Natalie Van Rooyen has two vices that she could never deny: food and fashion. How she’s building a career that combines the best of both worlds, however, is an ability we covet. South African by birth, and Kuwait-based, you might already have fallen in love with Natalie when trying any of her delectable baked goods under the name ‘Nat Bakes with Love.’ Otherwise, you’ve probably noticed her incredible sense of style, resplendent with her bubbly personality and welcoming nature.
With a seasoned career by day in retail, from Villa Moda, Harvey Nichols and now Remza Fashion (known for stellar brands like Milly, BCBG, MAX AZRIA and Elie Tahari, to name a few), she balances out her glamorous days in the stores with evenings in her kitchen. She adds, “Baking calms my stressful days. I love trying new things, testing new recipes and above all seeing people enjoy what I prepare for them.” Her passion and love affair with food started as a young child, where Natalie grew up in a home that encouraged family gatherings, and cooking and baking were deeply appreciated. For Natalie, the meaning of family lives with her as she continues to bake her delicious creations.
She is never afraid to grab happiness with a fierce zest for life that you can’t help but be inspired by. Having lived in Kuwait for more than 9 years, Natalie looks forward to whenever her family visits her here, as she’s building a life based on inherent family values. She comments, “Kuwait has been so good to me. I love the familial vibe here, and the way people have an incredible spirit in innovating and creating.” From endless outdoor activities like camping in the winters and beach activities in the summer, she spends her time simply living and loving life in Kuwait. Whether you spot her at the mall, or at the next installment of Qout Market, make sure you stop by and say hello!
How would your mother describe you in one word?
How would you describe your mother in one word?
What is the most insane question you’ve ever been asked?
Are your tattoos real???
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve done?
Moving to the Middle East – first Dubai and then Kuwait!
What is your theme song?
Marvin Gaye – “Got to give it up”.
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Where would you like to live? What is your dream retirement location?
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY! I am so beyond in love with everything about Williamsburg and the overall energy in NY is infectious. There is a tattoo parlor on every corner and a lot of cute French bulldogs! And the boys don’t look too bad either… amazing restaurants and eateries. I would like to retire in Thailand, preferably on one of the smaller islands, have a bar with great fusion style tapas and cocktails with a blend of hip hop, R&B and sexy house music playing at all times. Thai people are so happy, irrespective of their situation or how much or little they have, and this always fascinates and humbles me…the simple life.
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
Carpe diem –it’s my mantra and motto in life. Seize every day and don’t let anything get in your way – make the most of every minute – make a lasting impression, be good to others.
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
A mix between a wolf and my French bulldog Gray… a wolf is athletic, aggressive, confident and passionate while Gray is gentle, funny and lovable. He never complains and he loves me unconditionally even when I can’t give him as much attention as he deserves.
What do you miss about your childhood?
The innocence of playing under the sprinklers in the summer and barbecues on the beach with family.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I wouldn’t change my name, but if my parents were more into the hippie lifestyle, I probably would’ve been called Summer or something like that.
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
My independence…I can’t conform for someone else’s comfort, I believe we shouldn’t have to change for others, but rather for oneself when the time is right and if there is change needed.
Who is your favorite historical figure?
Nelson Mandela – Tata Madiba as all South Africans know him, or knew him as…I grew up in the midst of apartheid and when it was abolished, there was an imminent change, he gave so selflessly and fought for freedom, giving everything to the people of our country, although he suffered so much. He was a true hero and will remain a historical legend.
What in the world do you least desire?
Fame – I wouldn’t say that I am an extremely private person, but I would not want the drama that comes with it.
What do you think is lacking in the world, which if there was more of would make the world a better place?
Genuine happiness and laughter… everyone has just become too serious, as they are more concerned about what society might think!
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
Hmm, I don’t have a lot of girlfriends, but the ones I have, I have had for a lifetime. I am very easy going, I always speak my mind, and I am genuine. So people relax around me and don’t feel the need to put up a show… oh and I constantly make fun of myself, I don’t take myself too seriously. I think most guys are afraid of me; until they muster up the courage to talk to me and they realize I am just like one of the boys.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”
Self–acceptance and beautiful shoes!