An architect specialising in timber buildings, Jacques Cronje branched out into bespoke timber lighting and furniture design in 2013. His beautifully worked Minima range of wooden lights and furniture pieces is made at his factory and studio in Capricorn Business Park, Muizenberg.
Minima began as a rough sketch in my head in early 2012. The first prototype followed in 2013 as did our first stockist, Province Lighting. Their team had just come back from Maison & Objet in Paris and when I showed them our lights they decided to stock us on the spot. We participated in Design Indaba 2014 and it was there that we met the CBI, a Dutch-funded initiative that works with local support organisations, the CCDI and SEDA, to identify, mentor and gear-up local designers for export. Up until mid-2014 we were producing from our garage with the help of our gardener, Patrick. Today he is our supervisor at our factory.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
It’s ideal for manufacturing businesses with loads of warehouse type factories and offices. As I live in Noordhoek it was also more convenient than Epping and we needed a space that customers could visit.
How did you find your premises?
I was initially looking for premises in Westlake, and with factory space hard to find due to high demand, the agents continuously recommended Capricorn Park. When nothing came up in Westlake, I visited Capricorn. It was a perfect spring day, the factories are set in a natural environment amongst fynbos and the estuary. I was sold on the spot.
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
Our factory is 200m2 meters and consists of a sizeable floor space that our team of five use for assembling, sanding, painting and packaging the lights and furniture pieces. Upstairs there is a small studio where I design, meet clients, and work with my colleagues in my architectural practice, Jacques Cronje Timber Design.
Who are your neighbours?
A catering company, an IT company and a metal workshop – so a real mix.
What are the rental / sales prices like in this area?
What is your shop foot traffic?
It is by appointment only.
Do you have any expansion plans?
We’re excited about the launch of our first retail space at The Foundry in Woodstock. Called Studio 18, it is a collaboration with two other designers, De Steyl and Indigi Designs. We’re also showing in Maison & Objet in Paris in September.
Do you operate online as well?
What’s your most popular item?
The most popular light currently is our Tendu light.
082 925 0097
Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Supplied