Cyla Gonsolves CNA stationery

My South African stationery find from a local designer

One of my favourite things at the beginning of the year is to stock up on new stationery. Notebooks, pens and the like are always my favourite splurge. With bullet journals being all the craze I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect notebook. There are the usual favourites for when it comes to stationery buys but its come to my attention that CNA has also decided to join in on the action.

I’ll be the first to admit that in the past I always thought CNA was the spot moms went for school supplies and didn’t necessarily tie it to stylish stationery for me. But how wrong I was.

Have you seen the new Cyla Gonsolves’ inspired Stationery Line?

If the answer is no, you’re missing out. CNA sponsored the CNA Design Challenge on South African reality TV show, The Intern by David Tlale. Cyla was the winner after creating a high end fashion piece using nothing but stationery. That win led to her getting her own line of gorgeous designed stationery in CNA. Not only are the designs sleek and sexy enough to carry in to a work meeting but they’re also proudly South African AND super affordable. For a set of three notebooks you’re looking at around R80, a pencil back costs R29.99 and a divine notebook, pencil, paper clips and accessories kit will only cost R169.90.

Cyla Gonsolves CNA Stationery

Cyla is 22 years old and says her designs are inspired by her alter ego. She focuses on self-expression and touching on social awareness issues such as feminism. I had the opportunity to chat to Cyla about her design inspiration.

My first question was about the stationery range at CNA. I was curious to find out what her inspiration was:

For the CNA challenge on The Intern we had to be inspired by the arts of paper. We had to make a garment that was 100% made out of paper. I looked at the different techniques of folding paper and how I can manipulate it to become something beautiful. I used the quilling technique to make beautiful shapes of flowers that was inspired by my grandmothers beautiful garden. I wanted to bring back craftsmanship with this challenge.

Those techniques and styles are clearly seen in the range on shelves. I wanted to find out if we’ll be seeing more stationery from Cyla in the future:

I absolutely loved working with CNA on this collaboration and will definitely be bringing out my own fashion stationery, inspired by my collection, soon.

Cyla Gonsolves CNA stationery

I was curious to find out who Cyla imagined would be using this stationery. Turns out she has a pretty definitive idea of the “perfect user”:

I think this stationary is designer for every woman that loves being creative. From young girls dreaming to become fashion designers to more career driven women that likes to be inspired by everything beautiful around her.

While I’m obsessed with the stationery I was also intrigued by Cyla’s design inspiration. I’m currently learning more about the history of feminism and its role in our society, so I was curious as to how she communicates that through her designs:

I’m extremely passion about making a difference in the fashion industry and would like to inspire other brands to do the same. In my graduate collection I did a feminist range where I tried to send out a message through my clothing. I used the colour platte GREEN,WHITE and VIOLET that stood for Give,Women,Vote. On my coats there were panels of embroidery sending out messages against women abuse (things like no means no, women empowerment and feminist). On my sheet tops I embroided X’s over the bust area to show empowerment and to be part of the feminist movement to ‘burn the bra’. I would like to bring the feminist movement to the supply chain of fashion. I want to create jobs and empower women in my own workplace and set an example to other brands to also be ethical.

Here are some examples from Cyla’s graduate collection

And now is my chance to give back to you. Thanks to the rad CNA I have a hamper of Cyla’s stationery range to give away valued at around R500. All you need to do is comment on this post and tell me what your favourite item in the range is. I’ve shared some pictures throughout this blog post to inspire you.

I’ll chose a winner at the end of the week. Please be sure to fill in the email section on the comment form so I can get hold of you if you win! 


  • Reply Karen at MomAgain@40 February 21, 2018 at 09:19

    Love the bag! I saw it the other day in CNA! Totally stunning!

  • Reply Samantha Dube February 21, 2018 at 09:31

    I love the design on the note book.

  • Reply Victoria de Costa February 21, 2018 at 10:11

    If I saw her stationary in CNA when I went there last week to purchase myself a notebook, I would have purchased all of hers.😭 I love everything actually! How does one not love her stationary collection, when every piece is so unique and different from all the other plain boring stationary around. When I’m in CNA again, I am definitely going to be purchasing these!

  • Reply Kerry Heathfield-Sharper February 21, 2018 at 11:05

    Okay I absolutely LOVE this range but what I love even more is the story behind it. Cyla is so young and has so much talent and creativity that I am super excited to see everything she does in the future! Also, thanks for introducing me to someone new to follow in my industry.
    I am obsessed with the notebook. Fashion is not only my 9 – 5, it’s pretty much my 24/7 and I am a stationery hoarder and I pretty much rely on notebooks and things to get me through my days so this would fit right in.

  • Reply Seshnie Govender February 21, 2018 at 11:36

    I love that tablet/laptop sleeve which doubles as a book sleeve as well.. just what I need to keep my stuff looking good

  • Reply clairehenderson February 21, 2018 at 13:42

    My fave has to be the notebook. I am a sucker for notebooks and that design is just too beautiful to pass up! Wow.

  • Reply Pravina Walabh February 21, 2018 at 14:01

    I absolutely love the notebook and acessories kit. The designs are so innovative and attractive.

  • Reply Devashnie Veerasamy February 21, 2018 at 16:46

    I loved the notebook!!!!. So trendy and different. Definitely my style.❤

  • Reply rumtumtiggs February 21, 2018 at 18:44

    I love the notebook and the tablet sleeve. Such beautiful items!

  • Reply Aruna February 21, 2018 at 19:16

    Everything is beautiful! I love the clothing range and the meaning behind it, not only does she have inner beauty but talent aswell, getting back to the stationery, i would have to say the notebook🌸

  • Reply Sohail Saley February 21, 2018 at 22:47

    Definitely the notebook.stunningand i mean who doesnt love “The Notebook”

  • Reply Riyaad Ally Mohamed February 22, 2018 at 01:34

    Dear Cyla

    The texture and craftmanship spent through the entire process is a beautifull addition to already established stores collection

    My dad is an old school stationary man he would really appreciate the paperclips and pencils and the notebook

    Impressed ….


  • Reply Kelly Ansara February 22, 2018 at 05:23

    For me there is nothing more satisfying than a row of coloured notebooks (used and finished is even better). I really love the notebook – go figure. The feminist nod is just perfect, 100 years of the suffragettes in one. Let me get my hands on this!

  • Reply Tania Brewis (@BrewisTania) February 23, 2018 at 10:50

    I love the notebook and tablet sleeve! It’s so gorgeous!

  • Reply Alycia February 24, 2018 at 17:23

    Am I weird for saying the bulldog clips are my favourite?! Working in an all girls school stationery is always a priority. I love what this range represents.

    • Reply Sam Wright February 27, 2018 at 16:22

      Not weird at all. I love them too!

  • Reply Riétte February 26, 2018 at 11:17

    Love the notebook! The design leaps off the page and transports me to the frow. 💜

  • Reply Andrea February 28, 2018 at 11:02

    I love the notebook. It is so stylish. I have been collecting notebooks in which I write letters and poes to my young children for them to have when they’re older so this will be an awesome collection for them!

    • Reply Andrea February 28, 2018 at 11:03

      *poems ..

  • Reply alphavegetarianCelina February 28, 2018 at 12:38

    The notebook is stunning! I love the design and detailing, it looks so “high end”. As a journalist i love keeping a notebook close-by in case i have to jot down an idea or if i have a creative moment.

  • Reply Lyn March 2, 2018 at 08:57

    Love the notebook

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