Knysna gets crafty ahead of World Cup

1 March 2010

With teams and fans alike expected in and around the Knysna area during the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, the coastal town is preparing for a major influx of tourists to hit its picturesque shores.

Knysna, situated along the scenic Garden Route on South Africa’s south-east coast, aims ensure that the benefits of hosting the World Cup spill over into its local communities, in particular local crafters. Knysna Tourism, with the assistance of the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI), have taken this cause on board.

Knysna Tourism chief executive officer Shaun Van Eck says the World Cup represents potential economic growth for all sectors of the community. “We have a variety of craft markets overflowing with talent, and we have to ensure that the local community, from which this talent originates, also benefits from the 2010 festivities,” says Van Eck.

To ensure this happens, Knysna Tourism is facilitating a series of workshops targeted at local crafters looking to diversify their skills. The first workshop, presented by Craig Carbutt, Rural Outreach Officer of the CCDI, was themed around craft awareness. It focused on the use of official trademarks relating to the tournament.

Van Eck explained that by educating the crafters in these restrictions, they hope to help them to create pieces that they can exhibit and sell during the tournament without contravening any regulations.

Local crafters, including Shirley Keyser, left the trademark workshop inspired and confident that they could create products that would interest football fans without infringing on any restrictions. “Although I was initially nervous about what I could and couldn’t produce for the event, after the workshop I felt inspired and confident that my business would directly benefit from the World Cup,” says Keyser.

The awareness workshop also provided crafters with information on the tastes of the international tourists they can expect to encounter during the event. Carbutt says the crafters were given tips and hints on the buying behaviour of consumers.

For example, the CCDI recommended that crafters look at innovative ways of incorporating participating countries’ flags, team colours and badges into their craft designs.

Keyser, who is currently devising creative ways of including the Danish flag in her craft, says since the workshop she has begun looking at her designs in new ways. “As a result, I’ve seen an increase in orders,” says Keyser.

Local crafter Heather Boyle, who currently supplies 26 craft shops around the country, is also expecting more orders during the event. “Our product, the Africa Time Clock, should meet the tastes of international tourists, and we anticipate that as our stockists get more feet through the door during the World Cup, we’ll see our orders escalate,” she says.

Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee