A group of six enterprising women, led by Charlotte Malgas, have started a line of decor products. Woollen fleece felt balls are dyed and decorated with beads and binding tape to make colourful and cheerful pieces for any room.
The Felters’ work has featured at trade fairs and at the Ubuntu Village at the World Summit. The women are always looking for new ideas to keep their products fresh and to sustain the project that has become essential in Nieu Bethesda. “Money comes in which means more homes have food to eat,” they say. You can find the Felters’ products on sale at their workshop alongside the Congregational Church and at the Outsiders shop in the village.
Freddy's Wire Sculptures
Any visit to the Owl House would be incomplete without a browse through Freddy Jacobs’ stand of intricate and charming wire sculptures. Freddy is a self-taught artist, and his work varies from pieces as small as a key ring to bigger 2 feet wire mosquitoes. Freddy’s artworks make good gifts and mementoes of Nieu Bethesda and he sells them at reasonable prices.
Freddie is passionate about uplifting the community and teaches the local children his skill.
Sheepskin slippers are wonderfully soft, cool in summer and warm in winter. They are resilient and washable.
Margaret’s Slippers & Boots
Margaret Swiers has been making slippers and boots since 1986. At first, she worked at a farm but eventually went into business on her own. At the start, Margaret struggled, but persevered and is now enjoying the fruits of her labour. Margaret tans her own skins and makes the products her customers prefer. Margaret says of her accomplishment: “I feel a great sense of achievement to earn my own money.”
Sofie’s Handmade Slippers & Jackets
Sofie Steenberg has been making her trademark sheepskin slippers, boots and jackets for nearly 20 years. “It’s good to keep your hands busy,” she says. With the help of her husband, Alfred, Sofie tans her own raw material, brushes it to soften it, and then makes up her range of items. She also knits handspun wool and makes jerseys and slippers to order. She would love to pass on her skills to the next generation, and hopes the local school takes up her offer to teach youngsters about sheepskin.
Keep your feet warm and secure in one of Sophie’s slippers. You will find her at her home.
Nieu Bethesda has no petrol, bank or credit card facilities. Fill up your tank and your wallet before you arrive!
In 1878, when the town was first formed, the name nu Bethesda was misspelt as "Nieu Bethesda". "New Bethesda" is also popular. Other creative misspellings include: New, Nu, Nieuw, Niew, Bethesda, Betesda, Bathesda, Batesda, Bethesta, Betesta, Bathesta and Batesta.