06 Feb Shop SA: Rowdy Leather Bags
My mini 5 day vacation in Cape Town was peppered with experiences I have always meant to engage in every time I go to Cape Town, like going to the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay. This is where I spotted ROWDY Leather Bags, a premium hand crafted leather bag brand based in Salt River, Western Cape, South Africa. Taken by the brands tag line “Embrace Basic Goodness,” I unwittingly shopped consciously and took home a simple, beautiful and wallet friendly Kigali Tote Bag in the softest leather.
If you look at the tote bag below and consider that the brand that manufactures this bag does so under *Fair Trade conditions, you would expect for it to come in at a price range of just over R1000 or much more; because doing good, eating good, driving a car that is environmentally friendly; is always a little bit more expensive. This bag was R550.
Quality and price, hardly ever intersect in a way whereby everyone or every stakeholder in the *value chain wins. From what I can tell, ROWDY succeeds in bringing customers quality hand made leather products, at a decent price by avoiding the “Traditional Distribution Model” whereby that wholesale price is marked up by about 124% and then sold to customers. Instead, ROWDY’s Distribution Model looks like this:
“ROWDY price = No proportion added for non-value adding agents + a percentage commission is provided to each ROWDY sales person so as to enable them to start their own ROWDY business – The truth costs less not more.”
On their website, they also point out that by not going the in store sales route; ROWDY is able to we “provide opportunities for job creation by allowing candidates to become entrepreneurs/business owners within the ROWDY network. Providing such candidates with ROWDY products, sales opportunities, commission and necessary training places them in the position to ultimately own his/her ROWDY business, thus once again creating value.”
*Fair trade is an organized social movement whose stated goal is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainability. Members of the movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as higher social and environmental standards. – Wikipedia.org
*A value chain is a chain of activities that a firm operating in a specific industry performs in order to deliver a valuable product or service for the market.