Eugenie Drakes founded Piece in 2000 to showcase the variety and excellence of South African handmade items. She started her journey in the not-for-profit sector and felt that this methodology would not result in sustainable business, so invested money from her mortgage and started Piece.
Eugenie is acknowledged as a specialist in the craft sector and has experience across all links in the value chain, from product development to production, wholesale, retail and trade shows, both local and international. She is able to ride the spiral from working in remote rural areas to communicating with a high-end customer base, both locally and abroad. The customers in the store love the stories of the makers, their cultures and the meaning of many of the products as this provides them with an authentic experience.
Eugenie was a resource person at the Africa-India Summit in Ethiopia in 2011, and participated in a craft exchange programme in New Delhi at the beginning of 2012.
Eugenie is on the Board of the Siyazisiza Trust and the Southern Guild Design Foundation. She has been selected to participate in the Goldman Sachs-GIBS (Gordon Institute of Business Science) 10 000 Women Certificate Programme for Women Entrepreneurs.
In addition, she is an enterprise mentor at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, and has been invited as a mentor on the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Women in Business Programme.