The birth of Hand Painted By Carmel happened by chance when Carmel graduated from The Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town. One of Carmelís textile designs gained the recognition of an esteemed fabric buyer who immediately bought it and put it into production.
This inspired Carmel to develop her talent and style for textiles on her own, and she soon created her own range of designs, mostly for table wear use. Carmelís artistic influences include Matisse for colour and Kandinsky for basic yet simple form, which would propagate the basis of her ďless is moreĒ distinguishable style. Colour plays a key role in addition to the juxtapositions of unusual shades of pink and orange.
The next stage for Carmel was to turn her talent into a thriving business. Her brother, Benjy Stoch a successful businessman within the restaurant industry in Johannesburg, realised the great potential and joined forces with her to drive the business forward.
Carmel and Benjy created a signature product which would become the unique selling point of Hand Painted By Carmel: The Hand Painted cotton coated table cloth. Carmelís designs, which are painted onto 100% raw bull denim cotton, would be coated with a specially developed textile coating making them completely stain and liquid resistant. These specialised table cloths never need laundering and only require a wipe down after use. The result is an ECO FRIENDLY, COST EFFECTIVE AND ARTISTICALLY DESIGNED, customised hand painted product with complete functionality. In particular, the restaurant industry has recognised this useful, creative and cost saving product.
Through the rest of the late 90's into the 2000ís Carmel and Benjy set up two Hand Painted By Carmel shops in Johannesburg, selling the Hand Painted coated table cloths, placemats, chair cushions and aprons. Benjy realised there was a gap in the market for customised table cloths in small quantities for restaurants, and so a unique concept came into being. Today Hand Painted By Carmel supplies over 500 restaurants across South Africa, the UK, Australia, Canada and the USA with customised designs and these eateries are enjoying the benefits that this fantastic product has to offer.
Carmel is the designer and lead artist of the team who has the support of a formidable, trustworthy, loyal and talented staff in Cape Town where the factory and coating machinery is based.
Carmel and Benjy grew up on a farm in the town of Malmesbury in the Western Cape. Many of the people with whom they grew up with on the farm have since joined the company. The painting team of twenty seven women is hugely talented and contributes great vibrancy and energy to the business. Hand Painted By Carmel is also a socially responsible company who invest back into the community through strict local employment policies, workforce training, social education and upliftment programmes
Over the past fourteen years, Benjy and Carmel have established a company which is truly Ďproudly New South Africaní in every way, and continues to inspire with creativity and energy and offers a brand, which has positive association with all who come to know it.