The Little Shop with a Lot of Creativity


A Word or Two is an East Rand based business which sells craft related products like Petite Rouge Vintage paint, Karoo Sjiek decoupage prints and waterslides, MDF blanks. We have a range of gifting, décor, arts and craft products that will enhance any project or home. Our laser cutting machine is forever busy cutting the latest designs. We offer group and private workshops

  • Want to spend some time being creative?
  • Learn a new craft?
  • Need a t-shirt or mug?
  • Something different for your corporate functions?
  • Planning your wedding?
  • Need items for your event?

We have it all and our team is always ready to assist with ideas and making your dreams a reality!


We are based in Northmead, Benoni where we stock, chalk paint, crafters acrylic, glues, wax, brushes, transfers, embellishments and so much more. We have a vast range standard off-the-shelf goods, although we take orders for specialized ranges and décor, either by making an appointment for a consultation or just mailing us. In collaboration with many of our clientele, we design and produce high quality home, event or wedding décor items.


We host a number of creative workshops every month detailing the different techniques and styles inspiring our clients. We are backed by our various suppliers and are proud to be a stockist of the best all round chalk paint and associated products in the South African market. Not only is this product made for the South African Market it is also a Proudly South African Product. Our other products are tested and only the best quality at an affordable price will fill our shelves. We continuously strive to have the best and carry stock of the items our client’s request. If we don’t have it, we will source it.


We will be having Demo Saturdays where you can ask questions, test products and see the various techniques in action whilst eating cake and sipping some champagne. These will be scheduled and advertised on our website, Facebook page and Instagram. Follow us not to miss out. Our Workshops which will cover a range of creative workshops will be hosted by Neolien and Erica respectively. These workshops will be hosted during the week and on Saturdays. We offer corporate or group workshops.


I am fortunate that my two daughters, Danielle and Kara, share my passion for inspirational things, and their creative input, with quotes, phrases and design ideas is part of what brings me joy in my work. They are now grown up and out of the house but not a week goes by without them sending, showing or requesting some new item or paint technique with me. They keep me humble as they are my worst critics.


I am passionate about words and word play. And paying it forward, with no regrets, is a major part of my daily philosophy. I throw myself wholeheartedly into projects in Narnia (the family name for my studio) – because once you enter, you don’t come out! This resulted in a wide range of word wall décor.


I love painting and since using Petite Rouge Vintage Paints and discovering how easy and hassle free the product and process is, I was addicted. I get lost in projects and have been known to bend time. Knee deep in paint, light suddenly creeps in and birds are chirping outside. Word of warning, chalk paint adheres to most surfaces and if you stand still long enough, you could end up being a shade of Powdered Wig, Scarlet Pimpernel or Botanique. All quirky French names with a Proudly South African Twist.


At present time the Vintage Chalk Paint and the Karoo Sjiek decoupage prints is what inspires me most and with the workshops and projects I am a little biased as to what I promote in my shop.


Erica, a designer who is young and spirited brings an air of youthfulness to A Word Or Two. Her ideas, assistance and to be honest tech savvy has come in handy. Yeah I am of the generation where we sometimes look at the computer and wonder loudly “what just happened?”.  She continuously brings new ideas, pintables and projects to the table. Her own individual technique and designs makes her a valuable part of our business.


What Got Me Here?


After 20 years designing and manufacturing kitchens and cupboards, a family tragedy eleven years ago saw me move to working alongside my father in his electronic engineering company - more than a sideways shift in career, you’ll agree.

So when the opportunity to sell a company I owned came up, I thought this would be a good time to get out of the manufacturing and selling game. Not to be. I suffered serious FOMO when looking at machines and frequented the shelves in Builders often looking at the equipment and yes, Paint. I ventured into the world of colour.

Fortunately, thanks to seeing a laser cutting machine in action - I realised I was not done with manufacturing and my creative streak and love for creating beauty and words finally had an outlet, and I could help to inspire others. And thus, a Laser cutting machine was purchased.

A Word or Two was registered in April 2012, and I opened my first shop and the journey down the rabbit hole began.

A journey that keeps me busy, luckily. The quotes, trees and décor we produce pretties up many homes and my select corporate clients like nothing better than to throw me curve balls that push my imagination and open my mind.

Due to life circumstances I decided to make the move from the West Rand to the East Rand. A move now upon reflection I am of the opinion to be the best decision made by me the past ten years.

I am fortunate enough to have the support of a life partner who not only made his business premises which was once his home available to me to use but gave me creative freedom to do as I pleased. He would leave a beige coloured house and return to a shade of Addo Elephant green and I do believe he might have had a couple of sleepless nights when I loudly announced that tomorrow we are breaking out a wall or that red is an amazing colour for a wall. But him being the creative type understood what needed to be done.

I immediately fell in love with the wooden floors that with creaks announce your arrival, cottage window frames that came alive with the new colours on the walls and pressed ceilings in each room that told a story of the history of the house and of course the fireplace, oh the fireplace. How many nights were spent in front of it with the flames lighting the room dreaming, planning and making final decisions. I knew my business had a new home.

It took a lot of paint and polish, breaking of walls and a couple of “what was I thinking” moments but I could finally move the shelves in and start dressing the rooms and walls with art, chalk painted furniture, vintage chalk paint and a little something for everyone. The smell of Lilly of the valley filled the rooms as I poured the bath salts into the bowl and the smell of roasted Boeretroos coffee beans came from the kitchen where there is always a cup of coffee with a shot of condense milk, a chat and Angie’s delicious Hertzogies and Snikerdoodles ready for anyone coming through the door.

In-between this a little garden was plated, filled with bunnies and fairies and every time things got a little too hectic, I would dig in the ground and plant something new or move pots around. It was mostly a toss-up of me being covered in either mud or paint. I am happiest when doing what I love.

I am passionate about what I do and clients become friends and we share project photos, ideas and in each other’s triumphs and tragedies. They pop in to buy a Petite pot and stay for coffee which has ended up in dinner on the occasion. A Word Or Two is not a business, it is a world on its own, Narnia. You go in, and never want to leave. It’s a magical Wonderland.

Knowing that whenever someone walks out of the shop, with their paint, chosen trinket or item with a little smile, they’re taking something that we love and take pride in supplying or something we’ve created with love and passion home with them, gives me joy. Everything is packed with love and a special something to say thank you.

“Anything is possible” is my daily inspiration - when I questioned the company, I bought my laser cutting machine from as to its ability to perform a task and their answer was, “I don’t think so”, I took it as a personal challenge. Red flag to a bull! So I figured out how to get it to do what I wanted it to do and now they send me clients to give them a challenge, too. So yes, with the Petite Rouge Paint, Karoo Sjiek and the love for creating something beautiful and my client’s enthusiasm, “Anything is Possible”.

The love of finding creative solutions, along with my slightly different way of looking at the world (your unattended children will be given an espresso and a kitten) allows me to turn the ordinary into something special.

I love to meet new people, especially if they’ve got a challenge for me. Pop into our studio to have a chat, book a workshop or email me and we can set up an appointment.

But be prepared: walking out of Narnia isn’t an easy task. You will fall down this rabbit hole.

Blessings and see you soon

Neolien (Founder - A Word or Two)