After attaining a BA in Applied Design in Stellenbosch, Kirsten forged a successful career in advertising and design. Last year, she left her job to launch Fabrica, her outlet for interior and product design. Ndebele Burglar Bars is the result of two years of passion, research, hard work and love for African culture.

I am a graphic designer specialising in brand identity, design and communication, and now wondering the world of product and industrial design.

I started Fabrica after spending time in the advertising industry, publishing industry, and branding and design world – and finally giving it up to do anything and everything I feel like.

My experience painting murals in the Transkei was a short and sweet adventure of a couple of months. After completing my BA in Applied Design, I went to stay in a hut on the banks of the Mdumbi River, where some of my family where living at the time.

I am passionate about cheese. And travel. My most recent trips include Budapest, Berlin and the Phillipines.

Good design is taking from your environment and experiences, but never forgetting that this isn’t heart surgery. No one is going to die on the table. I find that designers often delve into “the story”, without making any real progress. yes, I believe everything should be conceptually bound, but if we think for too long, we cease to flow and become stagnant.

South African design is undervalued. We are often looking abroad for the latest trends, ideas and inspiration, when everything we really need is all around us. Design should be appropriate to your circumstances, not those 200 000km away. I think that we are at a point where the tables may be turning to who looks at whom.

Ndebele Burglar Bars brighten the modern-day home with a culture of storytelling through colour and pattern, giving each window a distinctive perspective on the world.

My home is wherever I find myself at the time.

My top tip for anyone looking to start their own business is that there will never be a right time, I sat on the idea of the Ndebele Burglar Bars for two years, frightened to leave an industry job, with the possibility of “what if?”. Also, get someone to do your tax and paperwork. It is the second best decision I have made thus far.

In the next 10 years… I don’t plan that far in advance.

You can find my work at