Friday, 13 May 2011

Meet the expats: Tangentine

I've been writing posts for the Expat blog the past couple of months to introduce you to the team members and their shops.

This week, I wanted to introduce myself. I'm not usually a vain person, but I would like to talk about living as an expat before moving back home, to South Africa, next week. I think it will be interesting to see how my viewpoint changes after I settle down. I have, after all, lived as a nomad for 9 years.

My name is Jacqueline and I make jewellery that I sell in my Etsy shop Tangentine.

I started making jewellery when I was 16 because I thought I was an unique little snowflake and did not want to wear the same things as everyone else.

After I left school I decided to do a degree in Multimedia – as I've always liked the balance between the technical (computer science) and art (web design). Turns out I'm a really good planner so I spent most of my professional career planning and implementing websites for other people. A job I really love.

There was one need that my day job did not fulfill. The tactile element, being able to point at something and say, 'Hey, I made that!' I took up jewellery making again in 2004. In February 2010 I decided to take it seriously and start selling.

My jewellery are influenced by my interests and roughly falls into 3 styles - ancient history inspired, related to science and the natural world.

Why did you move? 
Throughout history there were always people who wondered what they could find over that hill! river/ sea. There's a certain sense of adventure related to the unknown and the need to explore those places.

I'm pretty much that person. I want to see it with my own eyes and experience how other people live and see the world.

While I'm talking about experiences, I thought I'd include one of the many stupid things I do. I like to think it's because the first time I saw proper snow, but I have to be honest. I do a lot of silly things just because I can. This was a lot of fun and we also got the shot.

Biggest challenge being an expat?
Paperwork and missing my family.

Learning German's been a big one too (even though my language skills are still really poor).

Biggest joy being an expat?
Exploring. We've lived in Dublin, Ireland for 2 and a half years, 5 in London, UK and the past 2 years we've been in Darmstadt which is close to Frankfurt in Germany. Each country has things that I really love and will miss dearly.

Travel. I don't think we'd be able to travel to as many places as we have if we stayed in South Africa. My favourite places were Rome, Tunisia, Istanbul, Crete, the Amazon and Thailand.

We arrived in Dublin with 2 backpacks and a duffel bag. After 9 years in Europe we have 12 boxes, mostly books and some clothes, computers and a few bits of furniture. We've lived the nomad life and we're low on possessions but so rich in experience and friends.

Europe I'll miss being reminded of your history - so apparent in every town and building. South Africa, I'm looking forward to your diversity and biiiiggg skies.

Find me online:

Are you a soon-to-be, been-there-done-that or currently an expat? If you sell on Etsy come and join our team.

Post by: Jacqueline Fouche (Tangentine)


  1. Well done Jacqueline nice to know a little more about you and good luck on your move back to South Africa after being a nomad for 9 years I can only imagine how much adjusting is going to happen once you are back and look forward to sharing the experiences with you. Have a safe journey

  2. so nice to read! I just think you are such a lovely person and make beautiful jewelry!

  3. Shirl/Artophile14 May 2011 at 00:56

    This is lovely! Thanks for the look into your world.Oh,by the way,the earrings you sent are my new favorites!
    Remember, all these places will still be there when you feel like wandering again! *)

  4. Thanks so much for sharing;))) I read this and felt a bit emotional thinking about the feelings and emotions you must be going through right now..... leaving friends, places, languages and countries behind that have been your home over the years and the emotions of going back to take your place back in your homeland... I wish you the best Tange and hope you keep on being part of our expat group...Karen

  5. Karen I totally agree. I too felt emotional reading about what you are leaving Tange, as we all know how it would feel!

    Going back home will definitely be the strangest transition of all. I know you love South Africa and I'm sure you will find your niche again.

    Thank you for being such a big part of our expat family and I hope you still will be once you return. I can't imagine it without you.
    Wishing you a safe trip and wonderful reunion with friends and family.

  6. Great post, so nice to read more about you (and see you eating snow)! All the best of luck with your move, I hope it all goes smoothly for you x

  7. Great post- good luck. Beautiful work!

  8. Thank you for writing this, and allowing us a glimpse into your world. You sound so passionate about travel and anything new; I'm sure you'll find your own way back in SA. Best of luck with the move!

  9. I'm so glad you decided to write and post this, lovely to find out a bit more about you! I love how you seem to embrace the possibility and excitement of travel and of being an expat - it sounds like you have had some amazing adventures, I hope there are many more for you in the years ahead :)

    ps. oh and I hear you loud and clear on the language front. Some people have a knack for 2nd languages, I am most definitely not one of those people!

  10. Great feature, it's nice to learn a little more about you.
    Best wishes for a smooth move back to SA and an easy transition. I hope we'll see you soon! :)

  11. Good luck with the move home Tange ! As another southern hemispheran I have an idea what you might have been missing in those big skies, and there is a different quality in the light itself between here and there. Maybe you will get nostalgic for the dark cold winter and the Christmas markets.. I know there is almost as much now that I would miss from holland, if I left now, as I already miss from home in NZ. it's the down side of being an expat, there is always something you miss. But I guess that's also the upside, as you live in different places, you also gain more places you can call home :) I'm looking forward to hearing about your new adventures in SA :)