African-Inspired Design: Gold Bottom Pots

WORDS Palesa Kgasane


Striking the perfect balance between minimal and bold, Gold Bottom Pots designs are an ode to Africa’s rich cultural landscape and a beautiful addition to any space.

Gold Bottom Pots is a Cape-Town based brand that specialises in hand-cast and hand-painted African planters, which we first caught sight of on their Instagram page. Whether you are a minimalist or a prodigal print lover, this brand offers the best of both.

Mixing innovation and design right down to the manufacturing process, we were immediately interested to know who the people behind the brand are and how it all came to be. We spoke to Nikki Schomer to find out more.

What’s in the name?

The name is very literal, since all our pots have a gold bottom. Why? Well, partly because this unique finishing touch lets you know you’re holding the real deal. But more importantly, it reminds you that when you purchase a Gold Bottom Pot you have invested in a product that took time to be carefully handcrafted and was made to last, with respect to human dignity and the environment. We like to think of these qualities as the golden lining that sits at the bottom of everything we do… and we hope you will too.

What is the main inspiration behind the designs of the pots?

The latest Fields of Gold collection was inspired by the symbolic and expressional elements found in South African culture, resulting in original distinct designs that carry individual meaning and symbology.

Tell us about your history in the design world and how the idea for these beautiful pots came about.

The products were born out of my love for plants and my frustration of not being able to find pots for them that weren’t the same old shape and made out of terracotta! My goal was to create an alternative that helped people rethink how they “dress” their plants, giving them the opportunity to turn them into statement pieces that make their homes beautiful and their plants proud.

My background is in fashion, having studied Clothing Management. I went on to spend almost a decade in the fashion industry, as a Buyer and Production Manager. The work exposed me first hand to the terrible reliance we have on imported goods. I later found this is also true to planters – with almost all products sold in SA coming from Asia. So when starting my own business I felt it of utmost importance to grow the South African economy and people by producing a product locally, from start to finish.

Who makes these pots? Walk us through the team and decision makers.

Our planters are cast entirely by hand in small batches in an artisan workshop in Cape Town. The process is time consuming and requires exceptional craftsmanship and artistry, but results in minimal waste and environmental impact and perfect, beautiful products. They are then painted and finished by hand – hours of meticulous sanding and polishing.

I still very much play a part in the production but am fortunate to now have some support on board: artist Songezo Zantsi. Songezo assists in meeting the growing demand. As for me, I juggle a few roles: I manage the business and also straddle the role of creative director – developing new designs as we extend our range. As the business grows, I am excited to employ more South Africans and bring more energy and inspiration to the Gold Bottom team.

What exciting things can we expect from you this year?

We’ll be showcasing our full range at 100% Design SA in Johannesburg this August and we are so excited to visit the City of Gold! A collab with another South African designer is in the works and we will also be launching a new collection and a larger 40 cm planter soon. Watch this space! Our website will hopefully also launch in the next few months allowing for purchase and delivery.

For more information, visit goldbottompots.co.za or email info@goldbottompots.co.za.