Guest Blog by Georgie Polkinghorne, LoA Cape Town City Reporter
Classic architectural design met innovation and handcrafted creativity at the KAMERS Autumn 2015 Cape Town showcase at the Cape Town City Hall in South Africa this month.
The ever-popular KAMERS 2015 handcrafted expo held in Cape Town, South Africa, ran from the 7th to the 10th of May at the Cape Town City Hall, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, attracting many visitors to the event. The numerous business exhibits and creative displays, many of them women-owned, ranged from showcasing unique hand-made beauty products through to ceramics. Each one was a reflection of their creator, together with an example of renowned South African handcrafted creativity.
The KAMERS showcase utilized the many different rooms and display venues in the Cape Town City Hall to create a sophisticated and surprisingly uncrowded event, despite plenty of interested visitors moving through the venues. The event is open plan and there are no partitions between the various exhibits and displays, so visitors were able to easily move from one entrepreneur to the next. Visitors were also able to buy coffee and other treats while they viewed the showcase. Food trucks were parked outside Cape Town City Hall, on Adderley Street, which allowed visitors the opportunity to enjoy the last of Cape Town’s good weather and get a quick snack whilst shopping.
Women entrepreneurs were well-represented at the showcase which is why KAMERS is such a coveted exhibition for entrepreneurs wanting exposure for their work. Exhibitors came from all over South Africa to be a part of the showcase. Interestingly, there is no competition between exhibitors. Everyone is there to support each other and grow the South African handcrafted marketplace. It is not uncommon to see exhibitors borrowing petty cash from each other to make change or using extension cords from the neighbouring exhibits to supply power to their own displays.
The women entrepreneurs who took part in KAMERS 2015 Cape Town all had advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Sera Holland of Handmade by Me, borrowed Nike’s slogan to tell entrepreneurs to “Just do it” and “trust your own instincts”. Jenna Engledoe from Raw Joy shows that patience really is a virtue as she has been building her jewellery business single handedly. The business names created by these women are also testament to the hard work, commitment and passion involved, with many entrepreneurs guaranteeing quality by attaching their own name to their brand. The best examples of this are the businesses: Inspired Art From The Heart; By Meg; Handmade By Me; Raw Joy and Dimizique Jewellery.
Lionesses of Africa visited KAMERS early on Saturday 9th May, the third day of the showcase. The exhibitors, although starting to grow tired after three busy days at the event, were ready for the weekend crowds and the exposure it would bring them.
KAMERS is a true celebration of South Africa and its reputation for creating quality and innovative handcrafted goods. The event provides a wonderful opportunity for South African entrepreneurs to exhibit their products, for local small businesses to supply great food and drinks, and for Cape Town’s landmarks to be fully utilized and appreciated in a different way. A previous KAMERS showcase was held at the Castle of Good Hope. This year’s event set a high standard for future such entrepreneurial showcases to follow.
KAMERS VOL GESENKE should be a priority event for any woman entrepreneur, whether it is to showcase designs and products or to support fellow exhibitors - it is not to be missed.
To learn about more KAMERS events, visit their website: http://kamersvol.com
Georgie Polkinghorne is a guest contributor to Lionesses of Africa and reports on events as a Cape Town 'City Reporter'. Georgie is a third year student of Business Science at the University of Cape Town. She has a passion for writing and follows women's entrepreneurship, business and lifestyle events in the 'Mother City'.