At A Ring To It in Commercial Street, designer Stacy Beukes and her team create a range of individual jewellery. It’s primarily a manufacturing studio with a showroom where clients can visit by appointment to shop and discuss commissions.
YN: How did your business start?
Stacy: After studying jewellery design and manufacture at Stellenbosch University, I started making commission pieces while completing an honours programme at UCT. Then, after two years of co-owning a jewellery design and manufacture business, I opted to go independent and started A Ring To It.
YN: Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Stacy: The East City was an unexplored area for me. I liked that it’s in the city with a vibrant mix of creatives. It’s safe, secure and central. After a few visits, the sense of community as well as the host of creative neighbours and the proximity to home, retailers and suppliers met the criteria.
YN: How did you find your premises?
Stacy: It took me forever to find a suitable space; there was a lot of online searching and office viewings (that looked nothing like the pictures). It took research, perseverance and an understanding of what the business needed as well as keeping in mind the budget.
YN: Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
Stacy: The area is inspiring, and being inspired is an essential part of being creative and creating. A simple coffee run can result in a collaboration or sharing of ideas. Walking down the streets you are greeted with inspiration – graffiti, impromptu art moments, design events (First Thursdays) and views of Table Mountain. Many of my suppliers are based in the immediate area, so I can support local businesses to get my printing, photos, art supplies and materials. We are easily accessible for clients, and our staff members have easy access to transport.
YN: Who are your neighbours?
Stacy: Tenants in our building range from musicians to film-makers and accountants; an artist and ceramicist are my immediate neighbours.
YN: What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Stacy: Studio space in town is generally priced higher than outlying areas of the CBD, like Woodstock or Salt River. It can range from R4,000 upwards for a small space.
YN: What is your shop footprint?
Stacy: Clients collect orders from our studio and we meet with couples or grooms-to-be to design engagement rings. Visits by appointment to shop the range are less frequent, as many clients shop online or visit our stand on Saturdays at the OZCF (Oranjezicht City Farm) market.
YN: Do you have any expansion plans?
Stacy: Of course! Our studio is slowly being outgrown because of expanding equipment, staff and the magnitude of my ideas. So soon our brand will need a bigger, more visible option for our next chapter.
YN: Do you operate online as well?
Stacy: Yes, I have an online store on the website (aringtoit.co.za) as well as on the Hello Pretty site (hellopretty.co.za).
YN: What’s your most popular item?
Stacy: Our “tie the knot” range of bracelets and necklaces, and our newest “sweets with the change” range are the current top sellers.
A Ring To It
Words: Kit Heathcock
Images: Rizqah Dollie