The Insider SA meets Simoné Griessel, who’s exploration of her creative side has culminated into a business through which she preserves flowers and with it memories.

We meet Founder and owner of Skaam, Simoné Griessel in Stellenbosch where she’s started her framed flower business to capture nature’s elusive beauty by preserving flowers and leaves.

Her pieces present an array of softly preserved petals, leaves and flowers in chic, locally sourced, hardwood frames between glass.

Growing up in Bloemfontein, Simoné moved to Cape Town to study cosmetology which led her to an opportunity in the film industry.

“I worked long hours, I didn’t have any free time to myself. I actually idn’t even know who I was anymore,” she shares.

After more than 6 years in the industry, she was searching for something more.

“I went on a sabbatical through Africa with my boyfriend that whole journey that we went on, I was completely submerged into nature and the beauty that it offers, and I just realised, that is what I wanna do. I wanna do something with nature,” she reflects.

Skaam was born after Simoné attended the wedding of a good friend and was enamoured by the gorgeous array of flowers, which she says no one really knows what to do with after.

“I took a whole bunch of flowers and I preserved that, and I googled a bunch of ideas and I found the preserved flower frame from someone that does it overseas. I couldn’t find a frame to my liking, so I had a carpenter make some frames up for me in Woodstock and it just evolved from there,” she says.

The name, she shares, symbolises the similarity between people and flowers.

““I was deconstructing a rose and the most beautiful petals were inside, at the very bottom, in the middle of the flower. It was so beautiful, it’s as though they’re skaam [shy] and it correlates so much with us as humans,” she says.

“The most beautiful part of a human is inside, that’s our personality and that’s actually what matters.”

Simoné sources her flowers from across South Africa, when she’s travelling or from local marketing. Her unique process is clear through her work, which feels both natural and evocative.

“I rely on nature to guide me. I use different types of flowers, some of them are long and they’ve got a stem, and some of them are just a petal, so you have to do different things to do different layouts,” she explains.

Simoné’s process is deeply guided by both the beauty of the flowers with which she works, and the philosophical connection to us as people.

“Flowers are very fragile, they obviously will change in colour over time, but that also ties in with us as humans, that evolve and change over time,” she says.

Her work preserves both flowers and the memories they represent in time, making her work beautiful and timeless.

“Working with flowers fulfills my dream and my passion. I enjoy working with nature and it brings me a sense of calm and fulfillment, something that any other job could not bring me,” she concludes.

Simoné shared with The Insider SA her thoughts on ‘living better’ and the legacy she hopes to leave behind with her work.

What does ‘living better’ mean to you? / How are you aspiring to live better?

Enjoying the simple things life has to offer. Don’t overthink anything 😊

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

A person that was always seen as kind, loving and helpful. Serving others.

Where do you go to escape and connect with yourself?

Deep in nature. Where no one is around.

Do you have an encouraging quote for us, to end off on?

‘When you create yourself to make it, you’re going to have to either let that creation go and take a chance on being loved or hated for who you really are or you’re gonna have to kill who you really are and fall into your grave grasping onto a character that you never were’ – Jim Carrey