COTTON CANDI – A WASHI LOVERS PARADISE
I happily stumbled upon Cotton Candi at Hobby X a couple of years ago. Their stand was definitely one of the most popular – baskets and baskets of colourful washi tape at discounted prices. They had all sorts of other bits and bobs on display but the washi tape was what took my fancy. I remember standing behind a washi-fanatic, as she proudly pointed out to her friend the many many designs she already had at home. It sounded to me like she had more washi tape than I’d ever know what to do with, why on earth did she NEED a whole extra shopping basket’s worth? I clearly didn’t know much about the wonders of washi at the time.
I only bought 5 or 6 designs at that expo. When December came along however, I decided that I wanted to make personalised Christmas tags and some red tape would be a nice finishing touch. I looked up Cotton Candi’s site and discovered a world of washi that has since changed my everyday life. No. Seriously. I use it for everything, everywhere, almost every single day. I now know why that washi-fanatic had needed more washi in her world. You always need more. Hi I’m Caitlin and I’m a washi-holic. Thanks Cotton Candi.
MORE ABOUT COTTON CANDI
Cotton Candi’s tagline is ‘Inspiring Creativity‘. Inspire they do indeed. Their offerings range from chalkboard paint and supplies, through stationery such as stamps and Sharpies to cute cards and prints. Their range of washi tape is where they really shine though. So many choices! Certainly second to none in South Africa and that’s coming from someone who has done a serious amount of window-shopping around.
THEIR ONLINE SHOP
The Cotton Candi online shop is downright simple to use. Their product pictures give you a very clear indication of colours and designs which I always appreciate when trying to make tough decisions. You can shop without having to signup first, an account is created on checkout and payments can be made by EFT, Snapscan as well as by card or instant EFT via Payfast. I’ve made payments on the site via Payfast and have had no problems to date.
SHIPPING AND AFFORDABILITY
‘Buy Washi Tape in South Africa’ the number of times I’ve Googled that! I even considered shipping some in from China at one stage. With single rolls of tape averaging at about R29, Cotton Candi is at least R3 cheaper than you’ll be able to find it anywhere else. R29 is way less than most International sites selling the same designs at $3-4.
Unfortunately, when it comes to their Shipping Rates and options I do get a little pouty. It’s completely understandable that they don’t offer sending packages via our local postal service, a waste of time let’s be honest. But when you’re on that final stretch and have already emptied out your virtual basket because you can’t justify purchasing everything on your wishlist – R60+ (to Cape Town) for delivery would have been those 2 extra rolls I needed in my life. I’m comparing this of course to big online players like Takealot offering free delivery for orders of a value greater than R250 (if you’re willing to wait a few days), so I’m perhaps being a little unfair. My last order was placed on a Thursday and I received it the following Monday morning. Not a long wait at all but not amazing either for the price.
I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect lower rates or even free delivery on orders over a certain value in future though as they get bigger. You can opt to collect your order from their offices in Cape Town or send your own courier, perhaps I’ll look into those options for myself sometime.
It’s worth giving their Facebook page a ‘Like’ and keeping an eye out for Sales and competitions, they always seem to be up to something. ‘Christmas in July Sale’ anyone?
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
This is why I’ll return to Cotton Candi again and again. At the expo I mentioned earlier, they put my goodies in a brown paper bag and sealed it with a sliver of washi tape. Amidst the chaos at the expo I didn’t think much of it, but when I got home I noticed the design of the washi they’d used – it wasn’t one I’d bought, but it is one I eventually did buy. Clever, simple, cute. That gesture has nothing on their online order packaging though – beautifully wrapped with my name handwritten on the box. My ordered items lovingly wrapped in tissue, tied together with pretty ribbon and tagged with a fun message. A quick scroll through the fan posts on their Facebook page tells you that this wasn’t just a once off sort of thing. It IS their thing. Opening a box from Cotton Candi is almost as much fun as using the supplies inside!
The cherry on top of the already sweet sundae? A gift. I once received a little square of fudge in an order from them. It’s like they see into my soul!
Are you a washi-holic like me? I’d love to hear what sort of creative mischief you get up to with yours, share your ideas in the comments section below. I’ll leave you with a few more pretty pics of projects I’ve used my beloved washi on.
DISCLOSURE: I didn’t receive any compensation for writing this and have no connection whatsoever to any brands or products mentioned.