Dark Horse, the Cape Town-based design studio has just turned five years old. From humble beginnings, Dark Horse has grown into a favoured South African brand with an international reputation.
The studio was founded in 2011, with a tiny store and studio on Kloofnek road, that co-founder Jarrad Nelson describes as “the most money spent on a billboard” due to its location on a main road with full branding display – but no parking, preventing potential customers from stopping.
Co-founder and head designer Lise Nelson says, “We’ve always been passionate about design and craftsmanship. We began wanting to create things we couldn’t find locally, and this was the starting point of our journey – designing items for ourselves.”
Now, the company is proud to be celebrating a small business milestone with a global consumer base.
The company’s portfolio boasts some of the most recognizable names from around the globe, including Levis, Diesel, Sabi Sabi lodges, Nedbank, Nandos, and much more. “We are blessed to have worked with some dynamic interior designers, architects, and clients that understand our passion and drive for original products and great craftsmanship.
This has allowed Dark Horse to grow a talented team and begin the next phase of their journey – becoming a truly international business, servicing customers from all over the world.
“We’re humbled that daily we have new clients join the Dark Horse family from all over the world, from Miami to Sydney,” says Lise Nelson.
The brand believes that once you buy a Dark Horse product, you join the Dark Horse family. “It’s a connection that we make with the customer – having a Dark Horse product is a comment to the world that you’re striving for more, that you appreciate worth and you’re drawing your own map of the world,” says Jarrad Nelson.
The Sunday Times full feature looks a little closer at the studio and what goes on at the Dark Horse HQ.