Describe your business in a short paragraph:
It is a venue for promoting textile and fibre artists in South Africa. Exhibitions of work are held to expose the public to fibre art and classes teaching various techniques are held throughout the year.
When did you start your business?
What prompted you to start/buy your business?
My husband died and I was left alone in a huge house in a beautiful setting which I didn’t want to leave. I’ve been involved with textile/fibre art in South Africa for many years so decided to fill my home with works of art and invite people to come and share them with me. I call it a Living Gallery for two reasons – firstly I live and work here, secondly, on Thursdays there is a group of people who come here to work on their individual pieces. Visitors love to come and see ‘Work in Action”.
My business is aimed at?
Anyone with a creative spirit who enjoys interesting and beautiful things. ( And I believe that everyone has a creative spark somewhere inside them – sometimes they just need help in letting it out.). Anyone looking to purchase fibre art.
What products/services are you offering?
Exhibitions are held throughout the year and there is usually a visiting teacher who conducts classes three or four times a year. From September 17 till October 17 there will be the ‘Inhibitions Exhibition’, a collection of work from South African artists. During this time Melanie Brummer will be teaching textile printing and dyeing techniques. From December 1 till January 16 2014 there will be an exhibition of 90 works entitled “Movie Directors”. These are from artists in Korea, Japan, France and South Africa and are travelling around the world so I’m excited about having them here. I have exhibitions booked until March 2015 but there will also be a constantly changing display of Fibre art from artists in the Cape and Eastern Cape. I plan on starting to teach again – probably in the new year. The Gallery will also have a selection of beautiful hand made patchwork quilts for sale – all made by local quilters.
What is your competitive advantage?
The Pinkhaus is the only gallery in the Garden Route that specializes in textile art. Because of my years of involvement with textile artists around South Africa I have an incredible group of friends and artists whose work and knowledge I can draw from. South African artists in this field are some of the best in the world but they are not really recognized for their work in South Africa
Organised the Travelling Exhibition “Round the Bend” for the South African Quilters’ Guild which toured South Africa for 18 months. This particular exhibition proved to be the second most popular exhibition that the Pretoria Art Gallery had ever had and I had to fight to get them to show it originally. Being an ‘ART’ gallery, and the top one in the country to boot, they felt that textile art was ‘craft’. When I showed them photographs of the work they changed their collective minds and exhibited them. They even bought a piece by Roy Starke. That gave me a huge amount of personal satisfaction. (By the way – the MOST popular exhibition at the Pretoria Art Gallery was the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition which was travelling the world so we were in good company!)
Was commissioned to make replica quilts for the Museum of Cultural History in Pretoria and for the Pioneer Museum in Pretoria..
Have written articles for various magazines about aspects of working with textiles.
Appeared on Kyknet’s Art programme being interviewed about textile art. (Very difficult because my Afrikaans is atrocious!)
What makes your business stand out in the crowd?
It’s not an intense ‘business’. It’s different, very relaxed and people enjoy being here. They leave here feeling uplifted, it’s very gratifying.
Complete the following statements:
“Through experience, I’ve learnt that ……………”
if you do what you love and can survive that’s real success.
“In future my business will offer …………….”
more classes. In September Melanie Brummer (of ‘Show me How’ fame) is teaching for three days. In March 2014 Kathryn Harmer- Fox is teaching here and I will be looking for more teachers before year’s end. I’m excited too because the Gallery has been included in the new Art Route in Great Brak, is involved in the Muse Festival at the end of September and has also been put on the Fragrance Route which is an initiative to draw tourists inland from Great Brak towards the lovely village of Friemersheim in order to create work for the many unemployed folk in that area.
What is the most important message you wish to send to the community?
Doing something creative, even if it is planting a seed in a pot and nurturing it, helps to lift your spirits. Better than Prozac.