling supplier and delivering them the good news that their product/s will be seen on this season of Block. The Block Shop pride ourselves on stocking the shop with many small Australian businesses that are always overjoyed and grateful knowing their work will be seen on such a large platform. 


The weeks after filming wrapped up were strange. The twelve-week hustle and bustle was over in what seemed like an instant and the shop was oddly calm and still. I felt like a retired empty nester, having had my children (the contestants) move out of home and not need me anymore! I would call and send messages like “How is life?” and “What are you up to? I miss you!” When they come and visit I whack them and say “Why don’t you come and visit me anymore? “After I had gotten over my fleeing “children”, my focus was back on getting the shop ship-shape for while the show is on air. We are hoping to have lots of visitors to both the Gatwick across the road and the shop! I have been busy ordering lots of products and artworks that will feature on the show for our soon to be customers. We are waiting in anticipation for Sunday, August 5th- our air date! I can’t WAIT to share this amazing series with everyone, it’s the best one yet! You can follow the fun on Instagram

-Harrie x

Win a Rialheim shopping spree for you and your bestie
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Love Rialheim? Looking to upgrade your home décor or impress with your next dinner party? This August, we’re giving away two R1000 shopping vouchers, one for you and one for your bestie to use on any Rialheim products. Because we love giving and shopping is always more fun with your bestie! Leave your details below to enter! 

Winners will be announced on 07/09/2018. T&C's apply.

Darryl Gouws
Rialheim and MAD Leadership Foundation partner for THEMBA
Meet Sithembile. This is her story of how MAD Leadership Foundation gave her hope. "Ngiyabonga Kakhulu" to you for investing in the future leaders of South Africa. // Created by Slingshot Media //

#DreamBelieveFly is in Rialheim’s DNA. Rialheim was born out of the need to create and it was that need that created a dream. While we are self confessed dreamers at Rialheim one of our secret dreams is to see how achieving our dreams can affect our team members positively. How every time Rialheim reaches a new milestone, it creates pride and joy for our team, how their dreams became our dreams and sometimes we even have the privilege to see how their dreams become a reality. It’s an honour to see this impact on real people and to be so close to the team. 

Four years ago, on Nelson Mandela Day, we publicly committed ourselves to create 25 jobs. That Dream became a reality and thats why #DreamBelieveFly is in our DNA. In reaching one’s dream there is a secret ingredient which we call magic. In Rialheim’s case the magic is our team members and clients who enable us to fly. All dreams needs magic to fly. The magic of life is also the undefinable and beautiful part of life. 

As we live the journey of Rialheim we sometimes have the opportunity to meet people and organisations that share our DNA. However consuming that journey might sometimes be, we are forced to open our eyes to see the magic people do around us. Even after years of being involved with Make A Difference Leadership Foundation I was recently forced to see the magic they create. If you ask me in one sentence what the magic in Make A Difference Leadership Foundation is, I’ll tell you that they don’t only believe in other people’s dreams but they are the magic that make these dreams fly. 

In the words of their founder, Francois Pienaar, 

“ Imagine, if we could grow an army of young leaders who care about this country, who who cares about society, who care about the community. What a powerful force for change that could be.” 

I’m truly fascinated by the prospect of such a dream and completely absorbed in how MAD creates this magic. 

In honour of a great leader that walk the walk and talk the talk, Rialheim is extremely proud to take our relationship further with Make A Difference Leadership Foundation as a tribute to Nelson Mandela Day. Make a Difference Leadership Foundation will be our official partner going forward therefore enabling us to invest in the leaders of tomorrow. 

We are proud to announce that Rialheim will co-host the inaugural Themba event hosted on the 27th of September 2018 at The Fox Junction in Johannesburg. 

About Themba

MAD Leadership Foundation presents Themba, in partnership with Rialheim, an event celebrating hope, trust and faith.

Themba combines an appreciation for South African art, heritage, and philanthropy with delicious South African-inspired gourmet food, award-winning wines, live entertainment and both a silent and live auction boasting a wealth of artistic talent.

Date: Thursday, 27 September 2018

Time: 18h00 for 18h30

Venue: Fox Junction Event Venue,1 Fox Precinct,14 Alexander Street, Ferreirasdorp, Johannesburg

Cost: R1500 p.p or R15 000 for a table of 10

Dress-code: Black-tie

For more information please visit http://madleadership.org/event/themba/ and follow THEMBA on Facebook & Instagram



We challenge you to join us with the mad leadership foundation on our journey to create an army of future leaders in South Africa:

Name *
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Darryl Gouws
From Africa to Australia with love

by Marlene Harris


Home is where the heart is and for me home is a place where there is love, be it the people that you love or the things you love. Being an adventurer and having travelled the world there have been several cities which I have called home. I currently reside in Melbourne with my Ozzie husband and two South African born boys and have happily called Australia home for a couple of years now.

If I were asked to describe myself in one word, it would be plaasmeisie translated to English as farm girl. I had the great privilege to be raised on a farm and therefore I naturally gravitated towards Rialheim’s Brave Collection when I first saw it. One of my favourite pieces is the Fierce Planter which rekindles fond memories of visiting my Aunt Bessie on our family farm where she would use big tin cans filled with a variety of bulbs as ornamentation on her patio. Another item which brings me absolute joy is the Pig Bowl which, in my opinion, is one of the most versatile pieces and brings a smile to everyone’s face.

I miss home in South Africa and for that reason I like to surround myself with the beauty of Rialheim which brings me joy and makes me never forget. I feel privileged to be able to share my country and my story through each and every piece and look forward to everyone creating their own stories with Rialheim.

Attending the Reede Gift Fair in Melbourne is very exciting as it creates a platform to tell our story and to share the hopes and beliefs of our beautiful country and our wonderful artists, who through their hands manage to touch the lives of many including the people in Australia.

Darryl Gouws
Good vibes only on the International Day of Yoga

by Marlien Wright from The Yoga Kitchen


Celebrating International Yoga Day for me is about setting good intentions and transforming #badvibes into #goodvibes. My intention for the remainder of this year is to be kind to myself, the planet and others, for me that means letting myself and others off the hook for past mistakes and approaching the future with a clean slate. Below is a lovely soup recipe served up in beautiful Rialheim ceramics. This soup is 100%  nourishing and delicious.

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Beetroot Bliss

Serves 2

The fibre in beetroot has been shown to increase the number of white blood cells, which are responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells. Beetroots have been ranked as one of the 10 most potent antioxidant vegetables and are also one of the richest sources of glutamine, an amino acid, essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract.


8 medium beetroot, washed, topped and tailed, then quartered

1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes (dried chilli)

2 cups of vegetable stock, or chicken broth

¼ cup of coconut cream

Pink or sea salt to taste

Garnish: Coconut Dukkah

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Add absolutely all the ingredients APART from the coconut cream to a soup pot, and bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat to allow simmering for approx.60 min.

Next take the pot off the heat, and allow cooling for 5 minutes, then blitz it to a silky smooth consistency with your hand blender. Serve with a swirl of coconut cream and crunchy Coconut Dukah.

For more information and recipes like these please visit http://www.yogakitchen.co.za and be sure to look out for Marlien's latest book, The Mandala Kitchen launching soon.


A dream making its way to France

By our Creative Director, Rial Visagie


The beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence where this year's salon Vivre Côté Sud takes place.

The beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence where this year's salon Vivre Côté Sud takes place.

As long as I can remember, I have always been accused of not being in the moment or paying attention. I’m a self-confessed daydreamer and quite proudly so. To me, dreams are the first draft of the future. Nowadays I often get lost in conceptualisation while interacting with people, perhaps a product of my social safety zone or more politely a problem-solving skill.


To suffer from daydreaming may in some ways be compared to the dreaded Man Fluin that it is often frowned upon by society. Being a creative, my interaction with people frequently leads to product development and sends my brain into overdrive while someone is trying to have a nice chat. This process can be exhausting and very much like man flu is difficult to understand unless you suffer from it yourself, new products creep around the crevices of your mind and you never know when they will present themselves.


Rialheim was really born out of the need to create, the spin-off being the magic that occurs when we fulfil our destiny and follow our dreams. 18 months ago at the Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Food, Wine & Design fair in Hyde Park, I met a beautiful young French woman by the name of Julie and by the end of our conversation a new dream was born. With our shared passion for South African design, Julie Hatchuel invited Rialheim to be part of the 40 local designers showcasing at the BVH Le Marias in Paris last year – a show which she curated.


This year another dream becomes a reality as Rialheim is about to attend the Salon Vivre Côté Sud in Aix-en-Provence, France in partnership with Julie. Any partnership needs bravery and will evolve everyone involved. As we get ready to fly to Paris, I remind myself that without dreams and bravery there’s no evolution.


This adventure to Salon Vivre Côté Sud can be any daydreamer’s dream. 


“If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough”



Rialheim redecorates Fazenda Mountain Cabins
Fazenda Mountain Cabins in Swellendam, South Africa

Fazenda Mountain Cabins in Swellendam, South Africa

Situated in the scenic Hermitage Valley in Swellendam, South Africa; Fazenda Mountain Cabins offer a picture perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.  When Marilouise van der Merwe and her husband added the cabins to their property portfolio, the Decompanjie Collection, they immediately knew that they wanted to work with the existing structures whilst enhancing the contemporary African theme.


“Any renovation is very time consuming and requires abundant creativity to transform something basic and mediocre to an interior and design masterpiece! One of my secrets is using bespoke yet functional pieces to accentuate any interior and Rialheim is always my first choice” says Marilouise.


Using a mix of styles and textures including wood and stone, bespoke Rialheim tiles were adorned to the wall forming the headboard; the look completed with hanging Rialheim lights on either side creating a modern bedside lamp whilst freeing up space on the pedestals. Stepping into the bathroom, the country style effect has been highlighted with floor to ceiling wall tiles and completed with the Rialheim wise old monkey – a tribute to the natural surroundings of the cabins and the fauna that inhabit the mountains. A clever use of décor pieces including the Industrial Candle Sticks & Large Cow Skull combined with functional items such as the Khoi Bowl complete the look whilst paying homage to the beauty of Africa.


For more information on Fazenda Mountain Cabins please visit their Facebook or Instagram pages. 



Crafting magic for Design Joburg
The Rialheim stand at Design Joburg 2018

The Rialheim stand at Design Joburg 2018

It’s seven o’clock in the morning on Clairvaux Estate in Robertson and unlike other farms in the Robertson Wine Valley, 13 artisans start to arrive to switch on the clay mixer in preparation for a day of crafting magic. Plaster of Paris is moulded to make way for new products and new ideas while on the other side of the studio products start being glazed while kilns are being unpacked. 



By no means is it a normal morning for our sales team. In Johannesburg, the birth place of Rialheim, it is abuzz with activities to get ready for the much anticipated Design Joburg. Visitors can expect to see the very best of our Brave 2017/2018 Collection as well as our latest tile collection which has been developed over the last two years with one of South Africa’s most amazing interior designers, Megan Ralph. These tiles are living proof that if you can dream it, we can make it and we’ll even add a dash of magic ourselves. 


For our creative team, under the leadership of Rial Visagie, there is a sense of nervousness & excitement in the air as we get ready to show a selection of our newest collection to be launched this spring. Entitled Evolution this collection draws it inspiration from Being and Becoming. Be ready for the unexpected since this collection is all about collaboration with other artisans exploring new textures and materials. Seven months of crafting magic will finally make its debut and if you can’t make your way to Sandton Convention Centre this week for a sneak preview, then don’t worry as these pieces will go on sale after the official launch in spring 2018.