Words: Zena le Roux | Images: Supplied
Mosaic Arts has been called the ultimate mosaic shop by the local crafting community as you won’t easily find this many mosaic tiles under one roof. Crafters who visit the shop often don’t realise that their specialty is actually designing and making handcrafted, bespoke mosaics. Floors, tables, murals, pools, coat of arms – they’ve made them all and sent them to the far corners of South Africa and world-over. Artistic and managing director/owner Marina Giovitto Ehlers, shares their passion with us.
How did your business start?
My father was an Italian-trained mosaic artisan. He taught my mother and myself how to mosaic and we both loved it. The business is, therefore, an extension of our and his passion. After my dad passed away, my mom and I started a new version of the business at the end of 2015.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Many years ago, my parents bought a piece of land in Silvertondale when it was only a piece of open veld in the middle of nowhere. As this property has been ours for so long, it was an obvious choice to build a workshop here.
How did you find your premises?
My parents found it years ago and thought that maybe it might be an investment for the future.
Why are they ideally suited to your business?
Silvertondale is a busy light-industrial area close to the highway. It’s quiet, relatively safe and easily accessible for customers. For me, it’s a 10-minute drive from home. Our staff come from Soshanguwe, Mamelodi and Moloto with various transport options for them to get to work. Also, our large airy, well-lit studio is ideal for making mosaics. We have ample storage space and a cosy shop with lots of parking.
Who are your neighbours?
There is a myriad of small businesses that are located close to us which offer services such as woodwork, shop fitting, laser cutting, engraving, plastics, hardware, paints, frames and electrical suppliers. They are all within a five-minute drive from our premises.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
The area is reasonably priced.
How many people visit your business each day?
We’re very much a destination shop – we have quite a number of clients visiting our shop on a daily basis. Although the majority of our customers are from Gauteng, we have regulars from as far afield as White River, Upington, Amanzimtoti, Gonubie, Swaziland and Malawi.
Do you have any expansion plans?
No, we don’t as our emphasis is on quality rather than size. If you grow bigger, it becomes more difficult to control the quality of the artwork produced. We believe in being hands-on in all aspects of production – from concept, design, and manufacture through to installation on site.
Do you operate online as well?
We have a website, Facebook (@MosaicArtsPretoria) and Instagram (@mosaic_arts_pretoria) presence. Even without an online store, we meet our clients’ needs and courier mosaic tiles and designs all over the country and beyond.
What’s your most popular service?
Giving our clients a fantastic finished product that is much better than they expected. Our shop is like a candy store for grown-ups and is truly therapeutic and inspiring. Innovation and doing out-of-the-box mosaics magnificently is our forte.
012 804 7392/072 729 8416