Eugenie has collaborated with many product developers and craft enterprises in Southern Africa and abroad on refining products and product ranges, pricing, refreshing collections and testing products in the market place as part of an on-going informal mentorship programme in the sector with a specific focus (but not exclusively) on jewellery and accessories. piece exposes these artists to other relevant players in the market place, and provides them with outlets for their products and work experience in the business environment. In this way, piece helps artists to learn how to sell their product, and how to operate successfully in the modern business world.
Although development has always formed a core part of Eugenie’s business focus, in 2009 she took a sabbatical from her retail store to focus on national and international trade and training of local craft entrepreneurs; and this area of interest and engagement has been growing, ever since. A Member of the Business Women’s Association of South Africa (BWSA), women’s empowerment is close to Eugenie’s heart. She is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10 000 Certificate programme for women entrepreneurs, and a member of the Vital Voices Lead Fellowship Programme. She has also been a mentor via the African Leadership Academy, Cheri Blair Foundation, SEDA (Small Enterprise Development Association), BASA (Business and Arts South Africa) and the Passionate Professional.
She has recently shifted focus into this area, and has moved into the formal coaching arena, with a particular focus on people, purpose and potential. She won a scholarship and was invited to attend the Wealth Makers Mighty Mavericks conference in Toronto.
- provided mentoring and support for small enterprises at the Design Indaba Expo (2005 and 2007);
- run extensive voluntary training and mentoring programmes for crafters and fine artists to assist them with production and understanding the market.
- been involved with mentoring the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre in Sophiatown as part of the Business and Arts South Africa/Barloworld ARTWORKS Mentoring programme;
- been nominated for a BASA/Business Day Award in recognition of a successful mentoring intervention;
- Contributed to the Arts & Culture Trust Masterclasses programme, through a presentation marketing and branding
- mentored a number of significant young designers, such as
- Laz Yanni (South African Fashion Week Emerging Designer 2014);
- Thabo Makhetha (2014 ImpACT Award Winner for Design);
- Phendu Kuta of unlabelled magazine;
- Ayanda Nhlapo (SABC 3 Young Designers Award Winner);
- Yda Walt, particularly through the Goldman Sachs-GIBS 10000 Women Certificate Program for Women Entrepreneurs programme;
- Nelson Makomo (Fine Artist) on an exhibition tour to Italy in 2007;
- bead and wire artist Elias Khula whose participation at the Santa Fe Folk Art Festival was made possible through her efforts;
- Mariapoala McGurk of The Coloured Cube, through BASA;
- the finalists of Young Designer TV programme, series 1 and 2.