ECDC supported crafters showcase their craftsmanship at Your Home Expo

JUNE 20, 2015

Twelve Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) supported crafters from the Amathole District Municipality region proudly showcased their craftsmanship at the 15th annual Your Home Expo hosted at the East London International Convention Centre (ICC) recently.

Sprouting from humble beginnings in 2001, the Your Home Expo boasts the Eastern Cape’s largest annual expo actively serving as a platform for emerging crafters. Over the years, the expo has attracted attendance of over 18 000 visitors per expo, over a period of five days. 

“At this year’s instalment of the expo, the selected 12 crafters exhibited their craft in an Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC)-funded collective shop. The collective stand offered a variety of products, ranging from: beadwork, wire works, woodwork, fashion accessories and clothing, homeware, ceramics and fine art.

“Over the years, ECDC has actively assisted 83 crafters with exhibiting their works at the expo; a great platform for maximum exposure. The expo encourages diversity and enables one to their artistic skills with a broader market,” says ECDC support services business advisor, Yandiswa Sodaba.

Appreciative of ECDC’s efforts, furniture and homeware producer Simphiwe Fato of Kuyasa Stutt Cooperative Manufacturing says, “As first time participants at the expo, we are convinced it provided us with the needed exposure to potential customers. As a fairly young entity, we believe that it is through such interventions that we grow into recognizable brands.”

Your Home Expo co-founder, Rodwell Sims, described this year’s show as ‘upmarket’ and housed 170 stands for 130 exhibitors. “A natural progression of the Your Home Magazine, the expo has been an interesting journey of loyalty and good relationships forged with exhibitors. This year’s change of venue provided an interesting and more upmarket feel as it is the first time for the expo to be hosted at a venue of this greatness,” Sims says.

In addition to the crafters’ participation at the expo, the ECDC extended an invitation to Walter Sisulu University of Technology: Fashion Design final year student, Thembalethu Mtshungwana, to come experience the show first hand.

“We had initially invited four students, with the purpose of affording the students with the opportunity to assist in all preparations for the expo and gain experience of what such platforms really do,” Sodaba says.

In another initiative to promote craft development, the ECDC in partnership with the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC), Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council (ECPACC), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and Amathole District Municipality (ADM) will be supporting 44 crafters for this year’s Grahamstown National Arts Festival from 2 -12 July 2015.

“At this year’s Grahamstown National Arts Festival, we will hosting 24 individual company stalls, 6 district stalls and 2 metro stalls to showcase what each region has to offer. Our collaboration with stakeholders with a shared interest in craft offers a greater impact in ensuring enhanced development in the sector.

“It is through such partnerships that we intend to set and maintain high craft standards and also have insight as to what kind of additional interventions are needed to further uplift crafters,” Sodaba explains. - getnews.


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