Kamers/Makers (Oct) in review...

Kamers/Makers (Oct) in review...

As usual, the Kamers/Makers Market team and vast array of makers did a stellar job putting together an incredible event at the gorgeous Blaauwklippen Wine Estate from 6-10 March. Carefully curated, home-grown products, breathtakingly styled and professionally managed, you don’t get much better than the Kamers franchise!

October last year was our first time taking part in this renowned pop-up market, and I spent most of 2023 working myself into a nice, juicy pulp of anxiety and apprehension… This time around, I felt much more at ease during the build-up to the show. I knew what to expect and a lot of the major work (like planning and building our stall) felt much less overwhelming now.

It was also super helpful to already know some of our neighbouring vendors. There’s nothing like a friendly face to calm the nerves, but the bonds forged between fellow makers at Kamers is something special: A culture of camaraderie is evident amongst long-standing vendors, and newbies are welcomed with warmth and support. We celebrate each other’s victories; we collectively commiserate on disappointments.

Talk of disappointments…

One of the hardest lessons that Entrepreneurship has taught me is this: Sometimes, regardless of how hard you work, how well prepared you are, how much you want it, things simply don’t work out.

Sadly, this was our fate at this past Kamers Market.

Hubby, Alex, and I had high hopes for our second attempt and went in with guns ablaze! We decided to exhibit a wider range of work alongside the SA Animal Alphabet that performed so well during the October show, including my wildlife art, our hand-crafted wooden animal masks and greeting cards.

Our first stall build in October was a steep learning experience, and this time around we were able to implement some much needed improvements. I was really happy with our stall! It looked professional and pretty, but it was mainly just so amazing to see so much of my work displayed together in one place. Whenever I finish an artwork, it gets wrapped up and stored for safe-keeping, or it goes off to a market/gallery in the hopes of finding its forever home. It was really satisfying and humbling to see a whole “gallery” of my work on display. There it all was: A beautiful summary of weeks, months, years worth of hard work and perseverance…

Although we didn’t have good sales during the show, I have no regrets whatsoever. If we didn’t try, we would have had no sales, no contacts made, no leads generated, no friends made, no experience to share and to learn from.

So — Was it the season? Time of the month? Our stall’s placement? Is the economy to blame? The weather? Our stall layout? The choice or quality of our products?

No. There is no One Thing that can carry the burden of blame. Every dog has its day, and it just wasn’t our day. I’m choosing to write it off as bad luck, a combination of uncontrollable, undefinable circumstances, and most of all, an opportunity to grow and improve and do better next time.

Will we be back at Kamers/Makers? I really do hope so! Preferably with a big bone in the mouth and our tails wagging!


Shout-out to my favourite neighbours from Kamers:

Lienké from Greetings by Lienké (stunningly soft and sensitive watercolour art and stationery); Karin from Butter (unique and adorable cotton kids clothing); Adela from Busyhands (delightful hand-knitted and crochetted toys); Megan from Maccie (high quality, functional baby goods for the modern mamma); Michelle and Ann from CoralBloom Studio (gorgeous nature-inspired functional art and textiles); and Mariet from Noemnoem Jewellery (bespoke jewellery made for nature lovers).


Here's some of the behind-the-scenes prep action:

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Yup, that's our stall IN OUR LIVING ROOM!
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Our cottage is pretty small, so we're sitting under the kitchen counter, having a cup of tea, surveying the madness and talking strategy!
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Figuring out the spacing of my original art... Can you see Kitty's white footsies with Alex on the left? She's never too far away from the action!
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Finally , we're set up at Kamers:
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