The Caversham Press is an internationally acclaimed fine art print studio in the KZN Midlands, and when it extended its concept to include exclusive artwork printed on fabric – Caversham Textiles – decor fundis and followers put up their hands. Today, the range – and extensions thereof – is available at Avril Elias’s The A Store.
How did your business start?
My husband and I decided to choose country over city; he’d continue his work as a management consultant, and I’d give up the magazine industry. The Midlands would be the perfect space in which our young daughter could grow up. She was accepted at Clifton Prep in Nottingham Road, and a very close friend found us the perfect cottage to rent on a smallholding in Lidgetton. I’ve always been creative, but my career didn’t lend itself to that; this was my chance. Caversham Textiles was my first stop as it is virtually our neighbour, and it was love at first sight – seeing such stunning prints and colours. After many conversations with Sally, Malcolm and Ros, my path was forged. I offered them my services as an agent. Having been in sales all my life, I knew this was a product I could promote and sell. And with my magazine industry background, I could also assist with marketing and PR.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Nottingham Road is a buzzing little village, with many Meander shops and decor stores. The Junction is also currently under refurbishment and its facelift and new restaurant will definitely be a destination for Midlands visitors.
How did you find your premises?
I reconnected with a very good school friend of mine, Heather Kelland, who owns Vintage Rose Collection.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
Who are your neighbours?
Afro Vintage Trading, Vintage Rose Collection and Sarah Owen (formerly Churchill House & Crystal Barn).
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Rentals are competitive.
What is your shop footprint?
The Midlands Meander is such a popular destination and weekend trade is extremely busy.
Do you have any expansion plans?
Caversham Textiles still opens its Lidgetton studio every Wednesday, but for now, The A Store is the only seven-days-a-week retail outlet for Caversham Textiles.
Do you operate online as well?
Yes, the website, theastore.co.za, will be fully operational by the end of June, and we look forward to reaching an international market as well.
What’s your most popular item?
Caversham Textiles’ full range is my focus, and The A Store will extend the brand to include soft furnishings and a small linen range.
082 654 0778
Words: Anne Schauffer | Images: Supplied