Take a Peek at local designs

2017-02-28 06:01

A new website dedicated to showcasing locally made craft and design products is being launched by the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) today.

The website, where you can search for and connect with crafters and designers, is free to use. The website has been piloted since August last year with small businesses and currently lists over 120 businesses and showcases over 630 local products.

CCDI executive director Erica Elk believes the new platform, called Peek, will open up access to new markets for the many small craft and design businesses in South Africa.

According to Elk, Peek provides a platform for SA’s creative businesses to showcase their work to a countrywide and global audience. While it is not a trading platform the website links to businesses’ own websites and eCommerce sites.

“One of the key challenges for small businesses remains access to markets. With technology, however, we have the opportunity to bridge the divide and create new ways for beautiful local products to reach local and international buyers and consumers,” says Elk.

The CCDI is a non-profit organisation with 15 years of experience growing local creative businesses, Elk explains. Over 2200 businesses make direct use of the CCDI’s services yearly.

“Peek will enable many business that have constrained local market opportunities in their towns and cities to access a much larger audience and consumer base for free.”

Peek is not a curated website and so its unique value is the diversity of the range of products and aesthetics, she adds.

“There is something for everyone on this site.”

Small businesses have unique challenges like lack of capacity, skills, skilled staff and resources such as funding, equipment, technology and market access, making it necessary for intermediary organisations such as the CCDI to provide support, Elk adds.

“It is through the work of designers that a local contemporary aesthetic and local innovation emerge that are much more sustainable than a reactive response to external trends.”

Creative businesses can sign up for the Peek website by registering as a business member on the national database at www.ccdi.org.za. Once registered, Peek is free and businesses can load their products on it themselves.

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