Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Local company sets eyes on global handcrafts market

Gorata Bantsi describes herself as a very crafty person who enjoys creating beautiful handmade products. During the introductory part of our interview, Bantsi explained that she loves a home that is earthy and peaceful. Perhaps this explains her business name Adorned, By Rati.

The business, which started its operations in November 2020, makes baskets and macramé and is targeting to claim a stake in the global handicrafts market which reached US$ 680 Billion in 2021 according to Research and Markets. With the emergence of online retail and the proliferation of various e-commerce channels recently, the accessibility to handicrafts has become more convenient for consumers. This has provided a boost to the sales of handcrafted goods across the globe including for companies such as Adorned, By Rati.

Another factor driving the market growth is the shift from ethnic to contemporary designs, coupled with the strong demand from offices, hospitals and hotels. Apart from this, the growing travel and tourism industry has provided vast opportunities to local artisans and handicraft manufacturers to produce commoditized products and sell them to tourists who are willing to spend significantly on souvenirs and other craft items.

Bantsi says her products carry an earthy, cozy look because they are intended to create a peaceful atmosphere in the home or office space. She also makes products that are meant to elevate or enhance one’s space by beautifying it.

Baskets have been her primary selling product for some time but she recently added a bit of Macrame to her crafts. She believes they are still in line with the outlook she wants to create in a home which is cozy and earthy as they give a very pleasing texture to the walls.

She adds that the baskets she makes are versatile as they can be used as storage for towels, pillows and as magazine baskets. They can also be used as kitchen accessories like placemats, cutlery and bread baskets. They are also used to dress plants. “I always tell my clients that with these baskets, how they use them is totally up to them because of their versatility,” She notes.

Bantsi doesn’t have a physical store as she operates from her home in Gaborone. She uses social media platforms to market and sell her products. The products are made upon request.

She shares with this publication that she started this business due to her love for plants and a cozy, earthy home. “My plants looked bare in black pots and I also didn’t like how they made our house look, it was too dull. I then had an idea to ‘dress’ the pots and that is how my crafty mind came to play,” she says.

She made a basket for one plant and she loved how it looked and she made more. She then loved how her house looked and then decided to share with the public. She has since evolved in that she doesn’t make the baskets specific to plants but for other uses as well.

Bantsi believes everyone should own her crafts because everyone wants to have a place they look forward to seeing, a place which looks beautiful and at the same time peaceful. And that is what her business promotes.

She says sometimes people see homes in magazines and feel they are far fetched, but she wants to encourage people that they too can have a magazine home. “You just need to decorate with the right products, my products. My products do create that magazine look and feel. I also need to emphasize that my products are made with so much attention to detail, they are presentable, durable and beautiful,” she adds.

She notes that her products stand out more because they are locally made by herself, which is something that she says she has picked that her clients appreciate. Also the versatility and their general look sets them apart from her competition which she says is mainly international products sold in shops here.

The crafter adds that sourcing material is a huge problem. She says the ropes she uses are a challenge to get in this country as they are very limited, which then means she has to look outside the country. Buying outside the country has also proven to have its own challenges of heightened shipping costs, material arriving late and sometimes not in a good condition.

Even though Bantsi feels the government is doing enough to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), she wishes for it to go an extra mile to regulate the importing of crafts. She says there are a lot of crafts bought outside and 90% of them could be made locally. “Botswana has skilled crafters who make beautiful products. The government should allow the selling of crafts only by local crafters and encourage shops to buy from the locals,” she notes.

To make an order you can contact them on +267 71771256 or visit their facebook and instagram page: adorned_by_rati.


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