MARKETING: Cape Crafters Clinch Orders
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Emerging Western Cape craft enterprises have boosted orders, one by as much as R10 000, in the first ever décor trade show organised by the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI).
A total of 21 décor producers from Cape Town and as far afield as Plettenberg Bay, Philadelphia and Franschhoek enjoyed direct access to leading retail buyers, architects, interior decorators and lifestyle media, who attended the opening function and three-day show at the CCDI headquarters in the Cape Town CBD. (28-30 July)
The CCDI, now in its ninth year, provides craft producers with product support, business mentoring, training and market access. It has some 1300 Western Cape craft enterprises on its database, representing about 10 000 craft producers.
The wares included stools, tables, photo frames, kitchenware covers, ceramics, soft furnishings and lifestyle accessories. They were produced from media ranging from leather and wire to wool, felt and driftwood.
“The CCDI regularly takes part in external trade shows, and the time was right for us to set up our own show in order to showcase emerging producers in a supportive and nurturing environment,” said Jo-lene Sathorar, CCDI market access manager for local and national markets.
“It was the ideal opportunity to groom emerging entrepreneurs and to offer them a direct interface with buyers. They were able to discuss current trends and buying patterns with those experienced in the marketplace. It was amazing to see what some crafters produced, and many have exceptional drive.”
Vuyisile Mshudulu, CCDI market access manager for exports and retail outlets, said that many of the crafters had received orders and one producer concluded business worth R10 000. Retailers had also set up post-event meetings with crafters to develop customized products to meet their niche markets.
“Buyers often ask to see new products, and this was an opportunity for them to view fresh, exciting, handmade items ahead of the major decorating trade shows. We also ensured that the products met the high quality requirements demanded by these discerning markets.”
CCDI executive director Erica Elk said the success of this décor show had encouraged the CCDI to hold regular quarterly trade shows that would target sectors such as fashion accessories, décor and products for the baby and child market.
“Our aim is to bring the Cape Town retail market into direct contact with producers in an intimate, manageable and cost-effective way. We want producers to make good contacts and to create relationships that will take their businesses to new heights.”
All aspects of the crafts value chain are present within the Western Cape. Retail dominates the value matrix, thanks to the large tourist presence and existence of a relatively affluent metropolitan area within the province. Craft retail includes diverse product from across the continent and further afield and is primarily mid-to-high end, with the dominant retail forms being commercial retail outlets, galleries and producer outlets.
Most producers operate on a micro or small scale. Production is oriented towards mid- to high-end pricing, with a diverse product range dominated by homeware, fashion jewellery and accessories.
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