Together for a greater purpose

By Honorine Kaze
November 2013
Women in Business

 

 

In order to support the local talents, different women joined hands together into opening “Pure and Simple”.

 

IN 2011, Katrin Bockmuhl, Antje Lutzow, Laura Erculei and Marutsca Breitenmoser who met through their participation into development work created a platform for pure, qualitative and unique Namibian products.

 

These women from different backgrounds have also brought different talents to the table such as crafting, design and marketing and the desire to bring development and to create incentives for the different artists operating mostly in the rural areas.

 

“None of the partners would have started the business on their own but put together we built up a business whereby all our strength bring out a dream product full of energy, colour and passion for Namibia,” Marutsca Breitenmoser, the designer says.

 

Speaking on behalf of the two other ladies who remains with the project, as one has gone to explore other ventures, Breitenmoser notes that: “Everyone in life is looking for simplicity, as we want meaningful things in life. That is what our business is trying to create for babies, toddlers, youngsters, adults of all different incomes.”

 

This innovative business concept offers various products which includes reversible bags, clothing, toys, scarfs. In addition they also offer a platform for exhibitors to showcase their products   at their shop.

 

Most of their products are inspired by the idea of reuse, reduce and recycle, thus a number of their products are made up of various recycled products such as lamp posts made out of used white milk bottles but in a creative ways it is difficult to realise.

 

“Pure and Simple really wants to give its contribution to the growth of the country in a responsible eco friendly and sustainable ways,” she declares.

 

She said the fact that Namibia is not much of a producer of fabrics, craft and general raw material got people discouraging them that they will not have different artist to work with nor will we get clients for their products. But their aggressive approach is certainly pushing boundaries by creating a fresh demand for local products.

 

“At the beginning, the shop was empty but through research and network we discovered the artists with the qualities we were looking for who started working with us,” she notes.

 

She adds, ”Most of the women with whom we do business come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and some can  hardly speak English yet can produce immaculate products, The challenge which remains is for to  find the right qualitative, innovative and unique products and artists who are open to pushing boundaries.”

 

Beside artistic products, every Thursday Nam pure and Simple displays an offer of fresh products coming from various farms outside Windhoek.

 

They offer various vegetables, fresh eggs, homemade bread, jams, sauces, biscuits, muesli, mushrooms, stock and the classic olive oil.

 

The other part of the  colourful shop  created to bring a joyful and  full of vie atmosphere to the clients that work in has beauty products made from natural vegetable oils, with which Antje ( former partner) trained  beautician  mixes essential oils, olive oils into creams. She also makes bath salts using basic clean sea salt, then adds oils, dried camomile and lavender flowers and oats which is  a natural source for Vitamine E meant to leave one skin well relaxed. 

 

To add colour and variety the clothing section offers a unique collection of carefully selected pieces of clothes. These include soft cotton knits, linens and mixes of linens amongst various other clothing choices.

 

So proudly Namibian is the shop that it even has dressed one of the local celebrities and renowned artist Elemotho for one of his show.

 

 

Furthermore, Pure and simple which is conveniently situated in centre town by Garten street   opposite Craft centre also give space to painters who exhibit their products for sale with pricing ranging between N$400-N$1000.

 

A percentage of the proceeds made at the shop are channelled towards the support of various humanitarian projects. These include among others Lufelade Onlus which is a small humanitarian association set up in Italy in 2007 with the main aim to maintain a constant relationship of support and communication with people and communities in Malawi and Namibia.

 

The other project supported by Pure and Simple is the International women’s Association Namibia (IWAN) which is a social organisation for women living in Windhoek aimed to support all new arrivals to Namibia and to help charitable groups.

 

With such innovative thinking Namibian products will certainly make a mark in the global scene while empowering local communities.  PF