OUR STORY

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At WREN we believe that creativity happens when experiences are connected.
The experiences that led to the creation of WREN are driving behind a cement truck and exploring a shoe factory.
The creative outcome of connecting these two experiences is the innovative patent-pending approach
of the company to making paper stitch-able, durable and practical.


Our journey began in 2008 and continues to unfold as we discover and make unusual connections..


Our starting point

June 25, 2008

Our starting point

JANUARY: Wendren resigned from her job as a textile designer to start Wren. OCTOBER: Joined the Neighbourgoods design market at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town. This allowed the company to meet and build connections with local shop owners and clients.

Emerging Creative

February 10, 2010

Emerging Creative

The Wren Design’s first two contractors were enlisted. Fatima & Zurina joined the team to work part-time over weekends to help meet the growing demand. Participated as an Emerging Creative at the Design Indaba at the CTICC in Cape Town.It was at the Design Indaba that the PPC Cement Laptop Bag was first shown with the brand agreement between Pretoria Portland Cement and The Wren Design signed only a few days beforehand.This event exposed the company to a much wider international market and led to an increase in wholesale orders. The event also attracted online and print media coverage and The Wren Design began to establish itself as a fast-growing international company with a reputation for sustainable manufacturing, fair business ethics, innovation, quality workmanship

The growth of our range

June 25, 2012

The growth of our range

FEBRUARY: The first development from the PPC Cement Laptop Bag was introduced – the ipad sleeve. Launched at the Design Indaba in three hand screen printed designs. MARCH: Invited to participate in the Munich Creative Business exhibition. This was the company’s first appearance at an international exhibition.

Moving out of the garage

June 25, 2014

Moving out of the garage

Wren design moved into it’s first shared studio with Simple Intrigue at 10 Rhodesia Road, Muizenberg.

Joining the CBI

December 1, 2014

Joining the CBI

Selected as one of 20 promising businesses to participate in the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI) export coaching 5 year programme. This programme included an explorative trip to the Netherlands and Maison d’object, trade show participation and a very intensive support programme of workshops, one-one-one mentorship focusing on business growth.

Ambiente

February 10, 2016

Ambiente

Joined consumer goods exhibition at the Ambiente trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. This event was the first solely international trade exhibition of the company and was an incredible success resulting in the company growing more than 200% in one year. Wren returned in 2017 and 2018 to Ambiente.

Our First Shop

November 1, 2016

Our First Shop

We opened our first retail store called The Collective at the Watershed V&A Waterfront in Cape Town together with three other South African design brands.

Ambiente in Germany

February 9, 2017

Ambiente in Germany

JANUARY: Exhibited with Dubaruba at Paper World in Munich, Germany. FEBRUARY: At Ambiente Bags were introduced to expand the Wren Paper sleeve Collection as well as its first consolidated and collaborated range with Diana Ejaita: Optical Africa

Award time

July 5, 2018

Award time

Wendren Setzer won the regional Business Women’s award which is the first formal recognition of the strides that the company has made in creating jobs and developing product that promotes South African design in a sustainable way.

Move to the main road

November 1, 2019

Move to the main road

Wallets and smalls were introduced to the Wren range. Collaborative range of products launched: Evolution Product Team grew by three. Mel and Fernanda become full time time and Cynthia started. Moved studio and opened showroom and shop on the main road in Muizenberg, Cape Town.

Giftex in Japan

June 25, 2020

Giftex in Japan

Wren’s first Eastward Trade Show: Giftex in Tokyo, Japan.

NYNOW in the USA

August 13, 2020

NYNOW in the USA

Our first American trade show. We joined NYNOW as an emerging brand on the Artisanal platform in 2018. In 2019 we returned to exhibit on the premium design pavilion: Accent on Design. After the success of this we returned again in Feb 2020.

Beginning Days of Wren
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Ipad sleeves
Ipad sleeves
New Biscuit Mill Stand 1

2008

  • JANUARY: Wendren resigned from her job as a textile designer to start Wren.
  • OCTOBER: Joined the Neighbourgoods design market at the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Cape Town. This allowed the company to meet and build connections with local shop owners and clients.

2009

The Wren Design’s first two contractors were enlisted. Fatima & Zurina joined the team to work part-time over weekends to help meet the growing demand.

Wren BTS Fatima Samuels at her sewing machine 92KB

2010

Participated as an Emerging Creative at the Design Indaba at the CTICC in Cape Town.

It was at the Design Indaba that the PPC Cement Laptop Bag was first shown with the brand agreement between Pretoria Portland Cement and The Wren Design signed only a few days beforehand. 

This event exposed the company to a much wider international market and led to an increase in wholesale orders. The event also attracted online and print media coverage and The Wren Design began to establish itself as a fast-growing international company with a reputation for sustainable manufacturing, fair business ethics, innovation, quality workmanship and excellent customer service.

Wren exhibited at the Design Indaba three more times (2012, 2013 and 2014) until it closed.

2012

  • FEBRUARY: The first development from the PPC Cement Laptop Bag was introduced – the ipad sleeve. Launched at the Design Indaba in three hand screen printed designs.
  • MARCH: Invited to participate in the Munich Creative Business exhibition. This was the company’s first appearance at an international exhibition. 

2014

  • 2014 Selected as one of 20 promising businesses to participate in the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI) export coaching 5 year programme.
  • Wren design moved into it’s first studio. 

2015

  • The Wren Design made the decision to focus on paper products and the product range grey to introduce Mini and Laptop Paper Sleeves.
  • MAY: Wendren became the director full time. 

2016

  • FEBRUARY: Joined consumer goods exhibition at the Ambiente trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. This event was the first solely international trade exhibition of the company and was an incredible success resulting in the company growing more than 200% in one year. Wren returned in 2017 and 2018 to Ambiente.
  • NOVEMBER: Opened its first retail store called The Collective at the Watershed V&A Waterfront in Cape Town together with three other South African design brands.

2017

  • JANUARY: Exhibited with Dubaruba at Paper World in Munich, Germany.
  • FEBRUARY: At Ambiente Bags were introduced to expand the Wren Paper sleeve Collection as well as its first consolidated and collaborated range with Diana Ejaita: Optical Africa. 
  • JULY: Wren’s first Eastward Trade Show: Giftex in Tokyo, Japan.

2018

  • Wendren Setzer won the regional Business Women’s award which is the first formal recognition of the strides that the company has made in creating jobs and developing product that promotes South African design in a sustainable way.
  • Wren’s first international Trade Show in America: NYNOW Accent on Design Returned in August 2019 and Feb 2020 on the Accent on Design Pavilion.

2019

  • Wallets and smalls were introduced to the Wren range. 
  • Collaborative range of products launched: Evolution Product
  • Team grew by three. Mel and Fernanda become full time time and Cynthia started.
  • Moved studio and opened showroom and shop on the main road in Muizenberg, Cape Town.