To be honest, I had never heard of Creative Mornings until someone in the office told me about it – and as a student in the creative industry, I can’t believe I’d never been while back home in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, I finally found myself at my first Creative Mornings in Cape Town. The theme was Rebel and the speaker was Drew Madacsi, one of the three owners of The House of Machines.
Drew was born in Australia, lived in America and has been living in Cape Town for five years. While Drew manages and owns the bike shop at the back of The House of Machines, his co-founders Brad Armitage preside over the coffee shop, and Paul van der Spuy, of bluecollorwhitecollar fame, manages the fashion.
The bike shop makes custom-made bikes, as well as sells bikes they make themselves. You can pretty much choose anything you want for your bike, as long as it’s safe to ride. You drop by and tell them what your dream bike looks like, and they bring in the best people and products to build it for you from scratch. That’s what makes this work. While it might not be cheap, they are always bringing in the best ensuring a perfect bike each time.
Amongst the booming coffee industry, the coffee shop has managed to get itself ahead of the pack if the booming morning trade is anything to go by. Their 100% organic coffee beans are imported from Honduras after they are roasted in Spain. What a trip! Take this and the fact that they are the only company who has a license for selling these beans, and you can understand what makes them special. In the evenings, you can transition from coffee to the best bourbon from America. You may pay a little extra, but you’re getting the best bourbon experience in Cape Town.
And last but not least, the fashion. Here you can buy t-shirts made from the best cotton imported from Japan. The cool thing is that, in true bluecollarwhitecollar tradition, you can design them yourself. Come by, show them your design and if they like it, they will print it and split the profit 50-50 with you. I think that is a great way to get your designs on the market.
The shop is in evolution, Drew says. They look at what is happening around them, what the market is asking for and see how they can provide it. Because of this, they company will continue to change, which means you’ll never know what to expect and what they’re selling this time round!
It’s really cool to see somebody’s dream become a reality. The questions I have though are more about the financial aspect. They don’t want to overprice themselves, so they don’t make a lot of profit, so how do they ensure they can pay their overheads? Nevertheless, I have a lot of respect for somebody who just goes out and does it regardless of what people are telling him.