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Magdel Kemp: The artisanal pop-up champion

Updated: May 13, 2019




Magdel Kemp @magdelkemp is the co-owner, COO and CFO of Kamers/Makers @kamersvol , the leading South African pop-up, artisanal, craft and design retail show, which is held annually in major cities across the country. Kamers/Makers’ vision is to be a national platform for creative entrepreneurs where their products can be sold, thus stimulating creativity and innovation and allowing them to generate a sustainable income. Their focus is on top quality, unique, proudly South African products that are not easily found in the mass produced market. Kamers/Makers is already 16 years old, originally started by 1 & run by 4 women who wanted a place to sell alternative gift options for Xmas. For the first 6 years, the venture did not generate any real profit and Magdel and her co-owner, Wanda du Toit @bliss_full_life (who is also the Creative director & CEO) bought out the rest of the partners. Today the business generates a healthy, multi-million rand turnover, employs 11 permanent staff members, hosts 5 annual shows across the country with a visitor base of 55 000 people, & each show incorporates 220 entrepreneurs (a cohort that is whittled down from over 600 applications that are received annually!). Magdel, a mom of 2, who has a law degree, says the biggest challenge of being an entrepreneur is growing a business to the point where it is financially stable and being able to distinguish between business plans that will work and ones that won’t. She is immensely proud of the fact that Kamers/Makers has grown to be the main source of income for so many creative entrepreneurs and helps creatives bridge the gap between creating and building a business; but that it does come with a huge sense of responsibility. We are inspired by Magdel’s commitment to Kamers/Makers aim of shaping the local design/craft scene in SA and her tenacity in the long journey it has been to building the successful business and brand that the show has become. Magdel loves cheap crime novels and cannot make anything handmade herself! (The latest Kamers show is in Stellenbosch @blaauwklippen from 30 Oct-4 Nov 2018).

Featured artist: Ilse Lewis @novawoolf_ilse_xx

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