EDITORIAL FROM BIZCOMMUNITY.COM SOUTH AFRICA:
South African handmade ceramics studio, Mervyn Gers Ceramics, has expanded its export footprint to include Australia and New Zealand. To do this, the local company has been working closely with Australian distributor, iKhaya Collections, based in Sydney.
Says Mervyn Gers, founder and director: “We’re delighted to work with iKhaya Collections. Headed by Peter Polovin, the company imports uniquely handmade products from South Africa and is the perfect fit. We’ve always believed Australasia, one of the largest economies in the world, to be an excellent export destination for our products.”
According to Shireen Ridgway, sales manager at Mervyn Gers Ceramics: “It’s so exciting that iKhaya Collections now imports our range of items in 14 of our unique glaze finishes. These are now available in stores throughout Australia and New Zealand, and will also soon be available online to these markets.”
Trade fair success
Ridgway recently returned from a large-scale exhibition in Melbourne. “AGHA is the organiser of Australia’s largest industry-led events for the retail and design sector, including two annual gift fairs in Sydney and Melbourne. Held at Sydney Olympic Park in February and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in August, the gift fairs are world-class business-to-business trade exhibitions, connecting wholesalers with retailers, corporate and hospitality buyers, stylists, designers and more,” she says.
The Melbourne Gift Fair was the first trade show since the Covid restrictions had been lifted and nobody knew what to expect. She continues:
I’m thrilled by the response to Mervyn Gers Ceramics. Retailers loved the uniqueness of our truly bespoke handmade table and serveware…
The fair afforded iKhaya Collections the opportunity of an excellent footprint in retailers throughout Australia and New Zealand. We’re truly encouraged by the response with orders placed to be in store for the forthcoming festive season.”
Sustainable job creation and business growth
Gers believes that Australia and New Zealand will boost the brand’s already growing export market.
“Needless to say, it’s all very exciting. We’re dedicated to supporting local job creation and passionate about handcraft every step of the way, from clays mixed in-house to our unique glazes developed over the years. This agreement offers us greater business security, continued sustainable job creation as well as growth. We employ over 48 staff and need to constantly expand our offering to both the hospitality industry and households locally and overseas.”
Ridgway concludes that Mervyn Gers Ceramics already has a strong footprint and brand recognition in Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
“Mervyn Gers Ceramics is all about individuality, beauty, durable design, and a dash of sexy rebel spirit. Our studio, launched in Cape Town in 2011, has continuously been on the creative move. Being available in Australia and New Zealand can only further increase our brand recognition internationally, keeping the brand current and relevant. These two countries have a large discerning population and many foodies who love entertaining.”