How things are...


Lift the bowl
from the bottom shelf
and hold it
in both hands. Cup
the bowl. Let your palms 
feel its weight. Wonder (...)
- Melissa Butler
When KIN begun, I was determined to gather the best of South African design into a space that could become home to object, artist, and customer. First emerging as The Fringe Arts with my business partner and close friend Thessa Bos, we created vibrant temporary store spaces. Before the rush of representation in 2014 when Cape Town was heralded as the World Design Capital, South African design lacked curated retail platforms and our series of Cape Town based pop-ups were the first of their kind in the country. These were platforms that demanded attention – finally giving a sophisticated and sincere space to the incredible wealth of design that our local artists, illustrators, jewellers, ceramists, and crafters were offering. It has been so rewarding to witness the tangible growth in customer awareness that has blossomed throughout South Africa.
 
Thriving on a steady flow of enthusiasm, delight and support from our local and international communities, KIN grew into two fully-fledged stores (KIN on Kloof and KIN at the V&A) an online store and numerous gorgeous pop-ups around Cape Town and Johannesburg.  
Following an ebb and flow rhythm, after six years of design-focused devotion I began to feel new pulls to unexplored spaces and places. As KIN online flourish I formulated a plan that would allow me to follow the adventures my gut was urging me onto while still caring for the business and collective that had taken up permanent residence in my heart. My laptop could sneak into my backpack, KIN could join me on my travels and, without the confines of brick and mortar stores, it could develop organically fed by the new cultural, visual and philosophic stimuli that traveling inevitably nurtures.  
KIN has become a distilled collection of my three core artistic loves: paper, metal and clay.
Each object featured in the online store embodies the original criteria the company is rooted in:  
Place: KIN's heart is in locally manufactured design
Meaning: KIN is the story of where an object comes from and where it will go
Craftsmanship: KIN is well made and made to last. Period.
KIN's journey, and my own, continues. My goals surge back into the diaphanous realm of new possibility as I realise I can personally share this curation of my own artistic wonder with the wider world as I move from place to place. My feet are itchy, my soul is searching, but KIN is a constant companion to my travel-bound heart.

 

To find Melissa Butler's book of poetry 'Removing', I order my copies from my favourite Cape Town bookstore, The Book Lounge.

It's where I first heard Melissa read her poems and where I fell in love with her work.