Frances Edwards is the CEO/Owner and Creative Director at House of Cinnamon, an Afro-European accessory brand that handcrafts leather bags, shoes and other limited-edition ranges of accessories in partnership with local micro-industries.

Frances holds a commerce degree and was involved in the finance industry for over ten years, living and working both in London and Zurich, with a brief stint backpacking through South East Asia and Australia. This was a wonderful and empowering experience, but she missed Africa and moved back to Johannesburg where she took up a role in the finance industry and began designing her own shoes as a hobby.  

“At the time, I found it difficult to find a good quality pair of flats at a reasonable price and I did not want to support the cheaper imports that only last a few months.  I soon started making shoes for friends and then friends of friends, and so decided to quit my job to launch what was then Cinnamon Shoes in 2013. The label and brand has evolved quite a bit since then and is now known as House of Cinnamon as we have a varied range that also includes bags, earrings, belts and blazers,” says Frances.

House of Cinnamon products are handcrafted in a factory that supports 30 local expert leather artisans in Cape Town. The House of Cinnamon earrings are handcrafted, by a local jewelry brand based in George.  “There is so much local talent and there are so many beautiful things being created here. We should all be supporting everything that is made in this country and try to avoid buying imported items,” she adds.

Frances is also passionate about social responsibility work and House of Cinnamon is currently involved in three pro-bono charity based programs: The ‘House of Cinnamon Shoe Project’ in which worn but wearable shoes are collected for the Nkhensani Orphanage in Alexandra by offering customers a “one-pair-for-one-pair” 20% discount for donating such shoes when purchasing a pair of Cinnamons, children’s school sponsorships through the Bakomoso Education Trust and a partnership with the Two Oceans Aquarium in the effort of trying to combat environmental degradation and conserve oceanic wildlife, by producing a bamboo shopper.

Frances lives in Parktown, Johannesburg with her husband, business owner and restaurateur, James Edwards of La Tètefame and their two small children.

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