Ask a Durbanite what they’re doing on the first Saturday of every month and they’re most likely heading to Moses Mabhida Stadium for the I heart Market, which will celebrate its eighth birthday in December. We caught up with founder, Anna Savage.
What’s at the heart of I heart?
It’s a diverse showcase of local talent that makes it super simple to shop, especially if you’re hunting for a unique gift or extraordinary item. Anna says, “The idea of I heart came about after a trip to Cape Town were I noticed there were so many local creatives being represented. I knew a number of amazing Durban creatives and recognised that there was no platform at the time for them to showcase their work. I wanted to create an affordable platform to show the rest of Durban what amazing talent we have.
A market with a big heart
As I heart Market has grown over the years, Anna is always on the lookout for ways to improve or expand the market. Of course, evolution is a process, as Anna says, “I always liken starting a business to creating a beast. The early years can be trying, with lots of lessons to be learned, but after a while the beast starts looking after itself a bit more. We have been fine-tuning our systems for the last seven and a half years and it does run really smoothly most of the time. That said, there is always room for improvement and I am always looking at things that can be reworked, included or, if obsolete, removed.
The I heart Market collaborates quite easily too, with conferences like Decorex partnering up to add an extra element to the market’s offering. But that’s not all, as Anna says, “We have been offered a number of these kind of collaborations in the past and we try to choose the ones that best suit our brand. Last year, we teamed up with the Loeries for the I heart Loeries Market and we will be hosting it again this year during the Loeries Creative Week in Durban. We love to showcase our home-grown Durban creatives to the rest of country and beyond.”
Words: Cath Jenkin | Images: Justin Bennewith