Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve never been to Kamers Vol Geskenke (aka KAMERS) before. I’m not sure what rock I was hiding under but for whatever reason I’ve never made my way to one of their events in JHB, or any other city for that matter. Yesterday was the first day of KAMERS Joburg 2016, and my first KAMERS and holy smokes was I blown away.
I can’t tell you how inspiring it was to be surrounded by such an incredible collection of local designers, craftsmen, artists, chefs etc. etc.! If you’re not familiar with the concept of KAMERS it all started in 2003 in Stellenbosch where a few rooms were filled with a couple of pop-up stores and has grown to be a giant showcase of South Africa’s best craftsmen and women.
KAMERS this year (not that I have anything to compare it to) is seriously big and filled to bursting with incredible stalls, you’ll need at least half a day if you want to browse each stall successfully, eat the delicious food on offer, drink some of the best wine in the country and take in St Johns which really is an incredible school and venue. So, to break it down for you I’ve made a list of my favourite stalls and parts of the event.
Babette Clothing is a Cape Town based boutique run by a beautiful woman named Barbara Lotter. You’ll find her stall covered in beautiful dresses and blouses with the most interesting and unique prints, some are designs made in South Africa while a few are vintage finds. Barbara also designs and makes her own leather shoes which felt incredibly soft and comfortable. If you don’t happen to make it to KAMERS this week you can also shop Babette Clothing online.
Move over Typo, these amazing women have your every stationery need covered, and of course it’s all local made and designed. I was really blow away by both stalls and I even ended up picking up two really beautiful Sammy Sheppard limited edition prints for my new office space. From journals to birthday cards to out of this world wrapping paper from Deerly Studio, if you don’t pay these two stalls a visit you’re going to kick yourself…then I’m going to come over and kick you too!
The first stall you’ll see when you enter KAMERS is filled with the most beautiful Proteas at really decent prices, what’s more is that you can buy a bunch on the spot and collect it on your way out so you don’t have to lug them around with you trying to avoid hitting yourself (and passers by) in the face.
Darling Sweet is a Toffee company from…you guessed it Darling! Darling’s beautiful branding attracted me to their stall and then I tried their toffee and I didn’t want to leave! Started in 2013 by Frits and Hentie (who are almost as sweet as their toffees!), Darling is all about old fashioned toffee with a range of delicious flavours. I ended up buying a packet of Honey and Salt Toffee that I defiantly won’t be sharing with anyone!
Eat A Bit was by far one of the most beautifully decorated stores at KAMERS. I’m not entirely sure what exactly Eat A Bit is, their Facebook Page says they do catering and decor, either way I’m not too phased because every single item in their stall was incredibly beautiful and had my credit card itching to make friends with a few choice ceramic pots and planters.
I once was lost, but now I’m found! Found Collection is a darling brand straight out of the home of KAMERS i.e. Stellenbosch. Found caught my eye with the most beautiful gold sequinned dress they had on display, seriously there’s no way you can miss it. I loved looking through their collection and I really got the impression that each piece was so carefully considered.
Okay there’s two things you need to know about the Arkivio store. One is that their Teraniums are unlike any I’ve ever seen before, and two the gentleman manning the store (who also happens to be one of the designers) is the best looking human at KAMERS this year. Seriously, it’s worth stopping buy just to chat to him. I made the mistake of planning to go back to the Arkivio stand and then completely forgetting to go back so I totally missed out on getting my hands on one of their pieces. Having said that I will definitely be ordering one online.
Nina Bosch has been rocking the Porcelain circles for a while now but her latest collection has really taken her brand to the next level. There’s an incredible mix of metallic and more traditional hues that made me want to steal every single one of her designs. Pop into her stall and be sure to check out her charm necklaces…and then buy me one, thanks!
Linda’s Vintage Finds was another stall that really caught my eye because it was filled to bursting with the most incredible array of interesting old books, cameras and retro furniture. Linda herself is also really sweet and offers private sourcing, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for at KAMERS just give her a shout and she’ll find it for you.
The Notation stall is really beautiful and caught my eye instantly with it’s mix of metallics and concrete designs. Most of the items on show are pot plants but they also have a whole range of candle stick holders, concrete pillows and bowl type goodies that would look amazing pretty much anywhere in the average household. Notation also build custom furniture and is made up of a team of talented designers and interior architects (I think that’s what they are called!).
KAMERS runs from 20th to the 24th of April at St Johns College 9:00 – 17:00 (Wednesday – Saturday) 9:00 – 15:00 (Sunday).
For tickets you can pay R50 online here, or R70 at the door. There are also options for 5 day passes and under 18’s get in free! For more details and directions click here.