More pictures from other demonstrations
Click on the logo below for more info
Towelling Robes by Candi Leader of RubyRed
15 November 2008
There are many influences that draw crafters into the small and micro business environments usually encountered at craft markets. Sometimes the motivation is the absolute despair at the high-pressure environment of the corporate world, sometimes a result of the awful necessity of downsizing, sometimes sheer chance, or a great idea, and perhaps most often, the passionate pursuit of a pastime that ends up demanding a commercial outlet.
Candi Leader was indeed lead by some of these factors into the somewhat unusual craft of producing towelling garments. Probably not a particularly easy fabric to use for garments, towelling also seems to offer only a restricted area of use. Yet, with a few good ideas, the desire to build and run one's own business, and the identification of a niche market, Candi's towelling garments are making their mark through their sheer convenience, utility and pampering designs.
The intriguing name RubyRed has an amusing origin. The Red part of the name she says is derived from her natural red hair. And of course the Ruby, she notes cryptically, is the gem of celebration for 40 years.
"I have been in the clothing industry since 1975,"tells Ruby. Post school I studied fashion design for 3 years, loved the work but found the people very insincere. In my mid-forties when I could no longer endure the environment of a formal industry, I decided to throw in the towel - or rather I decided to pick up the towel and use it to shape my own niche in the world of clothing."
"Actually it was far from being an organised retreat, and I had no clear sense of where I was heading or how I would earn a living," admits Candi. "What I did know was I had left the rat race of formal business behind, and was definitely going to keep it that way.
That was four years ago but Candi has never regretted this move because soon afterwards, the knock of opportunity pointed the way forward for her. Someone asked Candi to design and make a towelling wrap that would stay secure without needing the uncomfortable belly-poking knot in the chord, that bothered some people. "I also wanted to design for myself, a turban that stayed securely on my head, and that I could use after washing my hair. I so dislike it when the water drips down my back."
"And so," explains Candi, "after some thinking and experimenting, my Body Wrap and Turban creations came to fruition and were used to launched RubyRed." They were a sound foundation, and these popular items are still the backbone of RubyRed.
But getting set up to trade at craft markets was another aspect of RubyRed. Candi did not take this lightly and any visitors to the Country Craft Market will have noticed the funky assistants that Candi has at her stall who help model her towelling garments. She tells that she spent considerable effort trying to find just what she wanted to use create an eye-catching display that presented her products in an interesting way.
"Having walked the length and breadth of Cape Town," she tells, "I felt very disappointed that all I could find were dull, uninteresting manikins." Then by sheer chance, while on a holiday in Durban she found that her team of sales assistants had been waiting there for her, and were happy to be lead by her back to Cape Town.
Candi will be happy to introduce them to you at her stall. "Smiley is always laughing," she confirms, "and Precious likes to always have a beautifully made-up face. Mr Suave simply always just looks ultra cool."
Smiley has told Candi that he believes they still have a young cousin in Durban who would like to join the family in Cape Town, and perhaps next year Candi will see what can be done to reunite them. For Candi, working on the display in the stall is also an on-going process and part of the ambiance of RubyRed.
"RubyRed designs now includes a variety of towelling products, all focussed on allowing you to pamper yourself and wrap yourself in pure indulgence," says Candi. "In this modern mad-rush world, you can turn your bath or shower time into a relaxing treat with these comfortable and practical garments."
The 100% cotton RubyRed range includes gowns, robes and body wraps, all handcrafted. They can also be personalized with colour trim and monograms if desired.
Supplementary luxury items, ideal for gifts, are hair turbans, shower caps and headbands. "The exfoliating mitt and a neck pillow are simply perfect for soothing away the stresses of the day," guarantees Candi.
For children there are ponchos, available in 3 sizes for ages 2 to 10, designed to be used after swimming or at the beach.
"I keep trying to add new products," says Candi. "It starts from listening carefully to customers' requests, then trying, testing and checking to determine whether each new item is a useful and viable addition to the RubyRed range."
"Recently, I acquired embroidery facilities to allow me to add special touches to my towelling garments," tells Candi. At her demonstration at the Country Craft Market of 15 November 2008, . She will be showing how she using this embroider monograms and names onto robes or wraps. She will also provide this as a free service for the demonstration day, valid for purchases at the market or orders placed on that day.
Last Updated 01 November 2017 16:11