Wolwedans needs a third, for-profit leg to stand on so that when tourist volumes fluctuate, the commercial wheels can keep turning. A merchandising division will be pursued to provide said “third leg” and we already have the first steps in place. The Wolwedans Clothing Company was registered 15 years ago but remained dormant; the time to get it off the ground just never seemed right... Perhaps now – with The AridEden Project coming to life with its wonderful brand and story to be told – it is time to launch!
Creating a successful range of merchandise is very much about branding and telling a story. Most brands spend a fortune to create a story and image, although this is often an artificial one. Brand Wolwedans, however, is well established and we already have an inspiring, feel-good, authentic story to tell, not only about our past and present, but perhaps even more so about our future. The distinct lifestyle association that unfolds when hearing the word ‘Wolwedans’ – where there is space for your imagination to fly, beauty to feed your soul and tranquility to clear the mind – adds value and relevance to telling the story. People who have visited us in the desert will naturally want to buy the proverbial t-shirt!
Merchandising options to be designed are unlimited, and will be inspired by the creative ideas that emerge from our team through the Arts & Crafts Centre, community partners, and guests. Designs will include leisure wear, team uniforms, and accessories. The venture could potentially grow to become a ‘proudly Namibian’ lifestyle brand selling beyond Wolwedans (online) and perhaps in malls and duty-free shops.
Production would initially be in South Africa, Madagascar or the like. Eventually though it should be brought to Namibia, ideally to Maltahöhe to offer additional employment opportunities in the area.