In 2008 Wendren Setzer founded her company the WREN design. She makes a variety of unique bags from materials such as organic hemp canvas, used coffee sacks, discarded paper cement bags, old South African maps and antique linen grain sacks. The studio was borne of a search for a bag that was simple and practical yet beautiful and not mass-produced.
Here’s what she had to say about being part of the Emerging Creatives programme in 2010:
Did being part of Emerging Creatives help you establish yourself as a fully-fledged creative professional?
Definitely! I had my first dealings with wholesale clients and international agents. The real-time feedback from the public/customers was also very useful.
How has the volume of your business increased since the stage of your career when you were part of the Emerging Creatives programme? Have you had any major commissions or business orders as a result of it?
Significantly! Being an Emerging Creatives has definitely put my business on a new level. The programme put my company on a set of stairs that makes each level more possible to reach.
What was the most valuable things you got out of the programme?
I launched the product, a bag made from cement bags, which made my company what it is today. This product was priced completely wrong and over the years I have learnt to price my products correctly. I now have confidence in my company, its products and myself.
Since Emerging Creatives, have you participated in any local or international exhibitions or events, or won any awards?
Yes, I've exhibited twice overseas, been featured in several magazines and appeared on TV several times. These features only started after being an Emerging Creative!
Wendren Setzer lives and works in Cape Town as a professional product designer. See more of her work at thewrendesign.com.
Apply to be an Emerging Creative at Design Indaba Expo 2014 here.