Over 53 000 visitors flocked to Decorex Johannesburg at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand in August – and proud to be amongst the 700-plus exhibitors covering over
22 000m² of exhibition space was Lebone Crafts, making its debut at the show.

It all came about when Ilze Botha (Projects Facilitator at Westfalia) received a phone call from Trade and Investment Limpopo, inviting Lebone Crafts to exhibit at Decorex in August and offering to cover half the cost of the exhibition stand. It was exactly five weeks before the show. “At that time Lebone Crafts was still busy with an order for a wedding in the UK and did not have any stock that could be used for Decorex,” recalls Ilze. The pressure was on. “Thankfully, we received much-needed help from groups of Westfalia employees who voluntarily gave up their lunch hours to help cut fabric and complete other tasks. Lebone Crafts managed to pull the whole thing off within five weeks – thanks in a large part to those volunteers!”

A new product was launched especially for Decorex – an adorable stuffed rhino – which quickly became the number-one top-seller at the stand. Both local and international visitors responded very positively to the rhinos, with wholesale buyers from the US, Germany and the Netherlands buying stock to sell in their shops abroad. It is hoped that this will help open doors for Lebone Crafts to export in the future – while also raising awareness of the rhino’s plight.

The show proved to be a great networking opportunity. “We made connections that are enabling us to buy cheaper raw materials, such as glass seed beads from a local community project in Giyani. We also secured on-going donations for the project, and were invited to participate in two Christmas markets – one in October in Nelspruit and one in December in Boksburg,” notes Ilze.

Lebone Crafts currently has its products retailing in three shops in Pretoria, namely Succulent Decor in Woodlands, DecoPunk in Queenswood, and Maltabella in Pierneef Street.

~ Written by Dorcus Molomo, Project Coordinator Westfalia ~