EXHIBITOR NEWS: Unique and colourful needlework items for your home
Solanka is an empowerment project of the Free State Care in Action, 002-649 NPO, in Vrede, South Africa. Volunteers with a diversity of skills are committed to the project. A board of directors and auditors oversee the project and its finances. The name Solanka is an acronym for “solank as ons werk het” (as long as we have work).
Solanka will be exhibiting the Shweshwe products created by these talented women at this year’s show with a main focus on throws with matching pillows for interior decoration in the hospitality sector, like hotels and guesthouses.
“These proudly South African products will be suitable for any country worldwide,” says Annemarie.
Additionally, focus will also be on unique colourful soft toys, in 2 ranges, a safari and a woodland range. Along with this goes decorating of nurseries.
Solanka has a mission of empowering disadvantaged women through designing and sewing using the proudly South African fabric Shweshwe. To promote the craft of local women through export.
“All our crafts are handmade by women. These artisans are encouraged to design new products. The project leader manages the manufacturing and oversees quality control of the products. Eight women received training as sewing machine operators,” says Annemarie.
Annemarie adds,” interior decorating with Shweshwe should be fun. It’s about finding the style that makes you feel great. No need to follow trends when you can set your own. We’ll be happy to help with that”.
The project has the capacity to produce in quantity and is able to convert its unique style of creativity by involving all the women in the manufacturing process. All fabrics are manufactured in South Africa of which remaining materials are recycled by making patchwork items.
Annemarie says: “We follow fair trade practices where women who make the products are benefiting from training and are sharing in profits. We are teaching the women to be environmentally sensitive by proper disposal of unusable materials.”
Solanka believes that SAITEX is the idealplatform to expand its database for new connections to sell its products and to see where its target market is.
See Solanka at Hall 3 (Under the Free-state pavilion, Stand no. A1-A12)