Crafting a Business With Wire
Creating an income from what started at a hobby, Namibian born, Moris David has become known in the city centre for his consistently happy face and generously warm-hearted nature. That and his intricate and beautifully crafted wire and bead craft pieces, many of which are made from recycled materials. While discussing his approach to business and what enabled him to upscale his hobby into an income, many a passer by is greeted by Moris as though this is his dearest friend. It’s an art, and it’s most likely the biggest contributor to his business success.
“After school, because of the job sector and unemployment, I produced crafts and tried selling them but it was a battle. I started in the streets, selling my crafts around Maerua Mall.”
Moris explains that his business started because he wanted a toy, “I was in need of a toy and was trying to make one. A stone carver in my neighbourhood inspired me when he told me that whatever he carves, I could make as well with wire, because wire the only ‘resource’ I had. I started off with a bicycle, then I made a lizard.”
Battling to find employment, Moris once again turned to his crafts. “After school, because of the job sector and unemployment, I produced crafts and tried selling them but it was a battle. I started in the streets, selling my crafts around Maerua Mall. I wasn’t allowed to sell on the streets and often got chased away by the police.” Without a permanent location, the battle to establish himself and his business continued until he met the Manager at the Namibia Craft Centre in Windhoek, Shareen Thude.
“I would produce crafts and see where I could sell them; I was battling, until I met Shareen. She saw the quality of my work, she coached me for a while and then she called me and said, I am going to offer you a space where you can do your work and you can display your work.” Now Moris has a permanent home at the Namibian Craft Centre, and the constant flow of buyers means he’s able to pay the rent for his space and earn a living off his craft.
“I like being self employed and if you’ve got determination to work hard, then your demand goes higher. I tell myself that I should do it like I have a degree in this, because it’s my profession I must be an expert in it.”
He’s had his permanent workshop and sales floor at the Craft Centre for four years now. “There is a good advantage to working under the banner of the Craft Centre. The place is well established; I’m getting well established now too. My work is successful because I do the production; I make sure it’s neatly done, I’m the chief product designer, and I do the sales and distribution as well.”
Handling all the steps from production to sales, means Moris works sometimes up to 18 hours a day, however he says he doesn’t mind the long hours because he sees it as doing his hobby. “This is why I ventured into this industry, it is my talent and it’s something I really love.” He adds, “I like being self employed and if you’ve got determination to work hard, then your demand goes higher. I tell myself that I should do it like I have a degree in this, because it’s my profession I must be an expert in it.”
“It’s been a good year so far. I now have the vision of achieving my goals through arts and crafts.” When asked where to next for his business, Moris says “My wish is to sell my products online, and let the whole world know about me. This is what I seek.”
For now though, you’ll find Moris, always ready to greet and chat, at the Namibia Craft Centre seven days a week. He hasn’t forgotten the hardships he’s seen in his career, “I’m very thankful to those people that supported me from the beginning, from my early stages, when I was on the street. For all the people that wished me well, and for all the people that support me now, the guests and the locals that support me and help me to grow. Thank you for your support in helping me make it.”
Written by Kirsty Watermeyer