CCDI @ V&A Waterfront

Small groups of craft producers have had a great opportunity to test out their products and sales skills at the V&A Waterfront

Building on this pilot initiative and their involvement in its conceptulisation, the Cape Craft Design Institute - CCDI - will continue to be part of the Waterfront’s visionary R50 million Watershed project to reimagine craft and design retail in this location.

"For the past nine months, a 20m² space at the Red Shed at the V&A Waterfront has been made available to groups of four to six craft producers each. It has been an ideal platform for those who have taken part in our popular Retail Readiness course, among others. Their joint turnover, from October to May, was worth over R250 000!

Each group has enjoyed use of this space for a month, and the individual members have had to collaborate to maximise its full potential. They have had to work out how to manage their income, make the space attractive to customers and generally learn how to do business in a protected retail environment.

About 80% of the enterprises have been emerging businesses, and their best sellers have been traditional handmade products geared to the tourist market, such as wire works and items linked to the Big Five animals.

The CCDI has had a long association with the Waterfront and in June 2012 began a conversation with their retail and marketing executives about how to better position craft and design in what is South Africa’s most visited destination. With the Waterfront back in SA hands and other initiatives like Workshop 17 and WDC2014 gaining traction, it became possible to completely re-imagine craft and design at the V&A. We participated in a series of discussions and visualisation sessions with the marketing and retail team and architects in late 2013 to help craft the vision and direction for the market component of this innovative and eye-catching building.

And in April 2014 the V&A launched the Watershed – a stunning building, designed by Wolff Architects, with the content curated by Trevyn McGowan of Southern Guild and Source.

This development promises not only to be a great external renovation, but also heralds an evolution of the product offering at this retail space visited by 25million people a year. We are very proud to have been involved in this new initiative with the V&A which we are sure will turn out to be a great investment for the sector. We plan to continue with our model piloted in the Red Shed and are finalising our plans to lease our own space in the Watershed,. We’ll keep you posted on opportunities to be part of this exciting development.

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