Locally Inspired Fabrics and Furniture at Indigi Designs

Words: Jess Spiro

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You know you’re in the presence of a truly creative person when your conversation is a roller coaster of stories and excitement. When you can see their mind whirring and working faster than their mouths can speak their thoughts. This is what it’s like talking to Natalie du Toit, owner and creative brain behind Indigi Designs, a local furniture and textile brand based in Cape Town.

Look up the word ‘creative’ in the dictionary and you’ll most likely see a picture of her.

She is a ball of energy and talks a mile a minute, all the while staying intently focused on what she’s talking about and who she’s talking to. It’s clear to see why her furniture and design brand has been such a success, as it’s so clearly a representation of her personality. Now nearly six years old, Indigi has firmly cemented itself as a household name in Cape Town.

Natalie cut her teeth in the interior design world, having worked at some big names for many years. At one particular company, she was tasked with setting up a sort of brand-within-a-brand for the business. Naturally, it was a success and she began to question why she couldn’t start a brand for herself. Natalie reckoned there was no reason she couldn’t do this on her own and made the leap to leave her secure job to start her own company, and so Indigi was born.

One of the best parts about Indigi’s story is that Natalie, filled with all sorts of fierce determination, started the company in about a week and a half.

The Design Indaba was coming to Cape Town and she figured that if she had nothing to show at the expo, she would have to wait another year for that kind of exposure again. This was simply not on, so she knuckled down and got a collection together. She took this challenge on, while about to give birth to her second child too. The combination of a now-or-never attitude, along with a do-or-die resolve meant that Natalie was able to show her first collection at the Design Indaba and it was a roaring success.

Based on Natalie’s personality, Indigi was never going to be a brand for shrinking violets. Her collection has grown to include furniture pieces such as nesting tables, armchairs, coffee tables and ottomans, as well as lights, cushions and storage pieces.The overall vibe is refined African-chic.

Natalie has allowed herself to be influenced by the South African landscape and heritage, without the range ending up looking tacky or touristy.

There are bright colours, ethnic-inspired patterns and an eclectic mix of materials that work beautifully with each other.

It’s contemporary and restrained, but still remains fun and a little cheeky. Her table lamps have become rather iconic, owing the industrial naked feel of their raw iron bases and Shweshwe shades.

Indigi is a refreshing take on a style that is very close to home and Natalie has crafted a wonderful collection. She’s exceptionally hands-on and oversees every step of production. When the time came to start adding a range of their own fabrics, Natalie used her experience from working in the industry to figure out how Indigi could produce their own fabric. The fabrics have been a huge success for the business, and they now have an entire range of materials in varying designs and colours.

Indigi manages to put out a bold range with items that tell a story and manage to talk to each other in the process. If you were to kit out your house with every single piece from Indigi, you wouldn’t overdo it as no piece clashes with another.

Taking her inspiration from everything from walks through nature to afternoons spent in her factory, it’s exciting to see what beautiful piece Indigi will come up with next. If you’re looking for a collection that is a nod towards Africa, while still modern and timeless, then Indigi is for you. Natalie has truly put her heart and soul into this business and it always a wonderful thing to see when someone’s hard work creates something so beautiful. This is ‘local is lekker’ brought into 2017.

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