Waterfront revamp to boost small traders

5 VA Blueshed highres 1 300x252 Waterfront revamp to boost small traders

More than 1 500 m2 of trading space will be added to the existing workshop with the official unveiling scheduled for June 2014.

Thanks to a R50 million revamp, many Cape Town business owners could soon see their businesses flourish when the V&A Waterfront Craft Market and Wellness Centre opens this coming winter.

The Blue Shed, where small business owners currently trade, is being extended and will present an even larger opportunity owing to the additional space being created. More than 1 500 m2 of trading space will be added to the existing workshop, with the official unveiling scheduled for June 2014.

Entrepreneur Janine Jones of Janine Jones Creations tells of her humble beginnings branching into the craft market trade. She says her turnover has skyrocketed to R2 million since trading at the Waterfront craft market.

“I started my business because I was pregnant at the time, and needed to find something to do to sustain myself and my unborn child,” says Jones.

Jones, from Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town, started her hand-beaded cutlery business, African Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic and Mosaic Art, with only R500.

She began trading at the Constantia Christmas Craft Market and later moved to Greenmarket Square. However, one day while trading at Greenmarket Square, Jones realised that her stock would be sold out by 2 pm, and people suggested she sell her goods at the Waterfront.

Says Jones: “Since trading at The Blue Shed in 2006, it has only been positive for my business. Everybody can make something, but at the end of the day, you don’t have the Waterfront clients. You know that tourists will always come to the Waterfront and, in this way, your business will become something.”

Jones, who aims to only use local people in her business, says: “I employ single mothers, because I am a single mother. I also work with members of Cape Mental Health. They do the woodwork and the single mothers work with the mosaic. I like to keep it local. Local is lekker.”

According to the V&A’s PR and communications manager, Carla White, this is a redevelopment of the Waterfront’s enterprise development platform. The focus is on craft and design.

“Rental and application criteria are still to be finalised and will be outlined later,” says White.

The 144 entrepreneurs who currently fall under the V&A enterprise development programme will have to undergo a five-step planning process that will be introduced when the new space opens in June.

V&A Waterfront CEO, David Green, says, “In a recent economic impact study, we established the job creation power that small business has. This investment will further enhance the job creation power of small businesses. Enterprise development is enormously important, not only because we want it to grow, but also because we have a vested interest in small business owners’ success.”

David Green, Janine Jones, , The Blue Shed, V&A Waterfront

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