Western Cape Craft Producers Earn Robust Turnover for Handmade Products

Francois Korver Stoor at Ceramics Decorex Cape Town

Western Cape craft producers affiliated to the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) have racked up sales and orders worth over R1 million at several local and international trade and consumer shows this year.

The CCDI, a Section 21 company set up ten years ago by the Western Cape provincial government and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, formed part of an SA delegation that attended the Ambiente International trade show in Germany in February 2010.

Vuyisile Mshudulu, CCDI market access manager: exports and retail outlets, said the 14 Western Cape companies at Ambiente collectively made over 400 contacts with buyers and conducted trade worth about R556 000, of-which sales were 10% and orders 90%. Based on leads made by the craft producers, there could be a significant increase in the trade value reported thus far.

“Generally the Western Cape companies performed very well. They adhered to the basics of trade show behavior and etiquette. In most instances this can be directly attributed to the various export development programmes hosted by the CCDI and its partners.

“The hard work invested in the Craft and Design Sector Customized Sector Programme has yielded very positive results. All this would not be possible without the support and commitment of the dti.”

Mshudulu said the CCDI was now assisting four Western Cape craft producers preparing to take part in London’s Top Drawer lifestyle show from 12-14 September 2010.

Craft sales have also not lagged on the local front. Recent CCDI success stories include:

  • Some 23 craft producers racked up R76 000 of sales at the Design Indaba Expo at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in February. The CCDI stand occupied 30m² of prime space, showcasing décor and homeware, fashion accessories and craft art. It was geared to appeal to both casual browsers and international buyers.
  • Six craft producers on a 36m² stand took orders worth over R194 600 from retail buyers at the business-to-business SARCDA International trade show, held at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg from 11-14 March. The handmade products ranged from textiles and soft toys to ceramics and felt items. The CCDI also won an award and trophy for its design focus.
  • The CCDI exhibited for the first time at the Decorex Durban consumer show from 19-22 March. The 21 participants on the 60m² stand notched up total sales of over R55 300 for items selling for as little as R25, to a wooden recliner worth R17 500. They also won an award for stand excellence.
  • Some 75 Western Cape craft producers took part in a soccer-themed trade show organised by the CCDI at its Cape Town headquarters from 23-26 March. This attracted buyers in the retail, conference and hospitality industries eager to stock up for the soccer mega-event, as well as representatives of government departments eager to beautify their offices before the arrival of soccer visitors. The Handmade [Cape] Wholesale division of the CCDI has processed a total of R24 878.00 worth of quotations directly linked to the soccer trade show, and to date R18 552.79 has been converted into orders through Handmade [Cape] Wholesale.
  • A CCDI gift shop set up at the CTICC from 7-12 March during the first International Congress of Actuaries held in Africa netted over R47167 for 34 craft producers. Delegates snapped up products such as jewellery, handbags and children’s toys to take back for their families.
  • A 128 m² CCDI stand in the restaurant section of the popular Cape Town International Jazz Festival held from 3-4 April attracted over R39 900 in sales of fashion and lifestyle accessories and music- and soccer-themed products.

Jo-lene Sathorar, CCDI market access manager: local and national markets, said: “It has been a whirlwind couple of months and we are delighted with the response. The CCDI is now in its tenth year and clearly the time and funding invested in growing craft producers through numerous supportive programmes is paying off. There is also far more appreciation of the beauty and uniqueness of the handmade.”

The CCDI plans to take part in a range of South African trade and consumer shows during 2010. These will include fashion items at The Show at the Roodebloem Studios from 11-12 May; the Homemakers Expo (2-5 September) at the CTICC; the Outdoor Expo at Bien Donne in Franschhoek (8-10 October); and the Baby Expo at the CTICC (29-31 October).

Contact: www.capecraftanddesign.org.za │021 461 1488 │75 Harrington Street Cape Town.

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