Crafting the way to a tourism hub in Rehoboth

By Philani Nkomo
September 2015
Travel and Tourism

If a man does not have a dream of his own, he will work his entire life achieving for another man. This was the belief of Adolf Goagoseb who left his job of 16 years to cultivate his own dream.

Goagoseb, an entrepreneur from Rehoboth, decided to leave his job after 16 years and started a business of his own called Adolf Weaving Enterprise. He realised he would never achieve his dreams or leave behind a legacy if he continued being an employee of a company that wasn’t his own.

The Adolf Weaving Enterprise was founded with the assistance of family funds in the small town of Rehoboth in 1997. Since Rehoboth is centrally located and is a gateway to most major focal points of Namibia, it is easy to attract tourists to buy the company’s woven products. Tourists heading to Windhoek, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Fish River Canyon, Etosha and even Cape Town stop by while en route to these destinations.

The revenue earned from the sale of neatly woven goods to lodge owners and tourists plays a pivotal role in making sure the company makes a profit.

“Our clients are mostly lodge owners and tourists, and they support us a lot because we weave hall hang carpets, floor carpets, table carpets and swakara,” Gaogsoeb says.

Adolf Weaving Enterprise does not only weave its main products but also caters for the specific needs of the client. It goes by the policy, “The customer is always right, and the customer gets what he or she needs.”

However, the company faces the challenge of finding available land for breeding the wool-producing karakulia sheep. Because woven carpets made from the karakulia sheep’s wool are extremely popular, the unavailability of land hinders the amount of wool that can be cultivated to meet this demand. The company also suffers from constrained expansion due this challenge.

The weaving business, as fun as it might sound, is difficult to maintain because it can take a longtime to sell woven products to the locals, especially during dry seasons. Products need to be made according to the clients’ orders because if they are not, the company runs on a loss having wasted time and money on something that will take ages to leave the shelves.

“Weaving is a very beautiful business but also very expensive, it takes two to four years for a finished carpet to be sold, therefore we only work on orders,” he says.

Although there are setbacks, Goagoseb says the company still returns back to its small society and helps in the development of Namibia’s economy. It provides free training to the locals who want to venture into weaving crafts either professionally or recreationally.

“We offer our help to the community in that we give people internships and we always participate in expos annually, helping our town get exposure in the SME industry,” he says.

Adolf Weaving enterprise helps in empowering some people who are not academically gifted in using their own hands to make a living. “Not everyone can be classified as a jack of all trades, It can only be fair for an individual to specialise on one department,” Goagoseb explains.

“We do not find any problems with employing unskilled people, they always receive training first and then we take it from there,” he says.

Goagoseb further explains that in the woven crafts field, good work cannot be achieved by one person or by a team full of weavers who are not team players. Work will always be substandard if some team players are doing it for the sake of getting the job done.

“All we require is that everyone should be a team player and fully committed to business,” he says.