Meet The Artisan: Sidewalk Scribbles

Meet Tersia Armstrong- Mum and small business owner creating rainbows on the asphalt. We interviewed Tersia about her brand, Sidewalk Scribbles- how the business came to be and how her eco-friendly chalk range is  an invitation to a world of learning, interactive play, and outdoor exploration.

image via, Instagram, @sidewalk.scribbles


Can you tell us a little about the history of your brand? How did it get started, and what motivated you to create it?

Absolutely, I'd love to share the colourful story behind the beginnings of our brand!

Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Tersia, proud maker and creator of Sidewalk Scribbles. But that's not all - I'm also a mother to a beautiful little girl named Alexa who fills my world with endless inspiration every single day.
The brand's journey started with a simple joy – 4yr old Alexa’s’ love for scribbling on the pavement and walls outside the house. It wasn't just about creating art; it was a magical way to bring neighbours and other kids in our street closer together. The colourful strokes of chalk became a bridge, not just for creativity but for building a vibrant community.
As Alexa continued to express herself with chalk, and all the kids in our street eagerly joined in, I noticed the chalk box needing frequent replenishing, and, well, that made a noticeable dent in my pocket! It got me thinking, "Why not turn this into an opportunity?" That's when the idea sprouted – what if we started experimenting with making our own chalk?
But here's the creative me – I didn't want to stick to the ordinary crayon shape. No, I wanted to open up a world of possibilities with fun shapes. It was like unlocking a treasure chest of creativity! So, with a dash of imagination and a sprinkle of enthusiasm, the brand was born.
The motivation was simple yet profound – to turn everyday moments of creativity into something extraordinary. I wanted to share the joy that came from those sidewalk scribbles and turn it into a delightful experience for kids and families everywhere. And that's how the brand embarked on a colourful journey, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary, one chalk creation at a time!
Image via, Tersia, Alexia hard at work on a chalk creation   
What inspires your brand and your designs? Are there any particular influences or themes that you draw upon in your work?

I believe that art has the power to transform ordinary moments into something extraordinary. Armed with a set of colourful chalks, kids can turn dull pavements into captivating canvases that bring joy and wonder to all who encounter them.

Being a mother to Alexa has opened my eyes to the enchantment that exists in the simplest things. From the way she marvels at a flower's delicate petals to the sheer delight, she finds in a passing butterfly, her unbridled enthusiasm fuels my creative spirit and encourages me to view the world through a childlike lens. I hope to inspire, to find beauty in unexpected places, and to experience moments of pure delight in their everyday lives.
Image via, Instagram, @sidewalk.scribbles

What are some of the challenges you've faced as a local South African brand, and how have you overcome them?

Navigating the challenges of establishing my new brand in the South African market and dealing with economic factors like inflation has been quite a journey. In a diverse market like South Africa, standing out can be a challenge. To overcome this, I'm focusing on what makes my brand unique. I'm telling my authentic story and emphasising the distinct qualities of my products. Creating awareness in a market flooded with information can be tough. I'm investing in creative marketing strategies, both online and offline, and engaging with my community through social media, collaborations, and events.


Can you tell us about some of the materials and techniques you use in your designs? How do you choose the materials you work with?
Absolutely! When I create my designs, I like to think of myself as an explorer in a colourful world of possibilities! Just like how you choose your favourite colours when drawing or playing, I choose materials that help bring my ideas to life.

I also like to use eco-friendly materials, which means they're good for our planet. It's like being a superhero for nature! These materials can be recycled or come from sustainable sources, so we're being kind to the Earth while making beautiful things.

Image via, Instagram, @sidewalk.scribbles
How do you approach sustainability and ethical practices in your brand? Are there any initiatives or practices you've implemented to reduce your environmental impact?
At Sidewalk Scribbles, being kind to the Earth is a super important mission. I want to make sure that every time kids use our chalk, they're also helping take care of our planet.
One cool thing about our chalk is that it's washable. That means if some chalky adventures end up on clothes or sidewalks, it's super easy to clean up with just a bit of water. It's like magic – the colours disappear, leaving no trace behind. This helps keep our surroundings clean and happy.
I’m also a big fan of recycling! The shipping packaging is made from recycled materials, and we encourage our friends to recycle it again when they're done. It's like giving materials a second chance to be something awesome.
The chalk comes in jars that are carefully chosen with the planet in mind. I want these jars to have a second life!
After all the colourful chalk has been used to create wonderful masterpieces, we encourage our friends to keep the jars. They're perfect for storing all sorts of treasures, small toys, or even more chalk! It's like turning the jar into a little storage magic box.
I believe in the power of reuse, and we want the packaging to be part of the fun. By giving the jars a new purpose, we're reducing waste and being extra kind to our environment. It's like a small, colourful step towards a more sustainable and playful world!
Image via, Instagram, @sidewalk.scribbles
What do you hope customers will experience or feel when they interact with your brand and products?

Oh, that's a fantastic question! When kids use our sidewalk chalk, I hope it's not just about drawing on the pavement – I want it to be a magical experience filled with joy and creativity!
Imagine using our sidewalk chalk is like stepping into a world of imagination. I hope kids feel a burst of excitement and happiness when they see the vibrant colours. It's like having a rainbow at your fingertips!
I want them to feel the freedom to express themselves, just like artists creating masterpieces. Chalk is their tool to turn ordinary sidewalks into colourful canvases. I hope they feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as they create something uniquely theirs.
There's also something special about being outdoors, feeling the fresh air, and being surrounded by nature. I hope our chalk encourages kids to spend more time playing outside, exploring their surroundings, and soaking in the wonders of the world around them.
And you know what's really awesome? Sidewalk chalk isn't just about drawing; it's about playing games, learning, and having fun with friends. I hope kids experience the joy of collaboration and imagination as they create stories, games, and adventures right on the sidewalk.
Playing with sidewalk chalk can be one of your child's first adventures in colouring and writing. It not only sparks their creativity but also helps them refine and master their fine motor control and manipulation skills, let me explain:

Toddler Grip: Chalk crayons are chunky and easy to hold, making them perfect for little hands. This helps improve fine motor skills and paves the way for a strong, confident grip needed for writing.

Creativity Unleashed: Chalk encourages artistic expression and creativity, essential for developing a child's writing and storytelling abilities.

Pre-Writing Skills: By scribbling with chalk, toddlers get a head start on those vital pre-writing skills, like hand-eye coordination and understanding lines and shapes.

So, next time your little one is doodling with chalk, remember that they're not just creating masterpieces but also mastering the art of writing. I hope our chalk brings lots of laughter and happiness, creating memories that last a lifetime. When kids interact with our brand and products, I hope they feel like they're stepping into a world of endless possibilities and pure, unbridled fun!

image via, Tersia, Alexia hard at work on a chalk creation 


How do you see your brand evolving in the future? Are there any new projects or collaborations in the works?

Oh, I'm so excited to share the colourful dreams I have for the future of our brand! Like an artist with a big canvas, there are so many amazing strokes yet to be painted.
In the future, I imagine the brand becoming even more of a hub for creativity and joy brining more additions to the chalk collection. I want to continue inspiring kids to explore their imaginations and express themselves through art.
I’m always thinking about new projects that can bring more smiles to our friends' faces. Maybe there will be new and exciting colours of chalk, or perhaps we'll introduce special editions that sparkle and shine.
In the end, the goal is to keep spreading happiness and creativity. Whether it's through new products, exciting collaborations, or innovative projects, we want to be the brand that continues to make the world a more colourful and joyful place for everyone. So, stay tuned for the next chapters of our adventure!
Image via, Instagram, @sidewalk.scribbles
What advice would you give to other local South African brands looking to succeed in the industry? OR What advice do you have for other aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own brand or business?
For sure! Starting a brand or business is like planting a seed that you want to see grow into a beautiful tree. Here are some pieces of advice for fellow South African brands or anyone dreaming of starting their own venture:
1. Embrace Your Uniqueness: Just like every chalk colour is unique, so is your brand. Celebrate what makes you different. South Africa is a land of diverse cultures, stories, and talents – let that richness shine through in your brand.
2. Connect with Your Community: South Africa is a tapestry of communities, each with its own vibrant spirit. Connect with people, understand their needs, and build relationships. Your brand can be a thread that weaves people together.
3. Sustainability Matters: Our Earth is precious, consider sustainable practices in your business. It's not just good for the planet; it's good for your brand's heart.
4. Quality Is Key: Build your brand on a foundation of quality. Whether it's the materials you use or the service you provide, quality builds trust and lasting relationships.
5. Collaborate and Support: Much like the Ubuntu philosophy, collaboration is powerful. Support fellow local businesses, and you'll find the community supporting you. Together, we can create a thriving ecosystem.
6. Persistence Pays Off: Just like a beautiful sunset, success often takes time. Be patient, stay dedicated, and keep moving forward. Challenges are just part of the journey.
7. Stay Passionate: Your brand is like a flame, and passion is the fuel that keeps it burning bright. Stay passionate about your vision, and it will light up the path to success.
Remember, your brand is a unique masterpiece waiting to unfold. So, pick up your brush, paint your dreams with bold strokes, and let the world see the beautiful colours you bring!
Image via, Instagram, @sidewalk.scribbles
Rock Paper Scissors loves to support brands making green choices. Sidewalk Scribbles not only has Mama Earth in mind but the development, creativity and growth of our kids through imaginative outdoor playtime. An eco-friendly chalk range that will have your kids playing outdoors and learning at the same time! What's not to love?
You can find their super fun, super affordable chalk range in store. 

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