Sean Coetzee, originally from South Africa, has decided to start conducting his business, African Woodsmoke, here in the heart of downtown Lincoln. After having the opportunity to sit down and meet with him, DLA had the pleasure to learn how truly passionate Sean is about his work. His unique business works to spread the artwork of the people of Africa throughout the United States, resulting in funding of their children’s education. To get to know Sean a little and African Woodsmoke, DLA conducted a Q & A session:
DLA: Tell us a little about yourself
Sean: I grew up in Durban, South Africa, and came to Lincoln on a tennis scholarship to play for the Huskers. I have a huge passion for the people of Africa and love the African culture. Woodsmoke is a dream that I had in college and is now becoming a reality that I am living – I love what I do!
DLA: Why did you choose to locate downtown?
Sean: Lincoln is a great city to start a business. The people here are extremely helpful when they find out you are doing something interesting. I owe this city and its people everything in terms of helping me to get this venture off the ground. Lincoln also has relatively low overhead costs compared to many other cities in the States, which helps immensely when starting a business.
DLA: What is one goal you would most like to accomplish?
Sean: Woodsmoke is the love, longing, and pull that Africa has on my heart. Woodsmoke is my passion, but giving back is my life; when you buy a Woodsmoke product you are actively support an African artist and his or her family – that’s what brings meaning to my life and this business.
DLA: Where and how do you operate your business downtown?
Sean: I have a show room on the 9th floor of the First National Bank building. Customers are welcome to stop by on appointment to purchase products. All the products are available for purchase on my website www.africanwoodsmoke.com. I also wholesale to many retailers throughout the country.
DLA: Explain what the African Woodsmoke Evening on November 6th is all about?
Sean: It is a fundraising evening to help educate my artists’ children. Five percent of every purchase will go toward putting our artists’ children through school. The evening will showcase the culture of Africa that most people in the Midwest have never experienced.
There will be South African boutique wines to sample that will be paired perfectly with continental African cuisine. Renowned chef, Sean Carmichael, from Chez Hay has used traditional African recipes mixed with modern flare to come up with some great African dishes. Woodsmoke will be showcasing rare African art that will be available for purchase. Every product has a story and meaning behind it that will be displayed at the evening. Michael Opuku from the band Ashanti will also be featured on the drums to give the night the beat of Africa.
The evening will be held at Chez Hay (above Noodles downtown), the address is 210N 14th St. Tickets are available immediately: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Contact Wendy at Chez Hay (402-489-7445) to purchase your tickets immediately.
Buy a ticket today and change the life of an African child forever! To find out more about Woodsmoke go to www.africanwoodsmoke.com