Africandy, ‘The Definitive South African Design Emporium’, is a new online store showcasing the best of locally designed and made furniture and products, and they’re just about to launch. After seeing their beautifully designed site by Deep Interactive and the covetable items, by David Krynauw, Joe Paine, Duncan Stevens, Urban Africa, Woltemade and Snapp, that feature in their launch campaign/competition, we had to know more. One of the Africandy founders, Chris Van Niekerk, filled us in.
Who is the team behind Africandy?
Africandy was founded by myself and Pierre du Plessis. We are both architects who completed our degrees in 2002 at the University of Pretoria. Our third and fourth partners work in finance and information technology and are based in Zurich and London respectively.
What were your reasons for starting the company?
We wanted to be in a position to showcase the finest South African design under one umbrella brand. This desire stems from a need to limit the association some people have with South African design being a pastiche of curio artefacts but that we can present an amazing cross section of designers who tend to have very different sensibilities. Its amazing to see how varied South African designers’ work is; from the very technologically influenced, to the very hand-made.
What kind of product can people expect to find on the site?
The platform will represent everything from small gifting type items to really high-end furniture items, as well as even limited edition or one-off pieces. The idea is that it becomes not only a place to buy South African product, but that it becomes a resource of information about designers. All designers biographies are included on the portal. We are also excited about being in a position to constantly discover emerging designers and to position their work next to established designers will lend a sense of gravitas to their work.
What’s your selection process for designers or products?
Simple: every item that is selected needs to display a sense of integrity in either the way it was made, or the clarity of the concept behind it, or the way the materials used were engaged in its making. The financial value of the product shown has nothing to do with the process of selection.
Why South African design in particular?
We felt that South Africa is ready for a product like this and we want aspirational South Africans to support their own industry rather than the cheaply made and imported product which floods the market. South Africa is an interesting place perhaps due to a loss of a particular identity and so the idea of what is South African product is left open to interpretation. I think this is a fertile place from which to work. As one of the USP’s is that all the product is locally produced, its also makes the concept viable and interesting for the tourist industry ie. in the future visitors to the country will be able to purchase South African product online rather than schlep it home with them in their luggage.
Who designed the site?
It was designed by Deep Interactive.
(Logo designed by Monday Design.)
Do you have future plans for a physical store?
We do, but the plans for this are a while away.
When do you officially launch?
The site will launch in time to shop online for Christmas.
There you have it! Check it our for yourselves at www.africandy.com