Shell crafters from Jeffreys Bay are gearing up for a busy festive season. They have released their first Christmas decor and homeware collection, with the support of Kouga Municipality.
The Christmas Shell Collection consists of wreathes, small Christmas trees and decorations, complemented by home decor items fit for any occasion, from candleholders and bowels to placemats, tiebacks and serviette holders.
Gifts such as sandals, artfully decorated with shells, are also available.
All items are handmade by shell crafters from Jeffreys Bay and are on sale from their stalls at the town’s main beachfront. Items can also be made to order.
The collection is the result of a 12-week training course hosted for local shell crafters by the municipality’s directorate for Local Economic Development, Tourism and Creative Industries.
Kouga Executiuve Mayor Daphne Kettledas said that shell craft was part of Kouga’s heritage but that interest in it has been dwindling, both among crafters and shoppers.
“This prompted the municipality to look at ways to revive and promote shell craft,” she said. “Shell craft has been a source of income for many families, especially in Jeffreys Bay, and the skill has been passed on from generation to generation. We don’t want to lose such a valuable piece of our heritage.”
The aim of the course was to help shell crafters design new products which would appeal to the modern buyer. They were also taken through basic business guidelines on pricing and marketing their products effectively.