The not-for-profit – which operates a shop and glass, ceramics, furniture and metal studios at its Morphett Street premises, as well as a second site at Seppeltsfield in the Barossa – has increased its turnover by 55 per cent in the past five years.
“We’ve had some terrific growth in the past few years and been able to increase our staffing and payments to contractors, and the hiring of our glass workshop by independent artists and designers,” CEO Brian Parkes told InDaily.
“We figured we are actually just seeing the tip of the iceberg, but we have these limitations and bottlenecks around what we produce.”
Parkes says part of the extra funding, provided through the Department of State Development and Arts South Australia, will be used buy equipment for its studios to overcome those problems.
One of the major purchases will be a new 450kg furnace for the glass studio, which will increase its capacity by a third. The investment will enable the employment of more JamFactory glass blowers, who make items such as its popular Kink olive oil bottle, as well as greater hiring access for independent glass artists.
Other new equipment will include larger kilns for the ceramics studio and a small 3D printer for the metal studio.
But its most exciting plan is to open a second retail store.
Parkes says a site has already been found in the North Terrace cultural precinct, although he is not yet ready to disclose exactly where.
Around half of the $490,000 in government funding will go towards the fitout of the store, which is expected to open in September next year.
“By having a larger flagship retail space, we are driving up demand,” Parkes says.
“Our retail and wholesale sales growth over five years has gone from around $800,000 to nearly $1.5 million … we think again we can be doing a good deal better than that.
“If we can get a site that we can get bigger numbers through we are confident that will drive up demand.”
He says the new space will also have room for small temporary exhibitions of high-end work, “to provide better representation of some of South Australia’s leading craftspeople”.
Established in 1973 as a Dunstan government initiative, JamFactory provides training and development opportunities for SA emerging designers and artists, as well as showcasing SA craft and design.
In announcing the funding, Arts Minister Jack Snelling described it as “a cornerstone of contemporary craft and design in South Australia”.
“The Government is committed to unlocking JamFactory’s potential to further grow its output through new production equipment and a new shopfront in one of Adelaide’s cultural centres,” he said.