Faces of Caledon - Joretha and Trevor
Meet Joretha and Trevor, stallholders from the conceptions days of the Caledon Country Market in 2018. Here is their story so far....
THE JOURNEY FROM MATERIALIZE TO J&T’S CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS
It all started with two cross stitches briefly shown to Trevor by Johno Du Plessis.
Johno is well known to many for his amazing art in making hide rugs.
In 2015 Trevor and I decided to start making hide mats and tote bags out of recycled hide to sell, for he did not have a job. Later he started making leather and hide wallets. We could clearly see the opportunity for a business in all of this.
In 2016 we attended the Church market to make people aware of our products. We did not make any profit though, but the experience was good and our excitement high…
In our search for a platform to trade our products we eventually met Lizël Kimber and her family who clearly had a beautiful vision for the Caledon Country Market in the Wild Flower Gardens. She invited us to join the team in October 2018 and trade our products at the market. To us this was a step in the right direction. Finally, we were able to show people what we can do with recycled leather and hide. I started using my ability to crochet to add some colour to our stall and clearly people started showing their interest in my crochet work. We attend the market at the Botanical Gardens every end of the month not minding the weather conditions or obstacles in our way. The experience was awesome, and our hopes were high for making our dreams come true. With the support of the Kimbers we ended off 2018 with stars in our eyes and warmth in our hearts…MATERIALIZE was on its way to new heights.
We kicked off 2019 with determination to reach our goals, somewhat unaware of all the obstacles facing Caledon Tourism. It was not long before we had to pack up and move the market to the Onion Shed/Seven Springs just outside Caledon on your way to Hermanus. Whom invited us to host our market on their premises, so we took on the opportunity. The Kimbers offered us a lift every single month to enable us to attend the market since we did not have transport. They truly were angels in our midst and without them we would not have gotten that far… We enjoyed our time at the Onion Shed and were just embarking on a new journey with them when at the end of 2019 they also had to close their doors due to a lack of costumers. Now we were back at square one with no platform to trade, but not nearly at the brink of giving up…
Here we were in 2020, not knowing our way forward regarding our plans for Materialize. All we held onto was the wisdom of knowing that something positive will occur. Although the Covid19 pandemic was challenging for everyone, it also served us with a lot of possibilities. We started making masks and sold it to businesses and farm owners around the area. Doing so enabled us to buy a brand new semi-industrial zig zag sewing machine.
On the 22nd of June 2020 I received a WhatsApp massage from Lizël informing us that Shannon Cloete was in the process of taking over the proceedings regarding the Caledon Market. This was amazing news for Trevor and me and we made contact to join the team. And after meetings and negotiations between CITA and Theewaterskloof Municipality (TWK) we now have a marketplace and are now legal traders in town.
With the help of Stalin Govender at TWK our business is now registered under new a name, J&T’S CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS. We are so grateful that our dream to serve our customers and the potential of providing jobs in the area are in arms reach. Through perseverance and effort, we can now embark on our journey to build our enterprise…
A special thanks to those we were part of our journey until now and we do hope to see you around as we grow.
Written by: Joretha Willemse
Contact Joretha on 078 984 1836 or Trevor on 074 211 4041 for more information regarding their quality products.