AVOOVA: INNOVATIVE ARTISANAL DÉCOR FROM OSTRICH EGGS
AVOOVA has grown from a small company in the remote Karoo to a truly South African enterprise that marries the luxury of ostrich eggs with artisanal products.
Born in 1999 at the edge of a remote Karoo time, AVOOVA is an artisanal company which designs and manufactures hand-crafted decor, bespoke furniture, fashion accessories all in the seductive veneer of ostrich eggshell. Today, the company is no longer exclusively found in the Karoo – the firm exports to fifteen countries and now has four physical outlets.
The Bushmen of the Kalahari were the first people to appreciate the qualities of the ostrich egg, using them as water vessels over 50,000 years ago. Inspired by this approach, AVOOVA sources eggshell from reputable, local ostrich breeders, upcycling from hatched or unfertilised eggs; a process that is both sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Today, AVOOVA is comprised of more than 50 full-time staff working at the company’s factory in Prince Albert. Everything from bespoke tables to bowls and mirrors are lovingly handcrafted by this team of skilled designers and artisans, who can work the shards of shell into a myriad of textures, colours and patterns.
Born of the African ostrich, this ancient material has been transformed by the company’s artisans into a luxurious decorative finish that surpasses organic veneers from around the world for its beauty and functionality.
The eye-catching, creamy veneers created with thousands of shards of ostrich eggshell – AVOOVA’s hallmark – are testament to an artist’s curiosity and the beauty of nature.
“AVOOVA started back in 1999 under a young man named Gideon Engelbrecht… as the idea developed over time, Gideon started employing locals from Prince Albert to help him with these designs and manufacture these different items, and this is where our staff are born and bred, what they know, and what they love. It’s important to involve them and give them opportunities, skills, and make them feel appreciated for what they can do with their hands”, says Dirk Lottering, Factory Manager at AVOOVA.
“I’ve been working at AVOOVA since 2005,” says Antonio ‘Oubaas’ Jacobs. “Previously I was making wire cars and stuff like that. And Gideon the former owner spotted me doing this. So that’s where it started and here I am today. My role here is wirework and inlay work… doing wirework is my dream. It has allowed me to put food on the table for my parents. That’s what makes me so proud”.
With a talented staff who infuse each design with the kind of beauty that stands the test of time, AVOOVA has grown from a small company in the remote Karoo to a true South African enterprise, taking a humble material from the vast open expanse of the Karoo into the finest homes and interiors all over the world.