minima began as a series of sketches and a prototype in 2012. This was enough to catch the interest of Province Lighting whose enthusiasm in our lights buoyed us into business – and they remain one of our trusted national stockists.
Our first range of lights was officially launched at the 2014 Design Indaba. There we met many local and international interior designers and boutique owners who loved our Scandi-inspired style and became long-standing partners in minima’s promotion.
We also met the CBI, Dutch-funded initiative that, in partnership with the CCDI (Cape Craft Institute), finds fresh local design talent to groom for export. We were at the right place at the right time and – after a series of interviews – were selected to join its programme. Peers include Vogel Design, Sax Corner, Skinny la Minx and De Steyl.
Our design ethos is simple: We use digitally-cut birch plywood and clip together the Classic and Ellipse ranges using only tension, compression and easy to use locking mechanisms. The sophisticated yet understated look creates a striking focal piece for home, office or retail spaces. We also work with bamboo and African Mahogany veneer to flexi-ply – a bendable yet firm material. Drawing inspiration from the Shweshwe pattern, the tapered cylindrical forms have a North African feel.
While most clients prefer their products to arrive ready assembled, the flat-pack ability of our pieces is advantageous for the export market.
Today our lights hang in RocoMamas stores countrywide, select Exclusive Books, several Nando’s, retail malls in PE and Cape Town, Visa’s head office, Galito’s in Kenya and Zambia – as well as hundreds of private homes and offices.
minima founder and designer
In 2012 Jacques Cronje started a new timber lighting venture in his garage with the help of his then gardener, Patrick Ngwalo. Within a year, they were producing over 10 lights a week and quickly outgrew their humble beginnings. minima’s first factory space in Westlake in Cape Town was just a stepping stone as within a year the team needed a bigger home. In 2015 minima moved to Capricorn Park in Muizenberg to take residence at a 200 sqm warehouse. Design, R&D and production happens there while the products are displayed at its retail space, Studio 18, in The Woodstock Foundry as well as at boutiques and retail stores across South Africa and abroad.