The Xhosa word 'dala', when translated into English means 'to bring into existence' or to create. At Dala, we create the products that allow artists and crafters of all ages and at all levels of proficiency the freedom to create successfully. Our products are not only formulated in the lab, but in classrooms and studios around the world.
Because we use only the highest quality, non-toxic raw materials in our production processes, we provide you with a product you can trust.
Dala employ professional artists and crafters to constantly evaluate our product range, and we reserve the right to improve on the formulation of our products in order to reflect advances in science and technology.
We started as a one man business in 1999 and have grown and developed into one of the leading wholesale suppliers of art materials and related products in Southern Africa. Along the way we have tried to stay true to the core values that the business was founded on – exceptional customer service and a wide range of value for money products.
In 1766 William Reeves opened his first shop near St Paul’s Cathedral in Well Lane, Little Britain where he manufactured and sold his own paints. The business was doing so well that he took his older brother Thomas into partnership.
Reeves was a family orientated business where William’s brothers, children and extended family all helped to give Reeves the quality reputation that it still holds today. However, it was the successful marketing of the Moist Watercolour Paint-Cake invented by William Reeves, which placed Reeves at the forefront of manufacturing artists’ materials.
The shop had a basement in which three young apprentices ground the pigment, and used a new and secret process to develop the innovative water colour paint-cakes.
William and Thomas were so proud of their invention that they sent a sample embossed with the original bluecoat boy device to the society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce. The society of Arts (now known as the Royal Society of Arts) was suitably impressed by Reeves’ refinement of watercolour paints through the invention of the moist paint cake and in 1781 were awarded the Messrs Reeves the ‘Great’ silver palette ‘for the manufacture of Watercolour improved’!
STAEDTLER, one of the oldest industrial companies in Germany, takes advantage of the great tradition of Nuremberg pencil-makers, its decades of experience and significant headstart in the research and development of innovative products of the highest possible brand quality.