cape trade market
Craft Markets in South Africa have undergone an exciting revival in the last few years with new markets springing up in almost every park and shopping centre. Now online craft markets have started expanding the platform for a variety of talented crafters. Cape Trade Market is one such online craft market but with a difference, of course. Specialising in hand-crafted goods made from locally sourced, sustainable materials by crafters in (mainly) the Overberg region. A wide variety of unique crafts are sold on the Cape Trade Market’s online store and each month new crafters join the wonderful initiative. We spent an inspiring afternoon at Umshanti with a handful of these talented crafters as well as the masterminds (or creative minds, really) behind Cape Trade Market. Initiators, Amanda Shackley and Graham Mutyambizi, are both talented marketers who share a passion for crafts and a deeply rooted love for (and knowledge of) the Overberg.
When speaking to the various crafters it becomes clear that although their creations are divergent, the crafters do have one thing in common – a love and need for creating. With the various crafts ranging from hand sewn cards, cement and paper lamps, beautiful wooden toys to unique, modern jewellery and stunning paintings, we were truly astound by the creative company we were in.
So what is there to buy you ask? First up is Christiane Dreismann’s gorgeous hand woven scarfs. These scarfs are exquisite, made of the finest natural yarns and hand woven in her shop in Swellendam’s most popular tourist destination Swellengrebel Street. Christiane, who was born in Germany, inherited her passion for textile crafting from her textile designer father and dressmaker mother.
Apart from her fabulous scarfs she also produces beautiful table cloths, blankets and other home linens. All with the help of her two right hand women who through Christiane’s mentorship have mastered weaving and are now full time employees at Christiane’s shop.
Another multi-talented creative who sells an array of crafts on Cape Trade Market online store is Ronel Dunn. Ronel is an experimenter who is always looking for ways to renew her crafts. From unique mason jar lamps, beautiful beaded jewellery to finely decorated cards she has a knack for creating with finer and more delicate materials.
The wax-dyed, pure cotton, African inspired clothing by Vanessa Hulley blew me away. I absolutely love the bold colours of the fabrics used in her Modern Africa range. Vanessa started sewing as a teenager in an effort to create clothing that suited her taste and has never looked back since. Her high quality designs are trendy yet comfortable and each garment is perfectly finished by her expert hand.
I also got to meet Shinel of Hello Dolly, a self-taught costume jewellery designer with a passion for fashion, jewellery and all things pretty. This Bloemfontein native who now finds herself in Swellendam began making her own jewellery after receiving a compliment for a necklace she had bought. After making a similar one for the fun of it word got out and soon Shinel started buying supplies to make a whole bunch. Shinel’s designs are modern, colourful and each piece is a one-of-a-kind. If you are looking for a statement necklace or earings to round off your latest clothing buy head over to Cape Trade Market’s online craft market for a unique Hello Dolly piece.
These are but a few of the crafts available online on Cape Trade Market’s website. From hand-made wooden toys and extravagant doll houses to one-of-a-kind jewellery and stunning paintings all produced in the Overberg by enormously talented, small-town folk. So whether you’re looking for a special gift for someone or looking to treat yourself we strongly suggest you have a look on Cape Trade Market for a bit of Overberg inspired arts and crafts.