Creative Talents is the trading name of Thermo Configuration CC.

Creative Talents is one of the major wholesale distributors of a wide range of craft products in South Africa. Its distribution network consists of 100 agencies country wide and seven retail branches situated in shopping malls in the metropolitan areas. The undertaking has established its own manufacturing facilities for paints, chemicals and other products, all marketed under the Creative Talents brand name.

Business operations are conducted from seven adjacent mini-factory buildings situated in a light industrial sector in Vereeniging, Gauteng, where close to 100 people are employed. The recent establishment of warehouse/retail facilities in the Western Cape region was a first step towards the decentralisation of its wholesale operations.

The business was started in February 1998 as a small retail outlet, selling raw materials used in various crafts (decoupage, scrapbooking, fabric painting etc.). This was at a time when home crafts gained popularity among South African women and expansion was rapid, due largely to a management policy of:

  • Selling as comprehensive a range of products as possible consistent with the size of its operations (justifying the motto “your one-stop craft experience”)
  • Insisting on a uniform high standard of products from its suppliers.
  • Providing good backup to its customers in the form of expert personal advice by the staff and training by experts in various crafting techniques.

These principles still form the basis of management philosophy both at the business headquarters and each of the branches. For this reason managers and staff are handpicked throughout its operations.

Since branches located at major shopping centres are regarded as the most beneficial type of outlet, potential locations for further expansion have been identified and a programme for medium and long-term expansion has been put in place. While the 120 agencies countrywide provide profitable outlets for its products, they are under no obligation to sell Creative Talents products exclusively. Adherence to the client relations policies applicable to branches is encouraged, but cannot be enforced.