Premium artisan spoils

Woolworths' premium Trenery brand is elevating the work of bespoke South African creatives and artisans as part of customer activations across the country

As consumer expectations become more sophisticated – and spending patterns continue to evolve – brands are putting their best foot forward when it comes to customer spoils.

Specialist research firm Urban Studies named Loyalty and Customer Experience among its top five retail trends earlier this year. Others were Living Ethically, Smart Living and the increasing significance of Customer Analytics.

The Trenery brand has appeared to take this message to heart with the launch of the Trenery Guild earlier this year, an in-store campaign that manages to celebrate craftsmanship, as much as it does customers.

For the month of April, the spotlight is on the incomparably chic Swaady Martin, the entrepreneur behind the Yswara luxury tea brand which takes its cues from unique and ethically-sourced heirloom plants indigenous to the African continent. The brand also creates delicious candles and has collaborated previously with the likes of Marianne Fassler, Ardmore and Lalesso.

Martin worked with a senior textile designer on the brand to create what Trenery has called a “sensory invocation” of their Autumn/Winter designs. The tea incorporates rooibos, chocolate, coconut and mocha, chosen to complement the palette of Trenery’s “Folkloric Spice” seasonal collection. A print from the range has also been reinterpreted for the luxury tea packaging.

Says Martin: “Just like Trenery, for Yswara it’s of paramount importance that there’s a consistent quality – and for us, this is about slowing things down, taking care, and creating something with lasting value – whether it be memories or beautiful product.”

The collaboration was launched on Wednesday at Cape Town’s Cavendish Square standalone store with Martin taking VIP customers through a salon-like tea ritual. From today, 100ml canisters of the tea will be offered to customers who spend a minimum of R1 500 in-store during the activation period.

Trenery is running a series of these collaborations over the next few months. The artisans have all been asked to interpret the brand values of authentic fabrication and unique prints and tailoring.

They include Marie Aoun, the artisanal perfume-maker behind the Saint D’Ici brand who has created a bespoke candle for Trenery. Craft distillery Pienaar & Son will also soon be unveiling a bespoke gin-tasting experience in select stores. With each activation, a limited-edition gift will be available for Trenery customers at standalone stores around the country, while stocks last.