Monday, 23 May 2011

a cold stormy cape town

We are always hearing that birds fly south in the winter, but if you're a southern hemisphere dweller such as I, then you are bound to be confused by this statement. Especially when you've been seeing those exact birds flock up and head North.

Now with the speed of the wind in CT today,  I do hope all those flighty creatures have headed homeward and the rest of us two-legged walking creatures have dry-cleaned that tweed coat and are hopefully not sitting in a meeting today, reeking of Moth balls.

After my seven years in the desert during which I manage to grow my family from 3 to 5, I have either outgrown some of my trench coats or managed to lose them along the way. I mean why would anyone keep a coat when the nighttime temperature never drops below 21deg C 

Last year we were fortunate to experience the FIFA world cup in SA. I was blessed to see four matches of which 2 were in pouring rain and another in ICY ICY conditions. Needless to say I was badly under dressed.

The realization I am currently "trying to make" is that I have just couriered R3000 rands worth of summer clothing as well as a fan to the desert and know confidently that these items although hard to find are currently at the lowest price available ever....but my personal wardrobe which desperately needs a season update, will probably cost me an arm and a leg.

Do we still have time in our days to think ahead and buy our clothing out of season. Do the retailers make it possible to shop out of season?

I have never come across winter boots in a store in the middle of summer.
What if? just what if I was planning to go on ski trip...where would I buy my thermal underwear??

Keep warm y'all

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks...but fairly easy to pop a brand new bedazzled collar on his neck.

A stupid statement, maybe, but TRUE. Teaching the dog a trick would require of the Dog to practice, obey and perform.  'tis the owner's hard-work of sourcing that beautiful and unique collar; online or trampling from pet shop to designer pet shop. Plonking the new collar on his neck is then as simple as a click and a pull.

Please note that in my next phrase of words I am by no means implying that my mum is in anyway being compared to the dog in my analogy, but...

At the age of 75, me mum cannot be taught new tricks!

A year ago my mom visited with me for a few weeks. Since she is a neat freak and I am most certainly NOT, it didn;t take her long to find a duster, scoop and broom.
Each day she carefully avoided my green rubber broom and reached past it for the OLD-School hairy garden broom.

Well. she's been back for numerous visits, and this particular week, I found her quietly sweeping the girls bedroom with "said green rubber broom" Again later the afternoon she was diligently sweeping my dining room's wooden floor. The broom slipped and hit the piano with a loud thump, but no dent! She smiled !

After a cup of tea, I smirked and asked her if she wants me to buy her such a broom, thinking She had surely been won over by it's "work ethic"
NOPE! she belts, it will Never work at my house!

"me mum has the same wooden flooring."

The point of my very long story....If my Mom was my target market, and I was trying to sell her something totally new and exciting, how would I market this product. And will it take me two years to convince my market that this kind of product CAN WORK??
Or should I not be worrying about the 50-80yr old market bracket.

Is it only the 16-25 that carelessly throw money around at untested exciting new products. Do the 25-40s think longer and harder before parting with their hard earned cash.

How do I convince my market that money spent on my product is Money well Spent.

By believing whole heartedly in My product I presume??

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

how slow can you go?

Besides consuming large amounts of hot cross buns and an illegal amount of chocolates I have been trying to work.

It's incredible how long it takes to get your name out there. Feedback/stats/impressions is the only way to really know if you are making an impression on the readers out there. If you even have any readers out there.

I suspect that I might not, but since I don't have R5000 to spend on a social marketing course or maybe R650/month as a cover charge to a company of tweeters and bloggers to maintain my social pages for me...

Well I don't! I only have the few cents available to buy stock that hopefully will turn around back into cash so that i can buy some more and although I am already 36 years old I want to grow up to be a blogger and tweeter and hopefully successful business owner.

If you are reading my blog, do a girl a favour and tell me where you are, how you found this post and how terrible my writing really is.

Anyway on a brighter side, my Baken store is soon to make it's first sale!!!


Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Just a quick hello...

As I surface from a wintery Easter Weekend in the City. The kids are loving my spontaneous activities like feeding the squirrels in the company gardens and sitting at Cape Town international watching the "traffic"

Anyhow, as I have long lists of activities planned for tomorrow, I will just drop you a little something to read while I'm gone.

Or do if you are into vintage clothing and just happen to be roaming the City's streets.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Warming up

Although in the city it's cooling down and sales of coats, boots and tumble dryers are taking off. In the Namib it is still comfortably warm and averaging about 25 deg Celsius. You can comfortably wear a long sleeved top till about 10am and then again late in the afternoon.

Boots are must in the desert but only ankle boots as snake protectors, not long sexy black boots.
Mine stayed in a box for all the 7 years I lived there.

Why am I talking about boots when the first thing on my mind has been the price of children's toys. It is legal to pay so much for items that outlive their play cycle. I have boxes of toys built to last a good 20years, but my kids were done playing with them in less than 2.

Check out you don't think they are a bit OVER PRICED?

Anyway back to the boots, somebody please help me find 25 pairs of ankle boots at about R200-R300 per unit.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

An introduction comes first, as usual

Although I am not entirely new to blogging, I am very unfamiliar with this particular forum and format. The primary aim of this particular blog is to promote CandTtrAdInG, which is currently somewhere between being a brain child and a reality.

Since CandT itself is yet to establish a reputation or background, I would have to introduce you to the ins and outs of....the CandT birthplace.

Being a city girl was never seen as a greater gift than when I married and moved to a remote town in the Namib Desert. Along with hundreds of locals, a few handfuls of incomers, one company, no shop and no school; we tried to scrounge a normal existence.

Some issues were unavoidable, like driving your 10 year old 12 hours away for an emergency operation, or being stranded in the town for days because the diesel truck is stuck in a riverbed somewhere between civilization and your house or sending your kids on a bus for 70kms in the morning and again in the afternoon just to attend school....

Other issues were not as impossible, but some careful planning and negotiating had to be done.
During the 7 years I spent in the desert I managed to successfully source wholesalers who were willing to deliver perishables to a store 360 kms away from their regular delivery routes.
In a short time, a small but fully fledged supermarket supplying anything from toilet paper to fresh milk became a reality. Some things remained a bit odd, like getting the Sunday Times on a Monday Morning or starting an entire bakery because it was cheaper than having bread delivered daily.

Well, the supermarket took off but so did I. The logistics of living so remotely became impossible when my eldest had to attend high school. Now I reside slap BANG in the middle of the city and aim to establish not just a supply vein, but an artery. Thus the blog, the tweeting, the OCD circling of newspaper articles, the scrutiny of gumtree and capeads...etc...

CandTtrAdIng is on a sourcing journey. All in the aim of supplying a wide range of goods to a market desperately in need of real life products. Other than toilet paper and milk.

Thus if you've ever lived remotely and can think of something you would definitely need, drop me a comment, I would really appreciate the input.
BUT, especially if you are a small supplier of niche goods, or a niche supplier of small goods, or you have knowledge of a trade secret, a factory shop sale PLEASE please pop me a comment.

Note that this town has 300 families, one tiny supermarket, no toyshop, no shoe shop, no kids clothing, no sexy lingerie store, no funky gift shop, no library, no hardware store, no stationery store. And the nearest town is 360kms away and has only half of what I have just mentioned.