Small and medium businesses, from small workshops to design studios to medium sized factories are making their way to new local and international markets. Craftscurator is coaching a group of 29 companies from South Africa. In this long term programme, exporters are learning what it takes to launch product ranges on the European market.
Some specialize in making wooden furniture, with turned wooden legs and details. Others use handlooms or restore 19th centry industrial looms to make home textiles. Many make use of the rich natural materials of the country, using hides and feathers. Some companies focus on crafts, finding contemporary applications for traditional techniques such as embroidery, basket weaving and beadworking. Many make use of digital fabrication by using CNC machines or 3D printers to make components of their products.
Craftscurator is travelling to South Africa regularly to visit workshops, give training, and guide these entrepreneurs to find new market opportunities. A group of exporters is now preparing to exhibit in local trade fairs in Johannesburg. Next year, they are going to present themselves on European trade fairs.
Keep an eye on this website and the Craftscurator newsletter to learn where to see design and craft from South Africa next!