Champagne Women: Claire van Tonder from Amelia’s Armoire

If you haven’t discovered the wonders of Amelia’s Armoire yet, you are about to discover a world of beautiful things – and just in time to knock off all of your Christmas shopping! The gorgeous Claire van Tonder, the woman behind the online store, is a mum of one and a curator of beautiful things from her native South Africa. Stop by and get to know her a little bit. And don’t forget to check out Amelia’s Armoire too.

Take it away, Claire…

What do you wish you had more of in your life? 

Air miles! My family is scattered across a few continents  (Dubai, South Africa and Australia) so I’d love to be able to jump on a plane whenever I miss them or would like to have a cup of tea with one of my best friends back in South Africa.

What do you wish you had less of? 

Housework – the never-ending piles of washing and ironing really get to me. How does the washing basket never appear to be empty when there are only three of us in our household.

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What’s your favourite ‘me time’ activity? 

A massage is my number 1 indulgence but those don’t happen very open with a baby and no family in Melbourne so it’s easier to squeeze in a quick mani and pedi on a weekend when my husband is home. Reading a magazine whilst there is how I really switch off and enjoy the ‘me time’.


What’s the best gift you’ve given yourself recently? 

A pair of Witchery white jeans – I’ve been coveting a pair for a couple of years but I’ve never found ones that looked good (ie. were flattering & not see-through) plus I only got back to my pre-pregnancy body once I finished breastfeeding at 12 months. Yes, those rumours of the pregnancy weight “literally falling off” due to breast feeding didn’t ring true for me 🙂

What’s your favourite song to belt out in the shower? 

Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. My favourite. Probably not the neighbours!

You have a night off from the kids and unlimited funds: what do you do? 

Jump on a plane to Sydney and spend a night in best suite of the Four Seasons with views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, champagne (of course!) and a fabulous meal with my husband. 

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What’s the secret to striking a balance among your life’s competing priorities? 

Someone once said to me “pick your battles” in reference to bringing up children and I actually think it’s a great motto for life. I try to choose what is really worth fighting for and prioritise those things. It’s a work in progress I guess.

Do you have a favourite memory involving champagne? 

So many to choose from but we got married at a winery in Stellenbosch (a wine region outside Cape Town) and having recently watched our wedding video again, I’d have to say when we used the beautiful local champagne to toast with all of our friends and family from far and wide surrounding us.


141112 claire van tonder 4My name is Claire van Tonder. I’m a 32 year old small business owner living in Melbourne and I’m currently on maternity leave – a wife and mum to a gorgeous (can you tell I am biased?) little boy. I started my online store, Amelia’s Armoire, approximately two years ago to showcase beautiful things sourced from my native South Africa. I’ve tried to combine my passions and skills – I studied marketing at Uni and have worked in a fast-paced commercial environment ever since but I love beautiful things and the accessibility of the digital world. I’ve been an ‘early adopter’ of social media on a personal front so an online store filled with beautiful things just made sense to me.

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Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.

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