From Harare to Cape Town The Chair Crazy Story

From Harare to Cape Town

Chair Crazy South Africa was initially established by an entrepreneurial Zimbabwean called Alan Graham. Many years before, Alan had established Chair Crazy in Harare, Zimbabwe and it had fast become the premier supplier of furniture to the hospitality industry in that neck of the woods. Alan was on holiday in Cape Town in the mid-1990s and came up with the idea of opening a second Chair Crazy outlet in the Mother City, modelled on the first one he owned back in Harare.

Getting started in the time of the Rainbow Nation

Chair Crazy SA found premises in the Bo-Kaap, and from day one it grew from strength to strength. It was at the time when South Africa was reveling in a new-found political freedom and was “the darling” of the both the developing and developed world – the rainbow nation that had somehow transitioned from a minority to a majority government peacefully and against all odds. The economy at that time was booming, foreign investment was flowing, jobs were being created, houses were being built and the country could do no wrong.


Fast forward to the mid-2000s

Jorge Bastos (the current owner of Chair Crazy) made the difficult decision to relocate himself and his family from Harare to Cape Town and had his eye on Chair Crazy SA as a business opportunity right from the start. After numerous discussions with the Chair Crazy founder, Jorge purchased the business from him. Shortly thereafter Chair Crazy moved its primary retail outlet to Woodstock (in 2005) and remarkably it is still in the same building nearly twenty years later. We are planning an exterior and interior upgrade to these premises, but we’ll tell you more about that in a later blog.


Taking on Gauteng

Shortly after purchasing Chair Crazy, Jorge and his team decided to open a second Chair Crazy SA branch in Gauteng, initially located in Waverley. During Covid the decision was made to move the Chair Crazy warehouse/showroom to Midrand, and it remains there to this day. Chair Crazy Midrand is able to service both the Johannesburg and Pretoria markets and is starting to notice a post-Covid upswing in hospitality activity taking place across the region.


Product. Product. Product.

Chair Crazy imports nearly all its furniture – primarily from Turkey, where it is the agent for Siesta chairs, stools and tables across the whole of Africa. Increasingly Chair Crazy is importing hospitality furniture from Asia to complement the existing European range and to ensure it has competitive offerings across different price points. Chair Crazy’s principal business is supplying chairs, stools and tables to the South African hospitality industry. This includes restaurants, SMMEs, pubs, clubs, sports facilities, hotels, motels, guest houses, the travel, conference and wedding industries respectively and a whole lot more.


We got B2B covered

Chair Crazy caters for both commercial and residential furniture buyers – both B2B and B2C target audiences. On the B2B side we break our market down into five segments – interior architects and designers (who are the gatekeepers to much of the local hospitality industry), hospitality owners themselves (who are going it alone), furniture retailers (whom we serve as wholesalers), the SMME market (who constantly need our furniture for things like office canteens and chill areas) and finally procurement specialists in large corporates.


And we got B2C covered

On the B2C side Chair Crazy Woodstock has become a landmark for patio/outdoor and dining furniture for personal use. We find that we’re often the first port of call in this respect and Saturday mornings are often our busiest periods. We also now have a fully functional online store at where more and more individual consumers are browsing and buying our chairs from the comfort of their own.


We do office furniture as well

Chair Crazy also offers a select range of contemporary, ergonomically designed office chairs and desks for both the business and home use. During Covid we were inundated with requests for tiny desks and economically sized chairs to fit into the tightest spaces, and we still stock a lot of these options to this day.


Hospitality is part of our DNA

Chair Crazy prides itself on being the premier supplier of chairs, stool and tables to the SA hospitality industry and believe we have an important role to play in helping it become the best it can be. After all, we firmly believe that true hospitality always starts with a good table and chair!