I’ve always found it an intriguing space, that disconnect between real life and the glamorous image we have of award-winning designers, creators, artists.
At our lunch in the new wooden “chapel” that David has built on his urban farm, I met a new breed of creator who, quite frankly, don’t want the famous epithet and have as little as possible to do with the end consumer of their products.
David himself doesn’t even have a showroom. He employs 60 people in his factory, has exhibited at some of the world’s leading design fairs, yet he is the understated guy with a skew smile who’s not shy to demonstrate the quirky adult play gyms that he has lying in the veld on this urban farm. He doesn’t advertise – people find him.
One of the Trenery collaborators, Marie Aoun, is the founder of Saint d’Ici – a natural perfumer who you may never meet. Her business is run entirely online which, at first, seems a little bizarre for someone selling fragrances.
Not so, says Marie. She sends you a starter pack of mini samples and you can choose your favourite scent in the comfort of your own space and time before ordering a larger size online.
Much celebrated tea blender, Swaady Martin of Yswara, has recently launched a wellness programme called Shift Within. Groups on the courses that involve guided meditations, menu planning and other solutions for conscious living may never meet Swaady or one another, but she and her team will inspire a more fulfilled life through online resources and chats.
There’s something heart-warming about a reluctant celebrity. Someone who creates great beauty but not in an Instagram kind of way.