The Fringe Handmade

There are quite a few markets and spaces for selling creative goods in Cape Town: I plan to check them all out, chat to the stallholders about their shops and goods, and find out how the markets themselves run.

I’ll probably also eat cake, drink homemade lemonade, buy some pressies and lust after necklaces, shoes and beautiful textiles.

The Fringe Handmade is on its second monthly outing, held on a space of land on the edge of District Six outside the legendary Charly’s Bakery, now referred to as the Fringe District.

With canvas awnings to keep off the glaring sun and DJ sets booming from under the trees, it’s a cool set up – there was even a stage for bands to play.

< I spotted this communal shoelace art on a fence behind the market – I also saw a gate decorated in bright, eye-catching plastics, transforming a utilitarian item into a festive fence.

A couple of businesses caught my eye amidst the many traders selling ceramics, jewellery, beaded souvenirs, trendy clothes and printed Tshirts.

Blankspace is a tiny gallery in the heart of the city, full of prints, cards and sumptuous letterpressed stationery.

It’s difficult to explain how much I love letterpressing – you have to be a stationery fiend to understand – so why had I never thought of letterpressed business cards? With the help of Blankspace owners Charlene & Andy, that could just be my next project.

The excellent Blankspace Blog is full of Instagram pics of quirky, creative Cape Town – and the aforementioned lemonade.

Anomalie began just a year ago, set up by two graduates as a jeweller “that deviates from what is normal, standard or expected.”

The bookworm in me loved the spoon-carved necklace of the little nut-brown rabbit from Guess How Much I Love You.

The foxy emblem proclaims Anomali “for the curious,” so I curiously asked lots of questions about how their first year in business has been.

We chatted about what it’s like to show at the Design Indaba Expo, and I found out about some of the other markets for creative goods around the city: I hope to chat further with Anomali and learn more about being a new start-up in South Africa’s design world.

Now there is a thing I didn’t expect at The Fringe Handmade – shoes! Pretty, custom-made flats from Boheme, created from any fabric of your choosing and sculpted just for you.

Founder Astrid has invited me to visit the workshop to see the cobbling process: I’ll also find out more about her Happy Feet programme, the social enterprise she’s set up to provide disadvantaged kids with their first ever pair of shiny new shoes – made especially for them.

So watch this space, as I’ve found a legitimate reason to keep up the occasional blogging about shoes. (Here’s my 2011 Shoe Challenge blog.)

Synergies in Scotland

There are several craft and makers markets in Scotland, but I’ve never come across one that had this energy: the bands, the DJs, the staff dancing. It was like a tiny, regular little Meadows Festival in Edinburgh, or West End Festival in Glasgow, but in an area undergoing regeneration. Do you know of any comparable events? Let me know!


Previous Posts from Cape Town

Welcome to Design Indaba – an introduction to my hosts, with their mind-expanding conference, showcase Expo and about 200,000 other cool projects for a creative nation.

ICE, ICE, baby – overview of Creative Scotland’s International Creative Entrepreneurs.


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