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Goodly Things

The de Boerin Way

By July 2023July 21st, 2023No Comments

The image, by Vincent van Gogh,
representing de Boerin,
is not of a successful and enterprising woman,
but that of an unassuming peasant woman
working the land, alone against a stark landscape
– a humble being quietly going about her daily work.

She is not down-trodden or pathetic,
but grounded, authentic
and unapologetically voluptuous.

Her skirts are ample, and her hands firm and able.

Kleinood de Boerin by Vincent van Gogh
Kleinood de Boerin

Annetjie Boom was the first innkeeper and restaurateur in the Cape in 1665.

She was the first female landowner – a capable and innovative businesswoman highly respected and well-loved by the community of the Cape of Good Hope.

The Kleinood de Boerin was derived from the nickname, Annetjie de Boerin, as she was fondly called.

Kleinood de Boerin Clothing Calico Rail
The Calico Rail by de Boerin

De Boerin has been an integral part of Kleinood from the beginning – before the buildings, the wine, the tasting room – she was there when it was just a small patch of land.

The acclaimed de Boerin Extra Virgin Olive Oil was originally the only de Boerin product. Because of the nature of Kleinood, where everything happens organically and often by pure coincidence, de Boerin Syrah Verjus followed a few years later and only when our bees were happily settled came the Raw and Infused Honey.

Kleinood de Boerin
Kleinood de Boerin

The Kleinood gardens slowly grew and became more established and bountiful with each new spring.

The natural scents of plants, flowers, soil and water brought the wish and opportunity to create objects and extracts that would, in a way, capture the enchantment and ever-changing seasonal beauty.

The more we made, the more we wanted to make. Our hands were busy, our heads were spinning and our hearts were happy. Everything we worked with was natural and honest. There were flowers and scents and textures everywhere. One thing led to the other.

Kleinood de Boerin
kleinood de boerin
de Boerin

Then, in a small stone cottage, with a breath taking view, de Boerin found a room of her own where the scents of flowers, beeswax and essential oils soon filled the air. During long days of trepidation, disaster and delight a dream started, slowly but surely, to unfold.

Little by little it grew, as candles, soaps, mists and perfumes, came into being.

Soon the cottage became too small for us. The studio moved to the compost yard and de Boerin opened shop in the tranquil and happy little house.

Kleinood de boerin
Giant Smudge Stick

The Kleinood gardens have been an ongoing process of dreams woven into pictures for the last 23 years.

The gardens supply de Boerin with oils and tinctures needed to create objects and scents and the bees forage here to create rich dark honey.

They keep us humble and enchant and give us purpose and endless joy.

They change and evolve all the time along with the whims and discoveries of de Boerin and her team of merry gardeners, guided by what the plants need to thrive naturally and create a haven for birds, bees and butterflies.

Kleinood de Boerin

In a way, everything started with the gardens – the potpourri, wreaths and giant smudge sticks, the mists and scents and perfumes – all inspired by what was and is growing in the forest, the vineyards, the groves and gardens on Kleinood.

Everything de Boerin makes is driven by the terroir – the light and water, the textures, the aromas and the inherent beauty of it all.

Kleinood Farm

The dream of making a perfume about and from the farm developed over many years – something that would capture the soul of the farm in a scent that would truly express the terroir and heart of the farm.

A late summer afternoon on the dam wall, planted with indigenous fynbos, brought it all together.

The scent was all around us – the dust and heat and slightly sweet and slightly bitter, but green and fresh aromas from all these plants still suspended in the heavy February heat.

In that moment kleinood i was born.

Kleinood Farm de Boerin Parfum
Kleinood Farm

from bountiful blooms
under cobalt skies
seeding grass
in heavy heat
dry soil underfoot
the gentle air
the light and laughter
of hatted girls
on swings
in floral frocks
on endless
slowly sinking

Kleinood de Boerin
Kleinood de Boerin Parfum

But summer does not last for ever and winter has its own charm. Down in the forest by the river winter is at its most beautiful – rich with rotten leaves and wood and muddy soil. This too is Kleinood – a quiet refuge from the madding crowd.

These secrets of deep winter and exuberance of the cold quick-running river became the second Kleinood scent expressed in a dark and gentle perfume called winter water.

Kleinood de Boerin

kleinood forest
the wet

the bark
the droplets
on leaves
the moss and mist
and pale
bare branches

winter water

kleinood farm
Kleinood de Boerin Winter Water Parfum
Kleinood Farm de Boerin Parfum
de Boerin

Working with illusive scents and oils that creep into your hair and clothes and very soul makes you want more ways of having them around you for longer and more ways of exploring their charm and beauty. We found more ways in candles and mists for your linen and hands and face.

Thus, more scents from different spaces, plants and soils and seasons on Kleinood, are quietly making their way into more perfumes made of who we are.

The cotton cloth bags we made and used for packaging led to more cloth-dreams. We needed hardy clothes to work in and were inspired by van Gogh’s peasant women. We wanted to dare to leave the ordinary and discover a path less known – to allow women to rediscover their ability to be something more than “what should I wear”.

The Calico Rail by de Boerin arrived.

Kleinood de Boerin
kleinood farm

The fabrics are ethical and natural, strong and simple to make original, ample, honest and timeless garments any-body of any age could wear. Clothes one could work in and be seen in.

Shirts with sleeves rolled up or down and could become a smock or a jacket, how you want and as you need it. Pants and skirts that could be worn in different ways under, over, buttoned-up or back-to-front for every days or Sundays. Clothes that could be worn and soiled and washed and darned and worn and washed again.

The Calico Rail by de Boerin
Kleinood de Boerin
kleinood de boerin

Since its small beginnings, Kleinood has taken pride in the hands that nurture it and help it grow. It has become part of the ethos of living close to and off the land.

Every candle, apron, mitten, frock or blanket, every cake of soap and candle was made by real women who wish to make real things, from real things in real time.

As are The Calico Rail garments – ethically created, individually made, and created by the humble hands of women who painstakingly stitch and cut and sew with care, attention and dedication.

The Calico Rail by de Boerin
Kleinood Farm

Made by hand matters, because of the honesty and mindfulness behind each pair of nimble hands.

We wish the fabrics and shapes we make not only to become objects to own but to be delightfully intimate experiences of texture and shape to wear with joy and confidence.

We want them to remind you of times when people still had time to sew and tend and grow. Time to quietly do things that matter, make things that last and could be worn and used with pride and joy.

Lest our hands forget the skill of darning socks or sewing real patches on hand-me downs to wear again.

Lest we forget, clean and paid for, is good enough.

kleinood de boerin
kleinood farm

From Times When
People Still Had Time

kleinood farm