Small supplier shines light on local artists with reusable bottle of water
Yes! Definitely, has experienced tremendous growth since partnering with the Shoprite Group, growing from supplying just five Checkers stores to 50 across the Western Cape in a year.
The company, founded by entrepreneur Tracy Ruggier, produces spring water in unique bottles adorned with artwork by local artists. The bottles are made in part of repurposed plastic and are 100% recyclable and reusable.
“We started with a delivery of just two cases, and in a few weeks, Checkers Sea Point was ordering over 10 cases a week – and that’s just one store. We couldn’t believe how fast the stock was moving. We’d supplied to other retailers before, so it was amazing to witness the power of the Checkers brand,” says Tracy.
After many years of working with artists during her corporate career, Tracy realized how challenging it was for local artists to gain recognition and make money from their work. She started Yes! Definitely nine years ago with a goal to create a circular economy, where eco-friendly, locally produced products bring about a positive impact on the economy and people’s lives.
The more than 100 artists whose work is featured get the exposure they need to book jobs as every bottle comes with the artist’s name and link to their work. Their creative designs have gained a cult following and the bottles have become collectors’ items in South Africa.
“This kind of collaboration is essential for growth and innovation,” explains Tracy. “I’m grateful to the Shoprite Group for taking a chance on our company and giving us the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives."
“It is hugely satisfying to see first-hand how the Group's commitment to small local businesses not only benefits their bottom line, but also contributes to job creation and innovation in the industry, explains Maude Modise, GM: Enterprise & Supplier Development.
“That is what we set out to achieve with Shoprite Next Capital: to help commercially-viable small businesses navigate their way to success in the formal retail sector.”