I made my first SilkScreen Stencil in 1999, using an imported material that was already coated and ready to use. This was such an amazing concept and would make any production work a breeze.
In 2000 something went wrong with their material / recipe resulting me (long story short) losing my business and then my house, and off course my self respect.
Prior to this I was in corporate and had no knowledge of the screen printing industry. I just new that this was an amazing product and that I wanted to make it myself. A visit to the local library introduced me to the process of “real” screen printing. And so began the long process of figuring this out. All of this was on a shoestring budget; by that time I lived in a friend’s back room – not even able to afford the rent. I managed to get it up and running for a couple of months, but by that time it was too late to recover. After relocating and starting over, my stencils was “forgotten” until 2004 when I started painting on planks and needed something to speed up production. I remembered the stencils, and started production again. Due to the costs involved I made a new batch once a year, and more frequently after I got married in 2011.
By the end of 2015 the market was so flooded with painted/printed wood, that we decided to rather become a stencil supplier and put the painting on hold. Our first “big” show was Hobby X 2016 and it was an amazing experience. Thereafter we could get some needed equipment for the next phase of our journey.
We opted to grow slow, with what we had, even if was very frustrating and there were some very expensive learning curves. The process is very labour intensive and I respect my husband so much for his hard work.
My heart is for job creation and although it is not happening “under my roof” I can see it…. I am so happy for every person that ventures out to try their hand at something new, even if it is just to make a special gift. It is an honour to make a difference in lives of people that are using their hand made products to generate income.
Our first SARCDA exhibition was in August 2019, with the second one in March 2020. Lined up for 2020 was Hartenbos stalls and KKNK in March, and Kirkwood and Vryfees in June. And then Lockdown happened!
Apart from catching up on admin it was surely a time to rest, regroup and press on. During this time we opened up to Agents so that Silkscreen Stencils could become more accessible. This would work via the traditional order-off-the-catalogue with no capital outlay to the agent. This initiative faded as it was difficult to maintain social distancing and markets dwindled out.
During Covid many ladies started to make polymer jewellery, and this soon became our biggest market. We currently supply to about 5 online polymer shops, as well as stockists in UK and New Zealand. Our product range is ever expanding and we are now also supplying Polymer clay and cutters. We pride ourselves in our quality and we know we compare well with the international markets.
In January 2022 we employed 2 staff to assist with administration and production. As restrictions are lifted there have been more opportunities, one of them being a very successful Hobby-X 2022. We are looking forward to expand even more in the months to come. We are also in the process of changing the name of our shop to allow for more creativity while continuing with silkscreen stencils. There is no denying that it is all because of grace that our doors are still open, it is certainly not of our own doing.
With SilkScreen Stencils you can make multiple, clear prints within minutes on virtually any smooth surface! We design, manufacture and supply to both wholesale and retail. Order from our selection of ready made stencils, or order your own custom made stencil. Our base is Mossel Bay (Southern Cape) but we deliver throughout South Africa.