As a newly married man in 1994 that realised the wife and I can barely make ends meet, let alone sustain addictive collecting habits (that naturally included stamps), the decision was made to start selling stamps over weekends. The name for this enterprise, Stamp’s Friend, was coined by a very good friend, the late Lutz Heffermann – who was one of the most successful stamp dealers this side of the world and publisher of the South African stamp colour catalogue and the SA stamps monthly magazine.
This part time stamp dealing was actually quite effective for about a year, when the requirements of “normal” work became too big to sustain just about any collecting past times. As a chemical engineer by profession, the next nearly two decades revolved around “normal” work. When a business partner and I sold one of the companies we were involved with in 2012, the major attraction of stamp dealing became just too much and thus 2013 saw Stamp’s Friend back for keeps. Based out of Johannesburg in 1994 and 2013, Stamp’s Friend relocated to the beautiful Eastern Cape when the family moved to Port Elizabeth in December 2013.
Since arriving in Port Elizabeth Stamp’s Friend provides a boutique stamp shop service to clients by supplying various accessories, providing an outlet for selling stamps and of course, a source for buying stamps. Assistance in this family business has been provided by three ladies – Lise, Megan and Samantha, at one time or the other, either manning (or is that “womanning”?) stands at fairs, sorting, pricing, or scanning. Stamp’s Friend specialises in British Commonwealth with the accent on Southern Africa, Hong Kong and St Helena.
On a personal level it has been a busy period since rocking up in dear old Port Elizabeth as in 2016 I was roped in to become the president of the Port Elizabeth Philatelic Society and later also the editor of the monthly newsletter; have been a Director-at-Large and later vice president of the St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Philatelic Society (a position I resigned from after a tragic family accident); member of the board and currently secretary of IFSDA (International Federation of Stamp Dealers’ Association); and finally president of SAPDA (South African Philatelic Dealers Association) for a two year period ending in March 2020.
The only thing guaranteed in stamps, every day one can learn something new.