• 20.09 2018

    It’s now more than a month since the end of The Football World Cup. At Streetwires it reminded us the World Cup of 2010 which took place here in South Africa! It was FAN-TAS-TIC! Did you know that we produced 200 beaded soccer boots for Adidas during that World Cup? In additional to our products in our shop we offer bespoke services to companies as corporate gifts from Cape Town, or personalised products for their special events. (which is why we got awarded the Adidas order).

    Looking back to all things soccer, I would like to share with you our 5 best beaded world cup memorabilia:

    The first thing that we think about is football cleats which allows the soccer players not to slip. In our shop we have small cleats key rings, but the ones that we made for Adidas in 2010 were bigger like on the picture. It took us 2 months to create 200 boots like that! As you can see we can work to any size.

    To complete the soccer player’s uniform, we also created beaded football jersey keyrings! This one looks like Holland’s jersey. We can produce them in any colour that you would like! Be sure to show support for your team and order some.

     

    Playing and watching soccer means also supporting a team, and most of the time, a country. That’s why Streetwires loves to represent all countries! Here you can see Netherland’s and Italian’s flag in a heart shape because we love everyone!

    Of course without a soccer ball, playing soccer could be difficult, and that’s the reason why we created the hero of the game. As you can see it’s very realistic and is very close to the shape of a true soccer ball!

    Did you know that Streetwires has it’s own soccer mascot, representing South Africa? He is 1.7m tall and was created in 2010 for the World Cup. It took only 3 months to make, and has had an appearance on TV!

     

    Please pop by and visit our shop to view these amazing products and more. Don’t forget to ask for a free tour of our working studio, and chat to us about our team-building, and bespoke product services.

     

  • 08.08 2018

    Hi! My name is Susannah and I’m from the United States of America. I am 22 and currently studying my undergrad in Public Relations. I’ve been an intern at Streetwires for the past 2 and a half months but I am leaving Cape Town this week, how sad!

     

    I thought I would share with you some of the things I enjoyed most while I was in Cape Town, I’ll be sure to include lots of pictures!

    Hiking! There are so many beautiful places to hike in Cape Town, and a lot of the trails are not too difficult for a novice like me! I spent a lot of Sunday mornings rolling out of bed at 7:30 and hiking around Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak. My favorite trip was probably to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, though. The wind was INSANE but the view was incredible.

     

    Eating! Wow, seriously if you love eating come to Cape Town. I have had SO MUCH good food while I’ve been here; I have definitely spoiled myself with eating out. While you’re here, you should visit The Old Biscuit Mill on a Saturday morning and try out as many of the food vendors as you can or, find Moroccan, Ethiopian, and Indian food while you’re here. Some of my favorite places to eat are Timbuktu, the Eastern Food Bazaar, Albert’s Eatery, Olympia Café, Kaai 4 Braai, and Andalousse Moroccan Cuisine!

     

    Safaris! We took a road trip out to Addo Elephant Park, about an 8-hour drive away from Cape Town, and it was amazing! We took a road trip and camped on the way out there, which was fun, even though it was the middle of winter. We spent a lot of nights huddled around the fire braaing and then putting on 6 layers and huddling together in our tent. The elephants were amazing to see and we got super lucky and saw a lion and lioness on our way out of the park!

     

    Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa! This museum was seriously amazing. I went at the very end of my trip but I am so glad I got to go! The exhibits are beautiful and the building itself is breathtaking. It is the largest museum of contemporary African art in the world and only just opened in the fall of 2017. I think my favorite piece was a sculpture of snakes made entirely of acrylic nails, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the rolling seats by the entrance. It costs 180 Rand to get in but it’s free for African citizens on Wednesday mornings.

     

    Well thank you for reading my blogs this winter. I’ll miss writing for Streetwires! I hope this list has inspired you to come to Cape Town or to maybe try something new. If you’d like to keep up with me, follow me on Instagram @susemorey or check out my website, https://rampages.us/moreyse/. Goodbye South Africa!

  • 11.07 2018

     

     

    With us being in Woodstock for a whole year now (can you believe it!), we’ve started finding out not only about cool places to shop and eat, but some history about Woodstock itself.

    Susannah has done some great research, so we hope you’ll enjoy her latest article below:

     

    Woodstock has a long, interesting history and since we’ve been in Woodstock for a year now, we figured we would share some of the history of the suburb! Woodstock was originally inhabited by the Khoikhoi until the Dutch came in the early 1600s. Later, the area became the home to three various farms named Zonnebloem, Leliebloem, and Roodebloem. Pieter van Papendrop lived in one of these farmsteads in the mid 18th century. By the early 1800s, more families and civilians moved around the land near his house and the area became a town called Papendorp.

    His homestead, Treaty House, was on the sea side of Albert Road. In the early 1900s, the house was destroyed, and a factory was built in its place. On the property resides the Treaty Tree, a tree where the Dutch signed over the land to the British after the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1803. The tree was also the site of slave sales and where slaves were hung in the dim days of slavery. In 1966, the tree became a national monument. It is located on the corner of Spring and Treaty Roads.

    Woodstock used to have a beach, but it was reclaimed as land in the 1950s. In much earlier days, the area was quite fatal for sailors, and many ships were wrecked off of the coast due to the high winds, which are a regular occurrence in Cape Town. Now, Beach Road survives as the remainder of where the shore line used to be.

    In the 19th century, Woodstock became a popular and fashionable seaside village due to the development of a railway line in the area. Woodstock was named Woodstock in 1867, when residents voted at the Woodstock Hotel to change the name from New Brighton to Woodstock. In the 1870s, the land was subdivided for cheap, low-cost housing which lead to the rapid development of suburban Woodstock. In 1881, Woodstock and Salt River were separated, and Woodstock became the third largest suburb in the Cape Town area. By 1904, the area was home to 30,000 residents.

    During this time, Woodstock saw a great industrial push that changed the character of the area drastically. Even now many stores and businesses are in old factories. The area stayed integrated during the Apartheid era. Due to this, many people moved to the area in the 1970s and 1980s, paving the way to the urban renewal that is now a strong part of Woodstock’s charm and identity.

    Crime became an issue in the late 20th century as the area had lost the status it had once had when it was a seaside resort in the mid 19th century. In recent years, young professionals have taken advantage of the cheaper, Victorian real estate and many trendy restaurants have taken up residency in the area. In addition, many furniture showrooms, art galleries, and businesses have moved into old abandoned buildings as well as revamped warehouses.

    Now, many small businesses are calling Woodstock home, including us! A beautiful, unique, trendy area. We are happy to be part of the Woodstock community.

    Sources

    I Love Woodstock. History. Retrieved from http://www.ilovewoodstock.co.za/area-history-2/

    Wikipedia. (2018, June 1). Woodstock, Cape Town. Retrieved June 28, 2018, from             https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock,_Cape_Town

  • 02.07 2018

    Following on from our last blog, where Susannah shared with us her favourite Streetwires products, and keeping to the theme of shopping, Susannah now lets us in on some hidden gems in our neighbourhood that you should include in a visit when you come to us.

    Enjoy her words below:-

    There are many great boutiques and cafes to explore while you’re on Albert Road, the main drag of Woodstock where we are located. This list of places is organized so that you begin at the traffic circle and keep on heading West towards Cape Town!

     

    1. Junk and Disorderly is a vintage clothing store that opened up a little more than a week ago and is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for some unique vintage clothes. The owner is quite nice and the whole place is accented with bright pink walls. There’s groovy pants, perfect sweaters, and bright and bold jackets to choose from. A good place to go and stock up on some winter clothes! 364 Albert Rd Woodstock, Cape Town 7915

    2. Captain Kirwin’s coffee is one of my favorite coffee places in Cape Town. It’s located in the Woodstock Co-Op, not too far from Streetwires! The whole place is pirate themed and yes, you will be asked to wear a pirate hate for a photo with the barista. Captain Kirwin is also quite friendly and if you’re looking to learn a little more about the area, he’ll be happy to chat! There is also art and old-school comic books for sale, so you can peruse with your latte and enjoy a peaceful, laid-back afternoon. 363 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town 7925

    3. While you’re at the Co-Op you should go upstairs and visit Uzani, a beautiful clothing boutique. She makes all of the pieces herself and they’re all quite colourful and pretty. If you have an idea for something too and don’t see it in her shop, she does commission work and is quite patient! Buy yourself a dress and your friend a necklace, it’s all hand-made and unique to Uzani! 363 Albert Rd Woodstock, Cape Town 7925

    4. You can continue west until you come across Tribe Coffee Roasting and Cafe. They have coffee, beer, wine, freshly squeezed juices, avocado toast, eggs benedict, brownies –  basically anything you could ask for! There’s free wifi and the place is just beautiful. Spend an afternoon decompressing or getting some work done and enjoy another cup of Joe while you’re at it! The Woodstock Foundry, 160 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915

  • 22.06 2018

    We have a new intern with us – fresh from the USA! Now that she is a little settled, Susannah has decided to pick some of her favourite products to recommend when you visit Streetwires. Here’s her words below. Enjoy!

    The Keychain: You know when you go halfway across the world and your family expects you to bring them back presents even though you’re super broke? Well, have I got the thing for you! We sell keychains which are the perfect affordable gift for all of your friends and family. The great thing about our keychains is that there are so many to choose from. Get your big sister a sassy shoe and your little brother a lizard and your mom something classic, like a lion. Either way, it’s hand-made, traditional bead art. The perfect gift to sum up your trip to Cape Town!

    Beaded stools: We have these beautiful beaded stools that can either be colourful or muted, depending upon what you are looking for. If you love the stools but want a specific colour scheme to match your home, we do custom orders. We weld them and then have the artists use wooden beads to decorate the tops. Because they are welded together, they are quite durable and very strong, and the wooden beads add a nice texture to any aesthetic. Put them in your living room, your porch, or even your kitchen. You’ll find they are as comfortable to sit on, as they are to look at.

    Wall mounted animal heads: So maybe you have a super cute apartment back at home that you’ve been searching for the perfect decor for. If that’s the case, we have these amazing animal head wall mounts that come in various sizes. There’s rhinos, lions, zebras, gazelles… basically anything you can think of! The best thing is that obviously, no animals were harmed, so you can admire the beauty of these animals with a clear conscious.

    Good choices, Susannah – and we hope you agree! Do pop in to come and have a browse and a chat with us. We’ll introduce you to Susannah, and maybe you can let her know which are your favourite products too.

  • 13.06 2018

    Things are competitive, and difficult at the best of times. Especially now, in this economy – and in this industry… Bringing in big sales figures is not as easy as before. In a competitive market, the common tactic to woo customers is to price yourself down. In some industries, this can really work quite well, but in the craft industry, cheap and cheerful (in my opinion) does the opposite of educating the market of the value of what we are all trying to create, and is simply not viable. So what does one do?

    Here at Streetwires, we try and strive for cutting-edge design, and premium quality craftmanship in order to position ourselves in a price-bracket that translates at the end of the day to a fair wage to our artists, keeps the lights on, and attracts clients that appreciate good quality, and are able to see the value in the pricing.

    One of the ways to get quality business is to offer beautiful service. Top quality relationship management means as much (sometimes more) than the actual product purchase for a client.

    Here’s 7 simple tips we try to use:

    Respond immediately – With email enquiries, we all know what it’s like when you contact a small business and they take 3 days to even reply back. Sometimes then, the idea you had has cooled off a bit, and you wonder how organized the company even is to deal with. If their responses take so long, will they be able to deliver on time? Is this a reflection of things? Are they even bothered… That’s why even if you reply to say ‘I will come back to you in XYZ time’, at least take the effort to do that. It will buy you more time, and keep the customer feeling important and engaged.

    Show an interest – Whether it’s a big client with an event, or a small private client buying a wedding gift – they have chosen you! Make them feel special, and make the experience of dealing with you extraordinary and memorable (in a good way). Show an interest in them. Ask how the wedding went / wish them a safe trip / keep expressing how much you’d love to meet them when they fetch their order. If they feel like part of the family, chances are better they will come back one day again.

    Say thank you – It’s not just about getting the order, getting paid, and getting the goods made and sent. It’s about saying thanks. Pop them a message about a week after they have taken delivery and leave them with a last ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling. Tell them it meant a lot to the artists to work on such a big project / you loved the product they designed and found it hard to part with / express how much you enjoyed dealing with them / etc. Last impressions matter as much as first impressions.

    Send photos and updates – Your client is probably really excited about their order. Why not send them regular photos or updates to keep them engaged. It’s a nice little touch that costs nothing, and is also a great way to catch any feedback in time, if you’re doing a bespoke piece, and the customer wants any changes made. Simply show them that you’re just as excited as they are about their order.

    Be patient – You’ll get some clients who will ask a million questions. Some all in one go, some in many separate emails, that could take up a lot of your time. Keep in mind that no-one knows your business like you do. Things that are clear to you, may not be clear to the customer at all. Remain friendly and helpful at all times. This will give your customer faith that they are making the correct decision when investing in an order with you.

    Keep an eye out for other things to recommend – Perhaps their order or enquiry was quite specific, or had a theme. Try and store that in the spot in your memory that will be prompted each time you see a new product that fits the brief. Maybe they wanted penguins, and you’ve recently designed a new penguin keychain. The original point of contact may have been a while back, but still send them fresh stuff. It will make them feel important, and something may catch their eye to order again.

    Make your client the hero – A lot of clients that you deal with will possibly be ‘middle people’, or ‘messengers’ – either sourcing for a client of theirs, or a frantic PA trying to find a solution for their boss’ impossible request. Maybe they have been let down by another producer, and now need something in a big hurry before there is the disaster of being empty-handed for an event or such… Help them as much as possible to be the hero in the situation, so they can go back and present a solution that ticks all the boxes, and makes their client / boss think they are amazing. If you can do this, you’ll have an ally for life.

    To sum up, think of all the times you have been made to feel extraordinary when you have been a client. Consider the touch points that you liked, and that made you feel great. Find ways to ‘pay that forward’ with your own clients, and you’re bound to make them happy.

     

     

  • 06.12 2017

     

    Not so long ago, I was searching our photo archives for something to put up on our Facebook Page (hope you’re following us on there!).

    In my hunt, I found some really cool, and interesting products that can only be described as random. Some were client requests, others were product development tests, but these are my favourite examples of how far the imagination can stretch sometimes. Despite being well-designed and made, some of these made me giggle, and I hope they will put a smile on your face, or inspiration in your mind as you enjoy the small selection below:-

    Meet the drumming tortoise. Never seen a full-fledged tortoise orchestra in the wild, but perhaps this is what they do around a campfire when no-one is looking!

    Not so much a random product, but a random fact about this product is the level of accuracy to the real deal… Our beaded baboons come complete with pink bums!

    To go with the drumming tortoise, perhaps to start a reggae band, we have the rasta gecko!

    Definitely not a random product – this wire whale now lives on Dyer Island, as part of a Volkswagen initiative. It contains plastic rubbish as part of an awareness campaign. The random thing about this product is when it was finished, we realised it was too big to deliver. We had to hire a flat-bed trailer to get it there!

    Coat-hanger brooch anyone? (These were actually designed for the Fashion Delegates for Design Indaba in 2009.)

    And how about a car wearing a helmet? Yep, done!

    Meet the beaded cockroach. From a quality and design perspective, this is a rather handsome fellow, but I don’t think I’d be too relaxed if I found one of these lying around!

    Then we did the telephone wire fork. Maybe a 0/10 score for practicality if you are trying to eat some soup, but I’d say it scores very high when used as restaurant decor on a big scale, perhaps up on a wall. Quite striking!

    Then…. How about a stand to hold your feather collection? Yep, been there, done that, got it sorted!

    We even made a griffin for a bespoke request once.

    Back to the coathanger… We’ve even done one in the shape of a dog’s bone!

    Need something to keep all your invoices under control on your desk? We’ve made these wire holders for just that previously!

    ‘There’s an app for that.’ Seems to be the standard response these days. Not in this case. Introducing the abacus keyring! Perfect if your mobile phone runs out of juice, and you can’t use the calculator.

    And just in case the ones that keep you awake on a summer’s night are not enough, you can now have a mosquito paperclip as a reminder. Our version is silent, though. Bonus!

    While these don’t really work, they look fabulous!

    We had many regular orders for this guy – a beaded slug. Definitely a much more pleasant version of the squishy garden variety!

    Then lastly, this wire man is so cute, but he made me giggle because he certainly has a rather large belly!

     

    With this rather fun collection, we’re looking forward to receiving all the new and interesting client briefs for 2018. Make sure to get them in in good time!

     

  • 19.10 2017

    October is a good month for us. It’s our birthday month, and this year we’re 17!

    We’ve laughed, oh, we’ve laughed so very much. We’ve cried, we’ve danced. we’ve sung, we’ve stressed, we’ve said hello, and goodbye, and hello again to many faces, we’ve probably circumnavigated the globe a few times with the kilometres of wire we’ve used…

    It’s a proud moment for us, and one not to be taken lightly, so excuse us for getting a little sentimental and retrospective, but we wanted to take a trip down memory lane and dig out some photos to share with you…

    Taken in 2001, this shows co-founder and master artist Winston Rangwani showing how it’s done!

     

    This photo was dated 2002 on our server, and shows the first wire train ever invented, and a very young looking Artwell, who is still working his magic with us!

    In 2004, we had the Wilbert ‘potjie’.

    Also in 2004, we made and sent a tree to Kirstenbosch. Don’t worry, we know they have enough plants – this one was for their shop display. Here’s a pic of the team involved with that project.

    Somewhere around 2008, we unveiled the first original beaded replica of Nelson Mandela, created by Mike Carella and Riaan Hanekom. You will see only a handful of the original Streetwires versions around. One is at OR Thambo airport in Johannesburg at the International Departures terminal, and another is on Warwick Wine Estate.

    In 2008, Fresh Living Mag came and did a photoshoot with us, for an article they published in their mag. This was during the time we gave birth to many flocks of sheep and baby lambs!

     

    Our very first lifesize lion was seen roaming the hills before heading off to Design Indaba 2009

    In 2010, Hamba Kahle, a local travel magazine, featured us in a very nice article.

    2013 saw us working on a very exciting project for Le Creuset. You can read more here.

    While we’re on the topic of awesome brands, in around 2014 we worked with Woolworths on an exciting packaging concept. To this day, you will see our beaded items printed onto most of their food packaging for the ‘Love Local’ range. Cool hey!

    Now this was something cool from 2016 – a beaded wine bottle for Backsberg, which they used as the centrepiece on their stand at an export wine show. You can read more here.

    And then we moved! 2017 saw us moving to our new home opposite The Old Biscuit Mill. Have you spotted our giraffe? Tag us in a photo of it on Facebook, and we’ll send you a mystery discount coupon to spend in our shop!

  • 04.10 2017

    We are almost 17! As with most teenagers, we decided to move home into a new exciting space. We then decided it was time to grow and listen to what the world is asking for – technological advancements and an e-commerce shop. As a Social Enterprise, we rely on sales to keep our artists earning a fair wage, and we’d love to expand our base to ensure we reach more customers to help the artists earn more. Please join us in celebrating our milestones by contributing towards our dream, by supporting our crowdfunding campaign.

    Firstly, what is crowdfunding?

    Crowdfunding is by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”

    There’s a great blog explaining it further on Thundafund, which is the platform where we have just launched a campaign.

    Please help us reach our goals to reach the world! Take a look at the campaign, please share far and wide – and pledge for some great rewards. The campaign wraps up at the end of this month, and we’d really like to reach our tipping-point at least!