Know who you buy from
Est 2014, Graaff Reinet
There are four of us in the Agavesol business, Tim Murray, farming on Roodebloem Farm, Julian Murray, farming on Bloemhof Farm, Peter Burdett, retired manager of the Nature Reserve in Graaff Reinet, and Susan Davis.
Tim and Julian have extensive Agave America fields on their farms which they planted to sell to the local Agave Distillery.
When the Distillery closed down, we started to make other products from the Agave plants, which have excellent ingredients for use in skin care formulations. Tests by the University of Stellenbosch verified that the plant extract has anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, and can be used with good results on pre-cancerous plaques on the skin which are caused by sun damage.
(Est 2018) Cradock
Carl and Neville arrived in Cradock via a circuitous route that helped them to accumulate experiences spanning the world of business, entrepreneurship, education and tourism.
Carl’s interest in handcrafts started in his youth but it was during the last few years here in the Karoo that the leatherwork bug bit him. He has since handcrafted bags, wallets, small leather items and jewellery but it’s the earrings that he makes that have attracted most of the attention at markets.
All the earrings are designed, cut and embellished by hand using leatherworking tools and techniques to preserve the leather’s authenticity and character. So, although some earrings may look alike no two pairs are identical. It’s this uniqueness that makes the earrings a suitable and much-appreciated gift for yourself or a friend.
Est 2013, Middelburg
I farm with my wife, Anneke, 6 year old son, Christie and 3 year old daughter, Ni-Mari. Me and Anneke came to the farm from Wellington/Paarl in 2013. We took over from my dad. My grandad bought the farm in 1950. I was also raised on the farm, so we have something special here.
My products were born kind of out of necessity and with my engineering background I could produce jigs so that each item of a product look similar to the next and that would also save time during manufacturing. Some products are my own inventions, others are copied and improved.
Julienne du Toit & Chris Marais
Est 2007, Cradock
In the summer of 2007, Johannesburg based
photojournalists Chris Marais and Julienne du Toit moved to Cradock in the Eastern Cape Karoo Heartland and began the adventure of their lives.
They travelled the vast Karoo in their dusty bakkie, painstakingly recording the lives and stories of the people who call this area home. On the way, they picked up a wealth of lifestyle, historical, cultural and natural information.
Chris and Julie established Karoo Space, which quickly became the Karoo website of reference. Over the years, they have built a network of friends, contacts and sources in more than 100 towns and villages around South Africa.
They freelanced for a number of South African and international magazines, selling mainly Karoo-based editorial.
Boundless, Protective Workplace
Est 1981, Graaff Reinet
The Protective Workplace was founded in 1981. It was operated by the ACVV branch until March 2017. We are now a Non-Profit organisation, Graaff Reinet Protective workplace, trading as Boundless. We are affiliated to the Persons with Disabilities, Eastern Cape as well as the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities.
We provide an opportunity for adults with physical, psychological or mental disabilities who can’t compete in the open labour department, to work & learn in a caring & nurturing environment.
Our vision is to welcome, love and accept each beneficiary, teach, develop, encourage and guide them in their abilities. We strive to improve their quality of life, self-image and self-worth. They are the centre of what we do. We currently accommodate about 32 beneficiaries at our workplace.
Our training areas include: needlework, woodwork, laser cutting and crafts. We are also working on getting our garden nursery back in shape. Our needlework department has a range of shweshwe products that make the perfect souvenirs. In our woodwork department we clean and repair furniture and craft simple items.
Remember when buying from us you aren’t just buying a thing, you are buying our beneficiaries more time to do what they love which gives them purpose & dignity.
Barbara, The Ibis Lounge
My love affair with foraging every Karoo bossie, herb & edible plant sprouted to life in Nieu Bethesda and I started incorporating them into my everyday life & my menus at my restaurant.
The Healing Foods Range is my passion project combining healing elements into the food I create.
Ksenia, Handmade Soap Delights
Est 2013, Middelburg
This tradition started when my grandmother used to make soap for our family. It was difficult times in Russia in the 70’s and 80’s, it was hard to find food at the shops not to mention soap. So every woman made her own soap with which she washed the dishes, washed her children, washed her hair and body. One piece of soap for everything!
When I was an adult times got easier - one could get everything in the shops. But I remembered what my grandmother had made when we were young. We used to go into the forest with her and she would teach us and let me pick some herbs. Back then I didn’t appreciate it; I just wanted to play with my friends!
But the knowledge of herbs and how to incorporate them into my soap and other products stuck with me.
First it was one small batch for the family when I decided to stop using chemicals in my skin care routine after doing research about what it does to your body.
My product is about the ingredients. When I formulate my soap recipe, I try to use the best ingredients I can, with an understanding of how each one is going to work.
When formulated properly a natural bar of soap has a long lasting lather and it feels rich and creamy on your hands, it feels good on your skin and makes your skin look healthy.