At last, here we are with our brand new storefront, a range of products in stock and a whole host of exciting ideas! The question you might be wondering is what is KUDU how did it get here? KUDU started as a small idea three years ago in my mind when, after jettisoning most of my holiday clothes at the end of a trip to South Africa so that my suitcase would fit three bulky sculptures I had bought from a street vendor pitched outside the local supermarket. I realised then that my passion for beautiful African design and crafted goods was getting out of hand.
As someone who lives and breathes for interior design and art, despite having had no formal training in either, I bought every interiors magazine that came out. I always felt such a rush of pride if when flicking through a Sunday lifestyle section of the newspaper there happened to be any mention of a South African designer, or modern handcrafted African product. This was when I started subscribing to a couple of South African interiors magazines, such as House & Leisure, and Elle Deco SA. Every time I saw a product I liked for feature on a designer or cooperative whose work I admired, I tore that page out and put it into a file for future reference. What a nerd!
It was when we were renovating our then-wreck of a house and doing a huge clear-out that I tidied up my papers and saw that my African ‘Interiors’ folder was bulging with all the sheets of paper that I had gathered, detailing items that I loved. So I began to properly look up all the producers, find out more about them in case I came across any of their products on my trips home to South Africa.
During every trip to South Africa I would go in search of some of the items I had shortlisted for furnishing our home. Over the course of a few years, as and when we could fit things into our suitcases our house became a showcase for Southern African homewares, art and decorative items. Whenever friends stopped by they often commented on the African objects and furnishings, asking where they could find similar items for themselves. The seed of an idea began to form and I jotted a few thoughts down in a notebook.
In 2014, during a visit to South Africa to see my family, with a newborn baby in my arms I gave myself the proverbial kick up the behind to set my idea in motion and started making contact with potential suppliers on my shortlist, explaining my idea and hoping they would take a chance on a new store.
Everything has grown from there and after almost a year of working to pull the products and the site together with a few hiccups along the way, I feel enormously happy and proud of what we have achieved so far. It is an honour to be able to showcase some of the beautiful products to be found on the African continent and I hope that those who take a look at the KUDU boutique love our first range as much as we do.