My Story, our story

Newsletter 7: Going leaner to go further

Going leaner to go further

In June last year our family moved to a smaller home, having sold our house a year earlier and invested the proceeds.  We rented for 10 months before making the decision to buy a smaller place.  In the process we made decisions about what furniture, clothes, books and toys to keep and which to sell or give away. It made me realise how much excess stuff we had accumulated.  During that time we were mindful to keep only what we need and what will take us forward in the future.  Although at times it feels cramped, we know there is a purpose in this season and it will not last forever.

Meet the Crafters

We started off this year by visiting our Limpopo based crafters in Mopane District for much-needed catch up time.  It was a much-anticipated and long overdue trip with me brushing up on my Xitsonga a few days before departure.  Day 1 was for meeting the main group leaders of the co-operatives we work with to discuss progress, plans for the year and listen to and voice concerns.  Day 2 was a guided village tour which included a visit to the newly built (by Dept of Rural Development) community centre, which will host a library, shared craft studio and display area for tourists.

In the picture above – Virginia (front row left) and her sister Eunice (middle row left) – with the group of crafters from Mopane District showcasing hand-crafted telephone wire baskets.

For the majority of the women, life is a balancing act between farming and crafting.  For others, employment initiatives such as the community works programme (CWP) by the Dept of Cooperative Governance – combined with crafting, makes a difference in increasing their household income.  Although not all were present, it was good to connect to the faces and names behind our beautiful telephone wire basket products.

Financial Controls

Through the seminars we attended last year and some experiences at trying to secure growth funding, we realised how hard it is to move a start-up without adequate financial support.  As a result we engaged some
knowledgeable friends and family to assist us in putting together our very first set of financial statements.  This is not only good practice, but will help us in the years to come to track how far we\’ve come and to measure year-on-year progress.

Upcoming attractions

In March we look forward to attending the Global Entrepreneurship Congress and in April we will once more exhibit at the Proudly South African Buy Local Summit.  Click here to register for Buy Local Summit and meet us there.  We look forward to sharing those experiences with you.

Till next month,

Goodbye, Salani Kahle & Totsiens,

Nomaswazi Tinus
Founder & Director
African Mamas Crafts

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