Choosing the best stands amongst many fantastic stands is no easy task. Our panel of esteemed judges play an integral role in choosing the winning stands each year. This year, we invited lifestyle industry professionals Tania Nipis of Media Mark (Jacaranda)- Direct Account Manager, Johandie Slabbert – Marketing Manager at Afri Forum and Gerda Smith – Freelance Mural Artist (with Heart) to select the top stands at the 2017 Pretoria HOMEMAKERS Expo. We chatted to them about the judging process.

Please do tell us a little about yourself.

Tania Nipis: I have over 13 years experience in sales, along with lucrative experience in recruitment. I enjoy baking and getting new inspirations from awesome recipe books. I love a good bottle of red wine, paired with good food.
Johandie Slabbert: I studied Communication and Marketing and have a true passion for this. I have worked for Media 24, PRIMEDIA Publishing and HOMEMAKERS in the past. I am currently working for AfriForum.
Gerda Smith: Educated as a teacher and psychology major I decided to follow my passion and became a freelance mural artist. While living in the US I had the privilege to have a sold-out art show in Spokane Washington, I also ran summer art camps for schools and individual young artists. When we moved back to South Africa I started my own business “Art on a Wall” specializing in murals. Part of my business is “Art with Heart” through which I do community projects.

Pretoria HOMEMAKERS Expo judges
Tania Nipis

What are you most looking forward to judging the Pretoria HOMEMAKERS Expo?

Tania Nipis: I’m looking forward to seeing the awesome new exhibitors stands, as well as the ones that blew me away two years ago.
Johandie Slabbert: I am looking forward to seeing what’s new in the market and what fabulous ideas I will find on the floor (and in the Deli)!!
Gerda Smith: Being an artist, I am an extremely visual person and always look for “the total picture” and the ambiance when I enter a space. I am looking forward to seeing the new trends in decorating as well as smart ways to organize spaces.

What will captivate your eye foremost in a stand?

Tania Nipis: Lighting, outlay and creativity of the space used.
Johandie Slabbert: I will look for innovative ideas to present stand products.
Gerda Smith: I am drawn to colour and mood. I will look for a trendy yet stylistically prearranged stand.

Pretoria HOMEMAKERS Expo judges
Johandie Slabbert

Any trends you are looking forward to seeing at this year’s show which you would incorporate into your own home? Why?

Tania Nipis: Gorgeous scatters, modern furniture, funky lights and cool new appliances and gadgets. Oh and some modern art.
Johandie Slabbert: I fancy the latest lighting trends and hope to see new additions to this at the show. I love the ambiance that a simple light can add to my home.
Gerda Smith: I love the boho, shabby-chic yet classic look. I tend to buy quality not quantity. My home is a place that tells stories. I do not get rid of things because it is not in style or the latest trend. Any item that adds to my story will find a spot in my home. I am also looking for more green and sustainable options in and around my home.

In your opinion, what do the attendees have to look forward to and what can they take away from the Pretoria HOMEMAKERS Expo?

Pretoria HOMEMAKERS Expo judges
Gerda Smith

Tania Nipis: Really awesome ideas and inspirations. OOH they can take anything from a new funky cushion, to a pre-ordered beautiful dressing table.
Johandie Slabbert: HOMEMAKERS offers quality products on the floor and therefore visitors can shop with ease knowing this.
Gerda Smith: Attendees can look forward to better ways to utilize what they already have and to incorporate it with something that is sustainable.

Give us your most inspirational quote or words that resonates with your own personal home space.

Tania Nipis: Less is more…
Johandie Slabbert: My home comes together by mixing memories, kids drawings, stories and family history with furniture pieces passed on from generation to generation. And this makes my home MY UNIQUE HOME.
Gerda Smith: “What if I fall, o honey… but what if you fly” and… “It’s five o’clock somewhere…!”

Visit the Pretoria HOMEMAKERS Expo to see all the winning stands and other exciting highlights at the show. Discover more here: