Our Story

From a few kamers…

SA’s biggest pop-up retail phenomenon began in a few kamers (rooms) of a Stellenbosch house in 2003, as Kamers vol Geskenke.

A few close friends had long dreamed of creating a platform where creative entrepreneurs and artisans could come together for inspiration, support and, most importantly, to meet potential customers.

To a national treasure

From this first KAMERS show – where just 40 makers hosted 800 visitors – KAMERS/Makers has indeed become a phenomenon, with 2014 seeing more than 58 000 visitors taking their personal picks of more than 600 exhibitors across four national shows!

In the last five years, we have launched our KAMERS Online Store and added a Bloemfontein show to our calendar, which successfully brought KAMERS/Makers to the Freestate for two years. In 2014 we added two new exhibitions to our calendar: KAMERS/Makers Joburg and Cape Town, with the latter officially recognised as part of the World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 programme. Our most recent shows have seen an exciting trend, with us using the historically atmospheric venues of St John’s College in Johannesburg and Cape Town’s Castle and City Hall, in which to showcase SA’s most vibrant and cutting edge design and craft… A fascinating tension between old and new that has brought rave reviews from media and visitors alike.

What makes KAMERS/Makers unique?

If there is a single phrase that can sum up the KAMERS/Makers ethos, it might be this…

Gentle and genuine

From the start, KAMERS/Makers has been about sharing and supporting. With a historical focus on female SA entrepreneurs in an era where retail was a challenge for women, we’ve always valued sisterhood and family in our team and have worked tirelessly to offer support ‘as a family’ to all our suppliers.

A KAMERS/Makers show is most certainly a GENTLE experience – a free-flowing celebration of things fresh and unique, of handmade artistry and face-to-face encounters with those who produce it. Fine food and music in stunning locations complete the magic.

We are GENUINE in that we aim to break new ground by sourcing proudly South African creative talent and innovative product ideas that are exclusive, creative and retail focused, while offering a nurturing environment and safe space for small businesses to grow.

KAMERS/Makers is all about bringing creative people together by sharing and collaborating on ideas, supporting each other through honesty, tolerance and understanding, and believing in all of our ability and creative talent.

For this reason, it’s a source of tremendous pride to us that, over the years, dozens of our first-time traders have built highly successful businesses from the platform that KAMERS/Makers has provided.

Where next? Just watch this space!