The small, friendly suburb of Villieria is a charming combination of old and new. Renowned fashion designer, Vanessa Fanfoni, tells us why she loves this neighbourhood.
Vanessa Fanfoni is known for her beautiful, one-of-a-kind wedding gowns, pageant dresses and formal gowns. Her designs have even been seen on the red carpet at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Authors Awards.
The dedicated wife and mother of three is also the vice president of the Business Woman Network Group where she helps women fulfil their dream careers and become successful.
During her school years, Vanessa lived in the Moot area. It’s the fond memories of that time that drew her and her family back to the suburb of Villieria. “I wanted to come back home to the place where I felt like I belonged – a place that I know and trust. As a young girl, my brothers, our friends and I would explore Villieria on our bicycles, from Wonderboom South to Kilner Park, even up the two ‘big hills’ – that’s what we would call Tom Jenkins Drive and Stead Avenue,” says Vanessa. “My husband and I moved to Villieria on our anniversary, 24 September 2003.”
Vanessa enjoys the convenience of living in Villieria. “I can operate my business from my house and at the same time be there for my kids while they attend school – which is not far from where we stay – fetch them after school and attend their sports events.”
She loves that she can get in her car and quickly visit Gezina Galleries or Waverley Plaza or even Queens Corner, which are all within 3km to 6km of her house.
“I love the art of this neighbourhood and the friendliness of the neighbours. I love how it’s a neighbourhood filled with a modern and vintage creative buzz. Villieria is a grounded, established area with big, beautiful old homes, pressed ceilings and blocked wooden floors.”
Vanessa is passionate about her neighbourhood and loves that the community is committed and supportive when children play sport on Saturdays. “Then you get your Sunday reminder that church is about to start as the bells gong without delay each weekend – a friendly reminder of our faith. Villieria is a community infused with art, sport, culture and love!”
When asked if she draws inspiration from her neighbourhood when she designs her beautiful dresses, Vanessa says, “The mixture of old and modern in Villieria always reminds me that fashion is rotational and that from the old I can always create a new, modern outfit. This is how I’m able to create the footprints of your heart, in style, just like our vintage and modern homes. I stand by my mottoes: ‘You’re never too old to learn’ and ‘What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’”
Villieria is like a small, kept jewel infused with English and Afrikaans, vintage and modern culture of people who live happily together. It is like two worlds joined into one
Why we love Waverly Plaza: Tucked away in the friendly neighbourhood of Waverley, this community centre is a firm favourite with shoppers in the Moot. From banking, beauty and health, to offices, restaurants, groceries, stationery and music, the centre offers convenient one-stop shopping for the whole family. Waverley Plaza is also a great destination for business meetings and lunches. The centre offers easy access with ample, free and safe parking and has a generator in case of any power interruptions. Waverley Plaza has regular promotions and offers great discounts at various stores. The centre is currently running a promotion where two lucky shoppers will each win a trolley dash worth R5,000.
Find out more at waverleyplaza.co.za.
Vanessa’s favourite places to visit:
- Ruby’s Haberdashery: for that something extra for her clients.
- Brewers BBQ in the Rietfontein Pavilion Centre: for tasty burgers
- Toni’s Fully Furnished Pizza Co: for delicious pizza
- Waverley Plaza, Gezina Galleries and Queens Corner: for shopping
- Easy access to the N1 and N4 highways
- Bordered by the main roads Codonia Avenue and Frates Road, with easy access to neighbouring suburbs and the city
- Close to the Hatfield Gautrain station
- On the municipal bus route
Schools near Villieria:
- Laerskool Villieria
- Laerskool Voorpos
- Laerskool Totiusdal
- Laerskool Pierneef
- Clapham High School
- Hoërskool Oos-Moot
- HTS John Vorster
- Hoërskool Staatspresident CR Swart
Private Property has all the latest property listings in the Moot area. View houses for sale in Villieria here.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.