The Business of Basket Weaving
In 2007, Angeline was given an opportunity to attend an international trade fair in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Since then she has participated in more trade fairs in the USA, in New York and Atlanta, as well as in Germany, Italy and Kuwait. But she says that Santa Fe is still her favourite and the trade fair that has brought in the most business.
Today, Angeline’s basket-weaving business supports her family and a growing network of craft producers as she trains other women in the artform.
To meet the demand of delivering on increasing numbers of orders, Angeline outsources to a core group of about 15 siblings and nieces, who have all been trained by her. For large orders she is able to expand this circle to about 25. Even though some of them live in far-flung villages, they all come to her homestead to work. These days she is able to use WhatsApp to communicate with most of them, but some still do not have smartphones, and she has to call them or send messages.
Her daughter Nokukhanya also weaves beautifully, and she would love to one day own her own shop or supply export markets like her mother Angeline is doing. Nokukhanya would also like to teach others the skill of weaving and looks forward to following in her mother’s footsteps and becoming a successful business woman in Hlabisa.